Young people of ASEAN and Japan of the Ship for Southeast Asian Youth Programme (SSEAYP) 2013 held a festival in Ho Chi Minh City on November 14 following the arrival of their ship.

At the ship welcome ceremony, Permanent Deputy Chairman of the National Committee on Youth of Vietnam Duong Van An thanked the governments of ASEAN members and Japan for jointly organising the programme.

He extended condolences to the Philippine delegation over the losses in human and property caused by super typhoon Haiyan and called on ASEAN youth to join hands with the Philippine people in their recovery efforts.

All 329 delegates from 10 ASEAN countries and Japan aboard the ship brought their special art performances to the opening ceremony.

According to leader of SSEAYP 2013 Ito Makoto, this year’s programme coincides with the 40th anniversary of Vietnam-Japan diplomatic ties and also the 40th year of the SSEAYP journey.

The programme’s activities have strengthened exchanges and mutual understanding between ASEAN and Japanese youth, he said.

Ho Chi Minh City being selected for the ship’s first stop during its 2013 trip allows delegates to get insightful into Vietnamese culture and land, he noted.

The ship left Japan on November 7 for a 51-day journey to go to ASEAN countries of Vietnam, Thailand, Singapore and the Philippines. It will stay in Ho Chi Minh City until November 17.

The Vietnamese delegation on board includes 29 members.-VNA