Participants of the meeting pose for a group photo (Photo: tienphong.vn)

HCM City (VNA) – The current visit of the 45th Ship for Southeast Asian and Japanese Youth Programme (SSEAYP) to Ho Chi Minh City is meaningful to local residents, particularly youths, a municipal official has said.

Vice Chairman of the People’s Committee of the city Huynh Cach Mang made his statement while receiving the SSEAYP executive board and representatives of 11 participating countries on December 4.

At the reception, Mang praised the initiative of the governments of Japan and Southeast Asian nations in boosting connection, friendship and mutual understanding among their youths.

Describing young people as a key driving force to turning HCM City into a smart city in the future, he said the visit is an occasion to make the southern economic hub better known among Southeast Asian and Japanese youths as well as to help local youths exchange their experiences with foreign peers.

Administrator of the SSEAYP Yamatani Hideyuki said his delegation took part in various activities in Japan before heading to Brunei, the Philippines, Thailand and Ho Chi Minh City.

He further added that while in the city, also the last leg of the ship before returning to Japan, they have gained experiences and understanding on the local culture and lifestyle.

According to the administrator, the 29 SSEAYP delegates from Vietnam have actively engaged in discussions on global and regional issues, while introducing Vietnamese culture to others. 

The 45th SSEAYP started to dock at Cat Lai Port in Ho Chi Minh City on December 2 with 326 young delegates, including the 29 from Vietnam. The youths are scheduled to stay in the city until December 5 to take part in a range of cultural exchange activities, visit schools, interact with the city’s students and youths, and live with local residents to experience the daily life of Vietnamese families.

The SSEAYP is an annual youth exchange programme sponsored by the Japanese Government and supported by the member countries of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) since 1974, during which participants have an opportunity to live together on board the Nippon Maru Ship for over 50 days.

The journey aims to promote friendship among the youths of the participating countries, broaden their perspectives of the world and strengthen their spirit and skills for international cooperation.

This year’s SSEAYP, which takes place from October 23 to December 13, will visit four of the 10 ASEAN nations, namely Brunei, the Philippines, Thailand and Vietnam.

At each port of call, they are provided with a chance to interact with local youths, pay courtesy calls on leaders, visit local institutions, get involved in community service and experience unique homestay programme.–VNA