Cambodia and Japan strengthen bilateral relations


Prime Minister Hun Sen (left) and his Japanese counterpart Fumio Kishida bump elbows before a bilateral working meeting in Kumamoto, Japan on Saturday. MPS

Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida has accepted Hun Sen’s proposal to formalize enhanced bilateral relations between the two countries to reflect their growing cooperation on defense, development and trade fronts.

Prime Minister Hun Sen made the proposal at a meeting on the sidelines of the 4th Asia-Pacific Water Summit in Japan, where leaders discussed cooperation on issues on which the two countries have historically worked together.

He called for the Cambodia-Japan “strategic partnership” to be transformed into a “comprehensive strategic partnership” in the “near future”.

Kishida accepted Hun Sen’s proposal, saying bilateral relations between the two countries remain strong, especially in the defense sector. He thanked Cambodia for hosting the recent docking of two JMSDF vessels, which he said had “further strengthened” bilateral relations.

He said Japan will continue to support the development of the Preah Sihanouk deep-sea port and provide more subsidies for the project.

Hun Sen told Kishida that Cambodia “stands ready” to welcome the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force (JMSDF) to dock at its ports in the future, saying the Kingdom will continue to cooperate with Japan on defense matters. , according to an official Facebook post. on his page after the meeting.

“Hun Sen has confirmed that Cambodia will continue to welcome JMSDF visits and docking in Cambodian ports,” the message read.

“He also said that the development of the deep water port of Preah Sihanouk province will accelerate economic development and boost the export of Cambodian products… as well as [facilitate] imports without having to depend on the ports of other countries.

Content Image - Phnom Penh Post

Prime Minister Hun Sen (left) and his Japanese counterpart Fumio Kishida (right) chair Saturday at the signing of a memorandum of understanding by Minister of Water Resources Lim Kean Hor (seated left) and Saito Tetsuo of the Japan. MPS

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation said in a press release on April 24 that Hun Sen praised Japan for its role in improving Cambodia’s water, sanitation and irrigation systems.

Hun Sen “welcomed and expressed [great] thanks to the Japanese government for its leading role in expanding the water supply system and developing the sewage and irrigation system in Cambodia,” the statement read.

Cambodia and Japan have enjoyed positive diplomatic relations for more than seven decades, with the latter helping to oversee peacekeeping efforts in the Kingdom since the 1990s.

Thong Mengdavid, a researcher at the Mekong Center for Strategic Studies at the Asian Vision Institute, said: “Improving their [Cambodia and Japan’s] strategic partnership to the status of “comprehensive strategic partnership” in the near future will strengthen their friendship and mutual support in the international arena, promoting peace and development in the world and fighting the Covid-19.

He said cooperation with Japan would be a “core element” in the quest to make Cambodia a developed, high-income nation by 2050.

After the summit, Hun Sen met with Kumamoto Prefectural Governor Ikuo Kabashima. He also met with the leaders of eight companies, some of which have investments in Cambodia and others which are preparing to start business operations in the Kingdom.

Hun Sen said he welcomed these companies and had “observed” their activities in Cambodia, and reminded them of the country’s “good” investment laws for foreign investors.

His Facebook post noted that “investing in Cambodia is a good way to strengthen and elevate the economic ties between our two countries.”

The Prime Minister also met with Yogo Kanda, Managing Director of Mitsubishi Corporation, which manages the production and transportation of clothing products from Cambodia to international markets. The company also imports vehicles and installs lifts in the Kingdom, and has been operating in Cambodia since 1997.

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