Japan to revive Ship for World Youth Program

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 Tuesday.

The program was abolished by the previous government led by the Democratic Party of Japan to help reduce government spending for fiscal 2013 that began in April.

Since the Liberal Democratic Party won back the reins of government from the DPJ late last year, however, the present government of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has viewed the program as useful for training youths, the officials said.

The Cabinet Office considered details of the program through a relevant panel and concluded the program meets the aim of the government's economic growth strategy, they said.

The Abe government plans to earmark funds for the program in a budget for fiscal 2014, they said.

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