Abe to revive Japan’s Ship for World Youth Program

Kyodo

The government plans to revive the Ship for World Youth Program to promote understanding between Japanese and foreign youths and train leaders through a one-month global voyage, government officials said.

The program was abolished by the previous government, run by the Democratic Party of Japan, to reduce state spending in fiscal 2013, which began in April, the officials said Tuesday.

But since the Liberal Democratic Party won back the reins of government late last year, the present administration of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe views the program as useful for training youths, they said.

The Cabinet Office examined details of the program through a relevant panel and concluded it meets the aim of the government’s economic growth strategy. Abe’s government plans to earmark funds for the program in the fiscal 2014 budget, they added.

Japan launched the annual Ship for World Youth Program in 1967. Past participants through fiscal 2012 numbered about 6,600 from Japan as well as 63 foreign countries.