The Ship for Southeast Asian Youth Program (SSEAYP) is based on the representative joint statements issued in January 1974 between Japan and the Republic of Indonesia, Malaysia, the Republic of the Philippines, the Republic of Singapore and the Kingdom of Thailand. Negara Brunei Darussalam, following its full independence and its admission to the Assocation of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) in January 1984, joined the program in 1985. The Socialist Republic of Vietnam joined in 1996, following its admission to the ASEAN in July 1995, and the Lao People’s Democratic Republic and the Union of Myanmar joined in 1998 after having been admitted to the ASEAN in July 1997. Furthermore in 2000, the Kingdom of Cambodia also joined this program following its admission to the ASEAN in April 1999. This program is carried out by the Government of Japan with the active participation and cooperation of these ten Southeast Asian countries.
The purpose of this program is to promote friendship and mutual understanding among the youths of Japan and Southeast Asian countries to broaden their perspective on the world, as well as to strengthen their motivation and abilities in international cooperation by participating in discussions introductions of each country, and various exchange activities both on board and in the countries to be visited. In addition, the participating youths are expected to progress with leadership positions in youth activities and various other sectors in their own countries after this program.
As a general rule, participating youths for the program should be:
- Between 18 and 30 years of age.
- Able to participate throughout the program.
- Having a command of English to participate in the activities both on board the ship and in the countries to be visited.
- In good health both physically and mentally.
- Cooperative and adaptable to an orderly group life.
- Having good understanding and interests in the countries to be visited.