MC Trinh Le Anh: Goodbye Abe Shinzo - Ambassador of youth and ASEAN-Japan friendship!

According to the Master of Ceremonies (MC) Trinh Le Anh, thanks to late Prime Minister Abe Shinzo, there have been many generations of ASEAN youth like him having chance to go far from home country, get to know more about themselves and their country, nation and culture and nuture aspiration to contribute and devote to the country and region with specific and meaningful activities...

Vietnamese representative of the Ship for Southeast Asian and Japanese Youth Program (SSEAYP) Trinh Le Anh and representatives of 10 other countries were cordially received by Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe in 2016. (Photo: Courtersy)

Trinh Le Anh shared that he had the opportunity to meet late Japanese Prime Minister Abe Shinzo on the occasion of attending the Ship for Southeast Asian and Japanese Youth Program (SSEAYP) in 2016, when he represented Vietnam as the national leader of the program.

Unforgettable impressions

Prime Minister Abe Shinzo had hosted a very warm reception for representatives of 11 participating countries of the programe. With Abe-styled handshake, gentle smile and cordial greetings, Trinh Le Anh said he could feel the warmth, the friendliness, and benevolence from the Japanese leader.

Actually in 2008, Trinh Le Anh for the first time participated in the SSEAYP program organized by Japan. Unfortunately, he was not part of the delegation to call on Mr. Abe.

“However, I remember cleary that, the year before, then Prime Minister Abe Shinzo had proposed an Exchange Program in which around 6,000 young people were invited to visit Japan annually in 5 years from 2007-2012.

Those news lines urge young man like me to look for opportunities to go to the country of the Rising Sun in the context that I still can not afford to go to many places in the world...", he recalled.

SSEAYP offered different experiences for participants, as it is a journey of independence and harmony and without internet.

Talking about his impression on the program and Japan, Trinh Le Anh said that being a teacher of tourism, having admired Japan for a long time, he had hatched a plan to explore and learn about this country.

When joining in the journey of SSEAYP 2008, he was strongly impressed with the professionalism and the hospitality of Japanese people.

“Up to now, I have been to Japan about 10 times, for travelling, working and culture exchanging, etc. The Japanese are very cute and kind, but they are also very disciplined, as hard as “iron'".

As a result, in Trinh Le Anh’s opinion, Japan has become a very prosperous and powerful as it is today. It is the country that you want to visit and explore again and again no matter how many time you go there. It is the place where even the smallest things have cultural stories behind, each natural scene seems to have a soul that will attract any visitor.

In 2018, through the television program "Colors of Japan" which VTV produced in cooperation with TBS, MC Trinh Le Anh had the opportunity to introduce to the audience about the country and people of Japan that he had loved and learned about for a long time.

Referring to the television program, Trinh Le Anh said that, during the journey to discover the natural scenery of Japan, he was accompanied by a Vietnamese international student in Japan, thereby, partly helping Vietnamese audiences feel closer to Japan.

Symbol of the youth

MC Trinh Le Anh also attributes the development of the relations between Japan and ASEAN and among ASEAN countries to the linkage role played by late Prime Minister Abe Shinzo.

“My special impressions about Japan and my memorable journey in my youth stemmed from the destiny to witness how a Japanese Prime Minister cares abouth the youth and the cultural exchange among the nations through then youth.

Thanks to him, many ASEAN youngsters like me have had chance to travel far from homeland country and get to know more about our country, nation and culture and nuture the aspiration of devoting to the country and region through meaningful and specific actions”, said the MC.

In the thoughts of MC Trinh Le Anh, Abe Shinzo has become a symbol of the youth, enthusiatic, dedicate and ready to change. “To me, he is a great person who is also very close and simple”, he said.

The Trip of Life

SSEAYP is considered one of the most important annual foreign affairs activities of young people in Vietnam, Japan and Southeast Asian countries.

The program aims to strengthen friendship and mutual understanding among young people from Southeast Asia and Japan, thereby opening a new vision for Vietnamese youth in the integration period.

Hearing about SSEAYP since he was 20 years old, Trinh Le Anh had dreamed of and made great efforts to get approval for joining the trip.

“SSEAYP brings about different experiences, a journey without internet, a journey of independence and harmony with people around, into a homestay family, rolling up your sleeves, picking apples, gardening...

Thanks to these new experiences, young people have had beautiful and unforgettable memories, understood themselves better, recognized the real values of actual life and become less immersed in the "virtual world,” he said.

Trinh Le Anh held that to integrate into the international life requires not only a good command of foreign language or international skills or style, but also the important national values.

Foreigners tend to want to learn about other cultures. The Japanese people is an obvious evidence. They treasure and even worship their national culture, even if in the eyes of others it is just extremely small or complicated details that are difficult to absorb. From that special respect, the people from other cultures are gradually persuaded to feel and do in the same way.

According to Vietnam’s representative in SSEAYP 2016, the trip is an opportunity for the youth of ASEAN and Japan to promote their friendship as well as to discover the potential and the beauty of the countries they visit, including Vietnam, one of the beautiful stops on the long journey of SSEAYP.

Vietnamese participants in SSEAYP 2016.

“It can be said that for each delegate, SSEAYP is a valuable opportunity to exchange cultures, improve his/her knowledge and practice leadership skills. Each individual has the opportunity to promote and introduce the image of their country. It is also the baggage that Vietnamese young people bring with them when joining SSEAYP”, Trinh Le Anh said.

Each member of the programe is always conscious of expressing the national spirit in small things such as always being in time, neatly dressed, politely speaking and respecting the customs of other countries.

In particular, each Vietnamese delegate is aware of the responsibility to promote the history, culture and image of Vietnamese people to other delegations whenever being given the opportunity. Representatives from Vietnam also brought traditional dishes, costumes and even folk games to SSEAYP to exchange with international friends.

Trinh Le Anh stressed on the great opportunity for young participants to be equipped with necessary knowledge and skills in the integration period.

“Each country has a culture with its own national identity which has been forged through thousands of years of history and becomes the glue to bind each person. Preserving the core quintessence values ​​of the nation has become more important than ever in the integration process.

It can be said that SSEAYP is the most favorable environment for Vietnamese young participants to introduce the nation's cultural values ​​to international friends.

For that reason, the trip has become a school of real life. Everyone who has participated in the journey seems to see it a Trip of Life”, he said.

The Ship for Southeast Asian and Japanese Youth Program (SSEAYP) is based on the respective Joint Statements issued in January 1974 between Japan and Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore and Thailand. Brunei (1985), Vietnam (1996), Laos and Myanmar (1998), then Cambodia (2000) joined later after admission to ASEAN as official members of the Association. The program is carried out by Government of Japan with the active participation and cooperation of 10 Southeast Asian countries.

The aims of the Program are to promote friendship and mutual understanding among the youths of Japan and 10 ASEAN member countries, to broaden their perspective on the world, and to strengthen their spirit of international cooperation and practical skills for international collaboration.

Nguyet Anh