Welcome Message

The Association of South-East Asian Nations (ASEAN) is an organization for regional cooperation in Southeast Asia. Established in 1967 through the historic “Bangkok Declaration”, ASEAN strives to achieve economic growth, social and cultural development, as well as political stability. These are the 10 countries from Southeast Asia that are currently members of ASEAN: Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand, The Philippines, Brunei, Myanmar, Cambodia, Vietnam, Laos.

ASEAN has gained prominence internationally as a center of growth that is open to the world. Moreover, 2023 marks the 50th Anniversary of Japan-ASEAN Friendship and Cooperation.

ASJA International takes in foreign exchange students from the 10 ASEAN countries who have come to Japan as undergraduate and graduate students under the MEXT scholarship. Through this program, they become ASJA-MEXT students.

Furthermore, the biennial “ASEAN Festival” is carried out by ASJA-MEXT students. The planning, organization, arrangement of venue, and even the performances on the day itself are fully executed by ASJA-MEXT students.

Students are divided either by country or program. They are then in charge of discussing the theme and contents of their performance, as well as implementing it. Some students also form the “ASEAN Festival Executive Committee”, which works together with the Secretariat to prepare for various tasks such as advertising, venue arrangement, and audio-visuals prior to the event. During the ASEAN Festival, performances and exhibits are put up by the students to showcase the diverse culture of the 10 ASEAN countries, which has received acclaim each time.

ASEAN Festival 2023 will be held on October 1st, 2023 (Sun) at the National Olympic Memorial Youth Center. This year’s theme will be “Children’s Playground”. We hope to evoke the nostalgia of childhood and help you remember the toys and games, songs, and stories of your childhood.

We hope to see you at this wonderful event and reminisce about your childhood together with the ASJA-MEXT students.

Our Theme

Every person has once been a child. In this festival, we reminisce our childhood— memories of ourselves growing up, the games and toys we played, the stories we were told, the songs we listened to, and the dances we learned and loved. We remember our formative years and the innocence of our younger selves and how these shaped the way we are now.

As one of the festival's goals, we stress how the collective experience of children figures in the trajectory of our nations and emphasize the transformative influence of youth power in shaping the future. The festival will showcase the playful spirit of children, which we lose bit by bit as we become adults. As we age, we believe that we should be preoccupied with "being adults," keeping ourselves engrossed with work or commitments and putting enjoyment at the back seat of our lives. Many of us forget that a bit of fun does not hurt. Many of us fail to dream and forget how to dream. We are very much soaked up in our concept of being an adult that we leave out indulgence and playfulness in our lives. Thus, we shall gather in this festival theme to rekindle the child in each of us— the child who is a dreamer, frail and innocent but brimming with hope for a bright and happy tomorrow.

About the 50th Year of ASEAN-Japan Friendship and Cooperation

Marking a half-century of heart-to-heart relations between ASEAN and Japan, the Japanese government designates 2023 as the 50th Year of ASEAN-Japan Friendship and Cooperation. Various celebratory events and activities, held in both Japan and the ten ASEAN nations, spotlight the five decades of harmonious exchange built on confidence and trust, tracing back to 1973.

In consonance, ASJA commemorates the two partners’ commitment to building prosperity and peace in the region. Opportunely, ASEAN Matsuri 2023: 子どもの遊び場 | Children’s Playground is recognized by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs as one of the commemorative activities in the year-round observance of the five decades of cordial and ardent relations between ASEAN and Japan.

Event Details

ASEAN Festival: "Children's Playground" - an Event Project by ASJA International Students

ASJA International

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October 1, 2023

National Olympic Memorial Youth Center (Shibuya-ku, Tokyo)
International Conference Room, 1F, International Exchange Building
3-1 Yoyogi Kamizono-cho, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo

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Time Schedule


Doors Open

Opening Remarks

Welcome Address

"子どもの遊び場 | Children's Playground
(About the ASEAN Matsuri 2023)"

"Jong Batu
(A Stage Play)"

(A Song Performance)"

日本語一斉試験 (Stand-up comedy)

ベトナムの昔話: ソン・ティンとトゥイ・ティン (紙芝居 | A Picture Story Show)

ASJA Dance 1: 踊ろう!

(Demonstration of ASEAN Toys and Games)"


Mouse Deer and Tiger | マメジカとトラ (A Wayang Kulit Performance)

The ASJA Story


いろんなおとのあめ・マー・ポーソップの娘・Làm anh (お兄さんとは) (Poem Reading)

TUFSフィリピン民族舞踊団 Special Performance and 体験会

ASJA Dance 2: Viral Dances

Closing Remarks and Awarding


The times are tentative and subject to change.


The stage performances will feature memorable folklore stories that teach valuable life lessons to children, funny anecdotes, and poems that bespeak childhood and youth in the form of a stage play, Wayang Kulit performance, Kamishibai or picture story show, stand-up comedy, and poem reading.

Growing up is riddled with uncertainties— a vocal and a song-and-dance performance will highlight children’s quest for meaning and direction in a world full of anxieties and confusion, yet also full of excitement and adventure.

ASJA students will perform dances that were popular among kids in Japan, as well as viral dances in Southeast Asia and the world.

Captivating and thrilling dances that imbibe the playfulness of children will be showcased by the Philippine Cultural Dance Troupe of the Tokyo University of Foreign Studies. The segment also includes a demonstration in which the audience members can participate!

The guests can learn a lot about the games and toys played by children in Southeast Asia through exhibits and displays, as well as partake in exciting interactive activities prepared by ASJA students!