ASEAN-JAPAN Youth Leader Forum


ASEAN-JAPAN Youth Leader Forum:
Roles of Youth in the ASEAN-JAPAN Relation in the 21st Century
30th November - 2nd December 2013

By Song Lin

Three UC student representatives, Miss Song Lin, Mr. Long Youpheng, and Mr. Lim Nguon joined 50 other ASEAN youth participants in the “ASEAN-Japan Youth Leader Forum: Roles of Youth in the ASEAN-Japan Relation in the 21st Century.” The primary aim of the Youth Leader Forum was to have Cambodia host the ASEAN-Japan Youth Leaders’ Forum as one of the commemorative activities to mark the 40th Anniversary of ASEAN-Japan Dialogue Relations in 2013. In addition, the Forum soughts to further uphold the importance of people to people contracts and cultural exchanges in order to build mutual understanding and friendship between ASEAN and Japan. The Forum’s secondary objectives were to seek ASEAN-Japan Young Leaders’ perspectives on (1) political and security cooperation; (2) economic and financial cooperation; (3) socio cultural cooperation; and (4) future directions and the role of youth in further deepening ASEAN-Japan relations.

In his opening remarks H.E. Im Koch emphasized the important role of youth in building societies in their individual countries, in building the ASEAN Community, as well as in promoting peace, security and prosperity in the region and the world at large. During the forum, youth recommended ASEAN and Japanese leaders to consider enlarging and extending the current scope of cooperation from the intergovernmental level to the community and people to people levels, and providing a role for youth to play in regional development. After much discussion and brainstorming ASEAN-Japan youth leaders provided the following recommendations on the forum’s secondary objectives aimed at increasing youth participation in regional development.

1. Political and Security Cooperation

• Encourage the Leaders of ASEAN and Japan to continuously engage in development dialogues and consensus building;
• Encourage their governments to strengthen collaboration, promote understanding, education, and human rights among ASEAN and Japan youth;
• Suggest ASEAN member states and Japan promote youth participation in decision-making process through their representatives and the use of new age social network technology
• Suggest that youths should engage more in the area of non-traditional security (NTS) matters, including smuggling and migrations;
• Suggest linking Japan to existing mechanisms and bodies within ASEAN, as well as civil society organizations;

2. Economic and Financial Cooperation

• Recognize Japan’s contribution to economic development;
• Consideration issues related to labour movement, free flow of goods and services, investment and agreement implementation;
• Raise awareness as well as enhancing the linkages to maximize the economic and financial benefits of both parties;
• Consider youth potential in the labour market – work to link educational to economic opportunities for the youth;
• Recognize that each country will do its best to meet regional standards and regulations in order to be competitive in the market;
3. Socio-Cultural Cooperation
a. Recommend to continue efforts of promoting belonging of an Asia community without barrier and prejudice among ASEAN-Japan youth of ASEAN;
b. Recommend incorporation youth participation in helping preserve of cultural heritage within ASEAN and Japan regions through cultural exchange programs;
c. Continue to promote ASEAN and Japan socio-cultural cooperation to enhance Asia values;
d. Recommend to follow up on forum’s action plan to enhance relations of ASEAN and Japan youth;

4. Future Direction
a. Propose to engage youth in the political-security arena such as counter-terrorism, human trafficking issues, and conflict resolution and prevention;
b. Promote gender equality and women empowerment by engaging women in every sectors of the economy;
c. Promote youth capacity building, especially at the grass-root level;
d. Propose to jointly address common regional challenges such as healthcare, environment issues, women and children empowerment, urbanization, food security, disaster management, and climate change;
e. Continue encourage knowledge sharing and technology transfer to narrow the intellectual property right gas;

The Forum reiterated the important role of youths in raising awareness, identifying challenges, and making recommendation to enhance ASEAN-Japan development. ASEAN and Japan youth have important roles to play in society development. In order to have a lasting future youth perspective matters. Vibrant youthful ideas can help contribute to building a prosperous Asia community.