What is SSEAYP?

The Ship for Southeast Asian and Japanese Youth Program, SSEAYP, was an initiative program based on the respective Joint Statements issued in January 1974 between Japan and five ASEAN countries, namely the Republic of Indonesia, the Federation of Malaysia, the Republic of the Philippines, the Republic of Singapore, and the Kingdom of Thailand. In 1985, Brunei Darussalam became a member of the SSEAYP after gaining full independence and admittance to ASEAN in 1984. The Socialist Republic of Vietnam joined SSEAYP in 1996, followed by the Lao People’s Democratic Republic and the Republic of the Union of Myanmar in 1998. Finally, in 2000, the Kingdom of Cambodia also participated in SSEAYP, right after its admission to ASEAN in 1999. This program is sponsored by the Government of Japan, along with full support and close collaboration with the ten ASEAN countries.

SSEAYP is an annual youth exchange program where over 300 youths from ASEAN countries and Japan convene in Japan onboard the cruise, Ms. Nippon Maru, to embark on a 52-day voyage to ASEAN member countries for port of call activities, discussions, voluntary activities, Solidarity Group activities, Participating Youth seminars, and cultural exchange activities.


  • To promote friendship and mutual understanding among the youth of Japan and the ten Southeast Asian countries
  • To broaden their perspective on the world
  • To strengthen their spirit of international cooperation and practical skills for international collaboration
  • To cultivate young leaders in their respective fields within this globalizing platform, contributing to the social progress of youth development

Program Activities

✧ Pre-Departure Training (PDT) is an intensive training consisting of lectures, team-building sessions, and experience-sharing sessions by ex-CPYs to prepare PYs physically and cognitively for the program.

✧ Life onboard

✦ National Presentation: SSEAYP gives you an unforgettable moment to cherish through National Presentation (NP). Whether you are a performer or an audience member, each NP is a special occasion where participating youths can showcase their talents and cultures as well as enjoy unique stories and lively performances. The preparation for the national presentation can be challenging, but it can also easily be the most rewarding and memorable part of the SSEAYP journey.

✦ PY Seminar: Much more fun than it sounds, the PY Seminar can be anything, and we are not exaggerating. It can be a lecture, a discussion, an activity, or even a competition. What makes it more special than a “normal” seminar? Hosted by our fellow participating youth with a variety of topics, you don’t have to worry about your interests not being covered. The best part? You can also host or co-organize seminars on your own with any topics you want to share. You may even find many PYs who share the same passion as you.

✦ Solidarity Group (SG): SG is a special word in the SSEAYP dictionary. To most PYs, SG means fun! While participating youths are learning academics through discussion groups, they also learn about friendships, solidarity, and fun competitions through SG activities. PYs from all 11 countries are mixed into 11 different SGs from A to K, where they gradually learn to work together as a team.

✦ Discussion Group (DG): Discussion Group is similar to joining a book club in that you will have many opportunities to share and discuss your topic of interest. Every discussion group has one facilitator who has extensive knowledge and experience on the topic to arrange and moderate the discussion sessions. These sessions are to equip the PYs with practical knowledge and skills that are necessary for them to conduct post-program activities through a free-flowing and active exchange of opinions.

✦ Cabin life: Three beds, three closets, and three PYs! This is Cabin Life in a nutshell. It is a journey of self-discovery. Some PYs finally learn how to organize their space. Some learn how to take care of others when they are seasick. Some learn to share their life stories as brothers and sisters. Most importantly, all PYs learn something new from one another. After a long day of attending assemblies, presentations, activities, and meals, the cabin is a space where many PYs can feel at home.

✧ Port-of-Call (POC) is the country that PYs visit during the program. Each year, the POCs rotate between the 10 ASEAN countries. The host countries will arrange country programs and activities such as interaction with local youth, courtesy calls, institutional visits, community service, and homestay experiences.

✧Homestay: What does it mean to visit a country? Some might say sightseeing, and some might say trying the local food. In SSEAYP, you get to enjoy both and more. Through homestays, you can learn so much from Southeast Asia and its people through this direct experience. Staying with your host family in a particular country gives you a real sense of how the people live, love, and laugh.

✧Gangway cheer: It is an honorable moment to raise our flag high to the world. 28 participating youths and one national leader from each contingent perform a beautiful series of flag movements along with meaningful lyrics to represent their country. In SSEAYP, “gangway cheer” is a grand event that demands long hours of practice and commitment. All countries have their own unique performance to show at every port of call.

✧Social Contribution Activities (SCAs) & Post Program Activities (PPAs): SCAs and PPAs are PY-led social projects to be done before and after SSEAYP. PYs, in cooperation with their alumni association, initiate and conduct projects on topics relevant to the current development of their respective countries.