• A journey toward understanding and friendship

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    Head of Chancery Minister Setsuo Ohmori, JICC Director Kiyoshi Takeuchi, Researcher/Advisor Shinichiro Kato, NYC Executive Director Shierwin Taay, SIP president Leah Florentino, secretary of the board Zenaida Cruz-Rico, and the delegates of the 40th SSEAY

    Head of Chancery Minister Setsuo Ohmori, JICC Director Kiyoshi Takeuchi, Researcher/Advisor Shinichiro Kato, NYC Executive Director Shierwin Taay, SIP president Leah Florentino, secretary of the board Zenaida Cruz-Rico, and the delegates of the 40th SSEAY

    The pre-departure orientation for SSEAYP delgates
    The Embassy of Japan, through the Japan Information and Culture Center (JICC) held a pre-departure orientation for the 28 Filipino youth goodwill ambassadors of the Ship for Southeast Asian Youth Program (SSEAYP) at the JICC Hall on October 16.

    Head of Chancery Minister Setsuo Ohmori delivered a speech to hearten the participants as they begin their adventure; while the JICC, led by Director Kiyoshi Takeuchi and researcher/advisor Shinichiro Kato facilitated the program. To prepare them for their voyage, delegates were instructed on the basics of Japanese customs and manners, ranging from etiquette to eating, and given an overview on the finer points of Japanese culture.

    National Youth Commission (NYC) Executive Director Shierwin Taay gave the lighthearted welcome remarks, which reminded the youth ambassadors to be participative, to have a sense of humor, and to enjoy themselves in the once in a life time opportunity. Some former delegates, who are now among the members of SSEAYP International Philippines (SIP)—namely its president, Leah Florentino, and board secretary Zenaida Cruz-Rico—also shared their experiences with many anecdotes.

    The 28 delegates representing the different regions of the Philippines, headed by National Leader Ariel Arceo, will join youths from Japan and Association of the Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) on a 51-day tour around Japan and Asean countries on the MS Nippon Maru. They will pay courtesy calls to dignitaries at each port of call, closely studying the different cultures and engaging in social community activities, as well as cultural exchange with host families. Manila, Philippines, will be the fifth port of call, from December 6 to 9.

    SSEAYP, celebrating its 40th year, was institutionalized in 1974 as a collaborative effort between Japan and Asean countries to espouse mutual values of cultural understanding and international ties. The 40th batch of SSEAYP also marks the 40th anniversary of Japan-ASEAN friendship, commemorating a long history of solidarity and harmony within the region. SSEAYP is organized by the Government of Japan in close cooperation with Asean countries, through the Embassy of Japan, in coordination with NYC.

    The Japan government endeavors to raise awareness and develop closer bonds through SSEAYP, in the spirit of continued amity. It is the hope of the program to narrow the seas, and break barriers, while broadening horizons of youth delegates, and spreading goodwill amongst Japan and Asean countries.

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