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Japan-Cambodia Summit Meeting

On August 7, Shinzo Abe, Prime Minister of Japan, held a summit meeting with Samdech Akka Moha Sena Padei Techo Hun Sen, Prime Minister of the Kingdom of Cambodia.

Prime Minister Abe stated that Prime Minister Hun Sen has consistently supported Japan’s “Proactive Contribution to Peace,” and that since the first deployment of PKO units to Cambodia, peacebuilding has become a major pillar of Japan’s foreign policy. He stated that he highly appreciates Cambodia’s participation in PKO missions in recent years and that Japan will continue to implement Defense Capacity Building Assistance to Cambodian personnel. Citing the examples of the completion of the Tsubasa Bridge, the start of direct flights linking Japan and Cambodia, and the establishment of the Sunrise Japan Hospital in Phnom Penh, Prime Minister Abe stated that cooperation with Prime Minister Hun Sen is producing results. He praised the smooth implementation of recent local elections and expressed the expectation that Cambodia’s next national election will be conducted in a free and fair manner, noting that Japan will continue to provide electoral reform assistance. He also noted that Japan will continue to implement cooperation for Khmer Rouge trials. He stated that Japan would like to cooperate with Cambodia on strengthening the free and open maritime order based on the rule of law in the Indo-Pacific region as global commons.

As for the development cooperation, economy, culture and people-to-people exchanges, referring to Japan’s assistance and investment to contribute to human resources development in line with international standards, Prime Minister Abe stated that Japan will enhance assistance in areas including improvement of logistics, industrial human resource development and reinforcement of urban functions, with a view to assisting Cambodia in becoming a middle-to-high-income country by 2030. He noted that the two projects for which exchanges of notes were to be signed on that day, amounting to 27.4 billion yen, will also contribute to the creation of business opportunities and requested that further efforts be made to improve the investment environment in Cambodia. He also noted that over the past five years exchanges have taken place among approximately 3,500 people and that Japan will continue to maintain a high level of exchange, with a view to further expanding the basis for friendship. He also noted that Japan will establish a Consular Office in Siem Reap next year.

The two leaders also engaged in a candid and significant exchange of opinions on urgent issues in the regional and international arenas, including North Korea and the South China Sea. In particular, with regard to the situation surrounding North Korea, the two leaders confirmed that the international community should work together to place pressure on North Korea and that they would also cooperate in the ASEAN-related meetings this year. Prime Minister Hun Sen expressed his support for efforts towards the early resolution of the abductions issue. On the issue of the South China Sea, the two leaders confirmed the importance of the rule of law, among other matters. Prime Minister Abe also stated that with protectionist moves spreading around the world, Japan will cooperate with Cambodia on the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) to ensure the conclusion of a high-quality agreement. Prime Minister Abe also expressed appreciation to Prime Minister Hun Sen for Cambodia’s support in Osaka’s bid to host the 2025 World Exposition.