| Achong Tanjong |
YAM Pengiran Anak Haji Abdul Wadood Bolkiah and his wife, Pengiran Seti Aminah binti Pengiran Othman, yesterday attended a reunion dinner for former participants of the Ship for Southeast Asian Youth Programme (SSEAYP) and a ceremony marking 30 years of strong relations between Brunei Darussalam and Japan.
Held onboard the Nippon Maru Ship in Muara Port, the dinner’s highlight included the presentation of the Japanese Foreign Minister’s Commendation Award to BERSATU Association.
Japanese Ambassador to Brunei Darussalam Noriko Iki handed over the award to SSEAYP International Brunei Darussalam (BERSATU) Association President Haji Jailani bin Haji Ibrahim.
Following this was the cake-cutting by YAM Pengiran Anak Haji Abdul Wadood, his spouse and the Japanese ambassador.
In her speech, Japanese Ambassador Noriko Iki noted that through SSEAYP, youth from Japan and 10 Asean countries live together, learn from each other and participate in discussions and various exchange activities onboard as they visit participating countries.
Learning about social contribution is one of the important purposes of this programme. The programme represents the bond between Japan and Southeast Asia, and its long history. This year marks its 41st anniversary, she said.
“Japan and Brunei established diplomatic relationship in 1984. Since then, Japan has built cooperative ties based on mutual trust with Brunei in various areas. Tonight is one of the events to celebrate the 30th year of the establishment of Japan-Brunei diplomatic relations,” she said, before expressing hopes both countries would continue to strengthen ties.
“On the occasion of the 30th anniversary of Japan-Brunei diplomatic relations, Japanese Foreign Affairs Minister Fumio Kishida decided to give the Foreign Minister’s Commendations Award to BERSATU in recognition of its distinguished services over the years,” she said.
BERSATU was established in 1985 and has supported SSEAYP for 29 years. BERSATU has also been working on its own projects for social services. This includes cleaning and planting campaigns and supporting cultural events of the Japanese Embassy. BERSATU has also made significant contributions towards mutual understanding and friendship between Japan and Brunei.
The Foreign Minister’s commendations award is given to individuals and groups for outstanding achievements in international fields to acknowledge their contribution to the promotion of friendship between Japan and other countries.
Meanwhile, BERSATU President Haji Jailani bin Haji Ibrahim said the certificate of commendation to SSEAYP International Brunei Darussalam (BERSATU) Association is proof that the alumni of the Ship for Southeast Asian Youth Programme is fully recognised by the government of Japan for the invaluable contribution to the fulfilment of the programme and advancement of Japan-Brunei friendship.
He added, the government – through the Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sports – continuously supports and empowers all youth associations in Brunei, including BERSATU Association, by providing the opportunity to be involved particularly in the prestigious SSEAYP Country Programme in Brunei.