The Look East policy, which has been reactivated, is also expanded to sports, Youth and Sports Minister Syed Saddiq Syed Abdul Rahman said.
He said Japan would share its expertise in the development of football and badminton as well as the transfer of knowledge and technology in sports science.
"The sharing of expertise in the field of sports is one of the focus in the empowerment of the policy as well as the exchange of young leaders in preparation for them to become future leaders," he told a media conference after a ceremony to hand over sponsorship and introducing the Malaysian contingent for the 45th Ship For The 2018 Southeast Asian and Japanese Youth Programme (SSEAYP) in Putrajaya today.
According to him, Japanese ambassador to Malaysia Dr Makio Miyagawa had offered to assist Malaysia in strengthening the development of football and badminton as well as offering Malaysian football teams to practice in Japan.
Syed Saddiq said, although Malaysia had the National Sports Institute (ISN), Japan's progress in sports science was so rapid.
"The main focus of the ministry is to bring Japanese expertise to help us through technology and knowledge transfer, namely, we inherit expertise after they returned to their country," he said.
Syed Saddiq said the ministry could no longer rely on experts from abroad who were hired on a full-time basis, whose expertise and knowledge were not transferred as they should be, which would result in losses to the country when their service terms were over.
In the meantime, Syed Saddiq said the welfare of the 2018 Asian Para Games athletes would be looked after including the payment of the National Sports Council’s National Sports Incentive Scheme (Shakam) to all medal contributors.
"They do not have to worry, the issues of welfare and equal incentive are the priorities of the ministry," he said, commenting on the concerns of certain parties of the likelihood that Shakam's remuneration payments to the medal winners at the Games in Jakarta would be reduced.
According to the record, a gold medal winner at the Asian Para Games is eligible for an RM80,000 Shakam incentive, while for a silver medal is RM40,000 and a bronze medal, RM20,000.
On SSEAYP, Syed Saddiq wanted the 29 candidates selected to use the opportunity to prove that the younger generations of Malaysia could be pushed to the forefront as future leaders of the country.
He said the young leaders’ interactions with other international participants over the more than 50-day programme would be able to highlight Malaysia as a harmonious country and a leader in the Southeast Asian region.