HO CHI MINH – The Ship Nippon Maru, carrying 330 young delegates of the Southeast Asian Youth Program on board, left Saigon Port in Ho Chi Minh City at 5m on Nov. 17 for Bangkok, Thailand.
Vietnam sent 29 participants to join the delegation this year, consisting of youth from Japan and ten Southeast Asian countries.
During their four days in HCMC, the delegates attended a homestay program and other cultural exchange activities.
Addressing at the farewell ceremony, Nguyen Manh Cuong, deputy permanent secretary of the HCMC Communist Youth Union, gave thanks to the Japanese government for organizing this program to foster solidarity between young people from Japan and 10 ASEAN countries.
Cuong wished this year’s program the best and said that Vietnam will welcome the ship again next year.
The ship is scheduled to sail through five Southeast Asian nations in 51 days, including Vietnam (November 14-17), Thailand (November 20-24), Laos (November 21-22), Singapore (November 29-December 2), and the Philippines (December 6-9), before returning to Japan on December 12.
The Ship for Southeast Asian Youth Program, now in its 40th year, is a youth exchange program that was pioneered by regional countries and Japan in 1974.
Vietnamese youth have participated in this program for 18 years. This year’s edition coincides with the 40th-year anniversary of diplomatic relations between Vietnam and Japan, and between Japan and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations.