ASEAN Japan Actions on Sports : Gender Equality


"ASEAN-Japan Actions on Sports: Gender Equality" is a project to promote gender equality through sports where Japan will collaborate with 10 of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) countries - as part of Sport For Tomorrow. Centered on training and research, the goal is to create a society where women and girls in ASEAN countries can safely and securely access sports and enjoy all the benefits that sports can provide.


*This project was re-commissioned by the Japan Sport Council (JSC) in October 2023 and implemented by the International Research Center for Sport and Gender Equality (SGE)at Seijo University.
*This project is supported by the ASEAN Secretariat (


Click here for more information on the past projects of the ASEAN-Japan Actions on Sports: Gender Equality.

Background of the project and progress to date


In 2017, the “First Japan-ASEAN Sports Ministers Meeting” was held between the Japanese government and ASEAN countries. At the meeting, the following four areas were identified as priority cooperation areas between Japan and ASEAN: “Development of physical education teachers and instructors,” “Improvement on women's sports participation rate,” “Development of sports for people with disabilities,” and “Support for anti-doping activities” and Japan has promised to provide active support to the respective fields.

In 2018, we took advantage of the Asian Games held in Indonesia to hold an informal stakeholder meeting, where we heard from the Olympic Committee members and women sports committee members from each country about issues related to women's sports in ASEAN countries. Based on the needs expressed at this informal stakeholder meeting, the 2nd Japan-ASEAN Sports Ministers Meeting (Manila, Philippines) in October 2019 approved to conduct training and awareness-raising activities with the participation of sports policy makers, sports professionals, and young women leaders from ASEAN countries using the Japan-ASEAN Integration Fund (JAIF) - recognizing the Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games as a great opportunity.


In conjunction with the Tokyo 2020 Games, which have been postponed by one year due to the global pandemic, an event to promote gender equality in sports and strengthen cooperative relations between ASEAN and Japan was hosted by the Japanese government (Japan Sports Agency) and the ASEAN Secretariat. The event was a four-day workshop "ASEAN-Japan Workshop on Promoting Gender Equality in Sports," held at Juntendo University. The workshop was attended by government officials from 10 ASEAN countries, the Chairpersons of the women's sports committees of each nation’s Olympic Committee, and young female sports leaders. At the workshop, each country put together an action plan to promote gender equality in sports. Simultaneously, an empowerment workshop for young female leaders was held in an attempt to include the voices of young females from the discussion stage of policy documents. The action plans for each country mainly focused on raising awareness for girls and women to participate in sports, developing female leaders, and changing gender norms in the society.


Starting in 2022, post Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games, gender equality projects between Japan and ASEAN have been included in Sport For Tomorrow. At the “3rd Japan-ASEAN Women's Sports Meeting” held in Phuket, Thailand in October, Japan Sports Agency shared with the ASEAN countries on the Japanese government's initiatives for the next five years and acknowledged to promote gender equality in the sports field. Additionally, supported the first participation of government officials from ASEAN countries in the IWG World Conference on Women's Sports (Auckland, New Zealand), which is held once every four years, and strengthened the relationship between the Japanese government and ASEAN countries in international sports. Furthermore in 2022, a workshop for sports-related people and a workshop for young women was held for four days in collaboration with the Thai government. By preparing Thai translations and Thai language materials were created in order to be able to share the information and knowledge to various local sports officials in their local language.


At the 4th ASEAN-Japan Ministerial Meeting on Sport held in September, the Chiang Mai Declaration on Strengthening ASEAN-Japan Sport Cooperation towards 2030 was adopted to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the ASEAN-Japan friendship and cooperation. In the Declaration, it was agreed to expand ASEAN-Japan cooperation in the field of sports by including Sports Management as the fifth priority area of cooperation. In addition, from the 6th ASEAN Plus Japan Senior Officials’ Meeting on Sports (SOMS+Japan), the meeting and the ASEAN Plus Japan Meeting on Women and Sports were merged to streamline the meeting while maintaining the importance of women in sports issues, particularly in and through sport, and the promotion of gender equality in sport.