Malaysia, Japan to work on youth, sports initiatives as Look East Policy turns 40

Malaysia and Japan are set to work closely on youth and sports-related matters following the signing of a memorandum of cooperation (MoC) in Tokyo, yesterday.

This comes barely a week after former prime minister, Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad, had called for the continuation of the Look East Policy (LEP), which he initiated 40 years ago, as one of the foundations of Malaysia’s development strategies and programmes.

Youth and Sports Minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Faizal Azumu represented the Malaysian government, while Japan was represented by its Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology Minister, Shinsuke Suematsu.

Also present was Japan’s Ambassador to Malaysia, Takahashi Katsuhiko.

The MoC outlines:

  • the strengthening of the Malaysia Future Leaders School.
  • development programmes for athletes, coaches and sports officials.
  • the organising of friendly matches, including e-Sports.
  • the management of sports volunteers, ahead of the 2027 SEA Games, in Malaysia.
  • the effective management of facilities.
  • programmes for volunteers in preparation for disasters.

The ministry, in a statement today, said that the signing ceremony was held in conjunction with the LEP’s 40th anniversary.

“The youth of today will shape the ties between Malaysia and Japan in the future. The diplomatic relations between both nations have been strengthened over the last 65 years and have been pivotal in the creation of policies, and in the development of the country,” the statement read.

Another MoC, on sending skilled workers to work in certain sectors in Japan, was also expected to be signed.

The MoCs are being signed in conjunction with Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob’s official visit to the country. His six-day working visit to Japan started on May 23.