Japan-Cambodia Relations

October 8, 2018
Prime Minister welcoming the Prime Minister of Cambodia Photo: Cabinet Public Relations Office
Salute and the guard of honor ceremony Photo: Cabinet Public Relations Office
Salute and the guard of honor ceremony Photo: Cabinet Public Relations Office
On October 8, commencing at 2:30 p.m. for approximately 30 minutes, Mr. Shinzo Abe, Prime Minister of Japan, held a summit meeting at the Prime Minister's Office with Samdech Akka Moha Sena Padei Techo Hun Sen, Prime Minister of the Kingdom of Cambodia, who is visiting Japan to attend the 10th Mekong-Japan Summit Meeting. The overview of the Japan-Cambodia Summit Meeting is as follows. The summit meeting was attended by Mr. Taro Kono, Minister for Foreign Affairs, Mr. Yasutoshi Nishimura, Deputy Chief Cabinet Secretary, Mr. Kotaro Nogami, Deputy Chief Cabinet Secretary, Mr. Kentaro Sonoura, Special Advisor to the Prime Minister, and other government officials. Following the meeting, the two leaders held a joint press announcement.
Leaders shaking hands Photo: Cabinet Public Relations Office
Japan- Cambodia Summit Meeting Photo: Cabinet Public Relations Office

1 Beginning

(1)At the beginning, Prime Minister Abe noted that this year is the 65th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between Japan and Cambodia, and explained that he is glad to be able to welcome Prime Minister Hun Sen to Japan this year, following the previous visit last year. Prime Minister Abe stated that Japan has worked closely with Cambodia to support its development thus far, and expressed his intention to hold a meaningful exchange of views at today's meeting in order to further expand the bilateral relationship and develop the Mekong region as a whole. 

(2)In response, Prime Minister Hun Sen expressed his happiness at being able to visit Japan on the occasion of the 10th anniversary of Japan-Mekong cooperation and the 65th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between Japan and Cambodia. Prime Minister Hun Sen also expressed thanks for the congratulations extended by Prime Minister Abe on the launch of Cambodia's new government while congratulating Prime Minister Abe on his reelection as head of the Liberal Democratic Party. Additionally, Prime Minister Hun Sen conveyed his condolences over the recent natural disasters in Japan, and stated that he intends to strive to further strengthen bilateral relations and Japan-Mekong relations through this visit to Japan.

2 Japan-Mekong cooperation

(1) Prime Minister Abe stated that at the Mekong-Japan Summit Meeting on the following day, he hopes to formulate new guidelines for Japan-Mekong cooperation going forward. Prime Minister Abe welcomed Prime Minister Hun Sen's powerful support for Japan-Mekong cooperation and for Japan's efforts for realizing a free and open Indo-Pacific, and explained that he hopes to move cooperation further forward and realize a prosperous future together. Prime Minister Abe also explained that Japan has decided to implement cooperation relating to repairing Cambodia's water ways for agricultural irrigation in response to the country's natural conditions, in a way that conforms to the new guidelines for Japan-Mekong cooperation.

(2) In response, Prime Minister Hun Sen appreciated Japan-Mekong cooperation as an initiative that yields benefits such as rectifying the disparities between the advanced countries and less developed countries in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), and stated that the formulation of new strategies is something that is aligned to the Mekong region's current demands. Prime Minister Hun Sen also reiterated his support for Japan's Free and Open Indo-Pacific Strategy.

3 Cambodia’s domestic situation

(1) Prime Minister Abe explained that Japan has been walking alongside Cambodia on the path of democratic development and from here on also, Japan wants Cambodia to prosper by pursuing democratization and implementing national governance. To that end, Prime Minister Abe conveyed Japan's intention to enhance its governance support, and to invite young politicians from Cambodia's various political parties as well as electoral officials and have them use Japan's democratic process as a reference. Prime Minister Abe also expressed Japan's intention to support greater transparency and impartiality in Cambodia's judicial process. 

(2) In response, Prime Minister Hun Sen expressed gratitude for Japan's cooperation, including its assistance for electoral reform, along with expressing his intention to move forward with developing a democratic nation.

4 Regional cooperation and cooperation in the international arena

The two sides held a frank and meaningful exchange of views on pressing issues in the regional and international arenas, beginning with North Korea and the South China Sea, and shared the view that they will work together further. In particular, with regard to the North Korea situation, Prime Minister Hun Sen explained that Cambodia shares Japan's position that the full implementation of the relevant United Nations Security Council resolutions is necessary for the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula, along with once again expressing support for the early resolution of the abductions issue.

Back to Japan-Cambodia Relations