Japan-Cambodia Relations

November 21, 2015
Photo: Cabinet Public Relations Office
Photo: Cabinet Public Relations Office
On Saturday, November 21, commencing at 10:00 a.m. for approximately 20 minutes, Mr. Shinzo Abe, Prime Minister of Japan, held a meeting with Samdech Akka Moha Sena Padei Techo Hun Sen, Prime Minister of the Kingdom of Cambodia, at the venue for the ASEAN-related Summit Meeting. The overview of the meeting is as follows.

1 Bilateral Relations

Prime Minister Abe started the meeting by thanking Prime Minister Hun Sen for visiting his hometown of Shimonoseki, Yamaguchi Prefecture during Prime Minister Hun Sen's visit to Japan in July to participate in the Seventh Mekong-Japan Summit Meeting, and stated that he is happy to be meeting with Prime Minister Hun Sen once again less than six months since their previous meeting. Prime Minister Abe also commented that he understands that the Cambodian government is focusing on strengthening connectivity with neighboring countries, and to help with this, Japan has decided to provide a yen loan of approximately 17 billion yen for the development of National Highway 5, and he intends to work hard together with Prime Minister Hun Sen in order to develop bilateral relations going forward. Prime Minister Abe also expressed his gratitude regarding Cambodia's support for Japan's policy of "Proactive Contribution to Peace."

In response, Prime Minister Hun Sen commented that he is happy to be able to meet with Prime Minister Abe once again, this is their third meeting this year, this is their fifth meeting if their meetings in Singapore and Jakarta are included, he appreciates Japan's support regarding connectivity, and he distinctly remembers the various commitments that Japan has made related to Cambodia and the Mekong countries. Prime Minister Hun Sen also stated that he is happy to have been able to visit Prime Minister Abe's hometown, and he engaged in various types of work there in order to strengthen bilateral relations. Prime Minister Hun Sen then added that he appreciates the explanation that Prime Minister Abe provided, as Prime Minister Abe knows, he does not have any concerns regarding Japan's policy of "Proactive Contribution to Peace," and he welcomes Japan's playing a larger role in the region.

2 Maritime Issues

Prime Minister Abe stated that Japan has serious concerns regarding the stability of the South China Sea, Japan is focusing on a peaceful resolution to the situation based on the principle of the rule of law at sea, and Japan is also deeply concerned about unilateral changes to the status quo such as large-scale land reclamation, the building of outposts, and its use for military purposes.

In response, Prime Minister Hun Sen stated he believes that between China and ASEAN, in addition to the frameworks of the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea (DOC) and the Code of Conduct (COC), consultations among the parties concerned are important. 

3 Political Situation in Cambodia

Prime Minister Abe stated that he is concerned about the fact that the political situation in Cambodia has recently been becoming increasingly tense, and he hopes that as the next election approaches, the ruling and opposing parties will devote themselves to nonviolence, de-escalate a political tension, and maintain a "culture of dialogue."

Prime Minister Hun Sen responded by stating that in his position as Prime Minister, he wishes to keep the domestic situation from worsening, his government arrested persons engaged in violence, and dialogues between the ruling and opposing parties are continuing.

4 Economic Cooperation

Prime Minister Abe stated that as for human resource development, regarding which Prime Minister Hun Sen had made a request, he intends to dispatch a mission and consider ways of Japan's support in this area.

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