The International Youth Development Exchange Program (INDEX)

The International Youth Development Exchange (INDEX) Program is an interactive project started in 1994 in commemoration of the royal marriage of H.I.H. the Crown Prince. This program followed the Japanese Youth Goodwill Mission that commenced in 1959 to commemorate the royal marriage of the current His Majesty the Emperor who was the Crown Prince at that time and the Invitation of Foreign Youth to Japan which commenced in FY 1962. The International Youth Development Exchange Program aims to promote mutual friendship and understanding between Japanese youths and youths of other countries; to broaden international perspectives, to foster the spirit of international cooperation, and develop the ability to put these principles into practice. The objective of the program is to nurture and develop youths who can demonstrate leadership skills in various fields in a global society, and to encourage social contribution activities by the youths.

Sending Program

Delegations from Japan, consisting of 16 members each, were sent to Kingdom of Cambodia, Dominican Republic and Republic of Latvia, respectively from September 5 to 22, 2015. The Japanese youths deepened mutual understanding in the visited countries through programs such as courtesy calls, intensive discussion sessions with local youths, performance of Japanese culture, experience of international cooperation activities, homestay and institutional visits.

International Youth Conference

The International Youth Conference is held annually as a part of the International Youth Development Exchange (INDEX) Program, providing an opportunity for the Japanese youths dispatched overseas and the invited foreign youths of the INDEX program to meet and deepen mutual understanding. They are expected to exchange their views through discussions of global issues, to explore ways to pursue international youth exchange between Japan and the respective countries, and to discuss how to reinforce ties among them after the program. The result of the conference, further, may contribute to the future development of international youth exchange. From September 23 to 25, 2015, the youths had discussions under the theme “social participation of youth” in the three courses of environment, education, and culture. On September 23 and 24, they participated in various institutional visits and discussions, deepening their understanding of the situation and way of thinking in the respective countries. On September 25, they presented the outcome of their course discussions at the “Discussion Summary Presentation” and reviewed the result of the three-day discussions at the “Evaluation Session” by course. Their Imperial Highnesses Crown Prince Naruhito and Crown Princess Masako observed the Discussion Summary Presentation. At the following Reception, the representatives of Japanese and foreign youths were provided a rare opportunity to exchange words with His Imperial Highness Crown Prince Naruhito.

Invitation Program

6 countries were invited to Japan for 16 days from September 22 to October 7, 2015. They were delegations consisting of 10 members each from Kingdom of Cambodia, Dominican Republic, Arab Republic of Egypt, Republic of Latvia and a delegation of 8 members from Republic of Mozambique and a delegation of 7 members from Independent State of Papua New Guinea. The foreign youths deepened their understanding of Japan through programs such as courtesy calls, discussion sessions with Japanese youths, joint cooperative activities, and homestay.

Tokyo Program

After orientation, foreign youths attended the International Youth Conference from September 23 to 25, 2015. After returning from the regional programs , foreign youths enjoyed a Tokyo City Tour guided by Japanese volunteers on October 5. On October 6, they had the Evaluation and Completion Ceremony of the Program and left Japan.

Regional Program

Foreign youths were divided into three groups and took part in regional programs from September 26 to October 4. The youths from Kingdom of Cambodia and Independent State of Papua New Guinea visited Ishikawa Prefecture and Toyama Prefecture, those from Dominican Republic and Republic of Mozambique visited Yamaguchi Prefecture and Osaka Prefecture, and those from Republic of Latvia and Arab Republic of Egypt visited Okinawa Prefecture and Kagawa, experiencing discussion with local youths, traditional culture and home-stay.

Japanese youths’ Briefing Session of the International Youth Exchange Programs (by aircraft)

Japanese youths who participated in the fiscal year 2015 International Youth Exchange Programs of the Cabinet Office (by-aircraft programs: INDEX, Japan-China Goodwill Youth Exchange Program and Japan-Korea Goodwill Youth Exchange Program) planned and organized a Briefing Session of their activities to the public on February 7, 2015.

Report of The International Youth Development Program (INDEX)