The Ship for Southeast Asian Youth Programme (SSEAYP) is an annual programme sponsored by the Japanese Government and supported by the member-countries of ASEAN. The programme brings together more than 300 youth from ASEAN countries and Japan, providing them with the unique opportunity to live together on board the ship Nippon Maru for over 40 days.
SSEAYP started in January 1974 based on Joint Statements issued between Japan and the five ASEAN countries, namely, Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore and Thailand. Brunei Darussalam joined in 1985. Vietnam participated in the programme in 1996 while Laos and Myanmar participated in 1998, and Cambodia in 2000.
The aim of SSEAYP is to foster friendship and greater understanding among youths from Japan and ASEAN. It also seeks to broaden their international outlook.
A series of activities are lined up for the selected participants. The programme during voyages includes discussions on social and youth matters, cultural introductions, sports, recreation and club activities. While activities at each port-of-call include interaction with the local youth, courtesy calls on dignitaries and institutional visits, as well as community service and homestay experience.