Japan-Cambodia Relations

December 15, 2019
Japan-Cambodia Foreign Ministers’ Meeting1
Japan-Cambodia Foreign Ministers’ Meeting2

On Sunday, December 15, commencing at 3:30 p.m. (local time; 11:30 p.m. JST) for approximately 45 minutes, Mr. MOTEGI Toshimitsu, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Japan, who is visiting the Kingdom of Spain to attend the ASEM Foreign Ministers’ Meeting, held a meeting with H.E. Mr. Prak Sokhonn, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation of the Kingdom of Cambodia. The overview of the meeting is as follows.

  1. At the outset, Minister Motegi expressed pleasure over holding their first foreign ministers’ meeting since his appointment as Minister for Foreign Affairs this September, stating, “Japan and Cambodia have together tread the path of democratic development ever since the peace process, and Japan intends to cooperate with Cambodia with the aim of elevating the bilateral relationship to greater heights.” In addition, Minister Motegi expressed appreciation for Cambodia’s support of a “Free and Open Indo-Pacific,” noting, “Japan will pursue synergies with the ASEAN Outlook on the Indo-Pacific (AOIP), while making progress on projects such as development of Sihanoukville Port in order to achieve a prosperous and peaceful future in both countries.” In response, Minister Prak Sokhonn expressed gratitude for Japan’s consistent supports for Cambodia.
  2. During the meeting, the two ministers exchanged views on the development of Sihanoukville Port, the enhancement of ASEAN connectivity by making use of the “Initiative on Overseas Loan and Investment for ASEAN” and other means, the G20’s “Osaka Blue Ocean Vision,” and action against mines. The two ministers also discussed regional situations, including North Korean affairs and the South China Sea, and confirmed their intention to promote coordination on such situations. The ministers exchanged views on North Korean affairs, including the recent situation, and shared the view that they will continue to work closely toward the complete denuclearization of North Korea, including the full implementation of United Nations Security Council resolutions. Furthermore, Japan sought Cambodia’s understanding and cooperation for the early resolution of the abductions issue.
  3. The two ministers confirmed their intention for proactive cooperation to ensure greater outcomes at the ASEM Summit meeting to be held in Cambodia next year.
  4. Regarding the domestic affairs of Cambodia, Minister Motegi stated that Japan looked forward to further progress on the situation. Minister Motegi stated that Japan will continue its invitation program for young politics-oriented Cambodians, which Japan has previously implemented three times to contribute to the democratic development of Cambodia. In response, Minister Prak Sokhonn explained the initiatives of the Government of Cambodia related to democratic development and expressed appreciation for Japan’s cooperation.

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