| Rokiah Mahmud |
THE 41st Ship for Southeast Asian Youth Programme (SSEAYP), Nippon Maru, carrying 364 participating youth and 150 administrators yesterday docked at Muara Port as part of their 52-day programme visiting Japan and other Asean member countries.
The Nippon Maru berthed at Muara Port for a four-day stay until November 16. The ship left Japan on November 7.
The programme is based on the respective joint statements issued in January 1974 by Asean countries (Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore and Thailand) and Japan.
Brunei Darussalam joined the programme in 1985, followed by Vietnam in 1996, Laos and Myanmar in 1998 and the Cambodia in 2000.
The programme is carried out by the government of Japan with the active participation and cooperation of the 10 Asean member countries.
Following the arrival of Nippon Maru yesterday, a press conference was held on board, chaired by Tomofumi Oka, the administrator of this year’s 41st SSEAYP programme.
Also present were the President of SSEAYP International and Chairman for the country’s homestay programme, Awang Haji Jailani bin Haji Ibrahim; Brunei Darussalam’s National Leader, Faisal Yunus; Brunei Youth Leader, Haji Mohd Paizzal bin Haji Piluk; and Assistant Youth Leader, Siti Nur Azimah.
Speaking during the conference, Tomofumi Oka elaborated on the objectives and purposes of the SSEAYP Programmes.
In his remark, he said that among the aims of the programme are to promote friendship and mutual understanding among the youth of the 10 Southeast Asian countries and Japan and to strengthen their spirit of international cooperation and practical skills for international collaboration.
“SSEAYP aims to cultivate the youth who are capable to exercise their leadership skills in various fields in the globalised society and to contribute to the society in the areas such as youth development.”
These aims can be achieved through sharing their lives onboard the ship, introducing each other their countries, participating in discussions and various exchange activities both onboard and in the countries to be visited.
“What’s more significant is that this year marks the 30th anniversary of Brunei – Japan friendship,” he added.
Haji Jailani, who joined the programme back in 1985 and became the country’s national leader in 1995, conveyed his appreciation towards 150 foster families who will be hosting the participants starting today with the Homestay Matching Ceremony.
“We hope that during their stay with respective foster families, the participants will be able to learn the culture, food amd exchange ideas as well as mingle with their foster siblings,” he said.
Brunei National Leader, Faisal Yunus, also shared his experience since the beginning of their journey that started from Japan until they berthed at their first port of call in Brunei.
“We arrived in Brunei on our 16th day of the programme and we have a long way to go until the end of this programme. As the national leader for the country, I appreciate all the efforts, initiatives as well as progress shown by our Brunei participating youth (BPY). Despite the tight schedule, they still managed to accomplish every task they were assigned to and at the same time actively joining all the activities,” he noted.
“I hope our BPY will benefit from what they will learn throughout this programme and that the following trip will provide more exposure in terms of knowledge, exchange of ideas and most importantly in keeping the bond among the participants.”
Hj Mohd Paizzal added that the BPY have gained so much new experience thus far. The different culture, time management, participating in all activities despite being tired and nothing has stopped from learning from living with the Japanese families in respective prefectures.
“During our stay in Japan, we also observed how the welfare and well-being of special needs group are being taken care of through the provision of facilities for easy movement and access. I hope the same facilities will also be provided for the special needs group in our country,” he shared.
During their 10-day stay in Japan, the participants engaged in various activities such as institutional visits relevant to the group themes of the discussion programme, cultural exchange and discussions at Japan-Asean Youth Leaders Summit in Tokyo and activities in local areas including homestay and exchange with local youth.
The ship which carries indelible memories and is dubbed by the former participants as ‘friendship ship’, will be leaving the country on November 16 sailing for Cambodia, Myanmar, Indonesia and then back to Japan.