Cambodia, Japan to enhance cooperation

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Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation Prak Sokhonn meets with his Japanese counterpart Yoshimasa Hayashi via teleconference on January 11. PRAK SOKHONN VIA FACEBOOK

Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation Prak Sokhonn expressed his “sincere appreciation” to Japan for its ongoing support for Cambodia’s development as well as its support for Cambodia as the ASEAN chair this year.

Sokhonn made the remarks during a meeting with his Japanese counterpart Yoshimasa Hayashi via teleconference on January 11.

In a Facebook post on January 12, Sokhonn said that Hayashi acknowledged the progress made by Prime Minister Hun Sen’s recent visit to Myanmar and commended Cambodia’s efforts at helping the country resolve its issues.

Hayashi congratulated Sokhonn on his appointment as special envoy of the ASEAN chair to Myanmar and reiterated Japan’s support for Cambodia’s effort and coordination in making the environment more conducive to negotiations on the Myanmar issue.

“We concurred that the full implementation of the [ASEAN] 5-point consensus is at the heart of this endeavour,” Sokhonn said. “I also affirmed our commitment to working closely with Dr Yohei Sasakawa, Japan’s special envoy for national reconciliation in Myanmar.”

The two ministers agreed to further strengthen defence cooperation and exchanges between their two countries, as this year marks the 30th anniversary of the Japanese Self-Defence Force’s first overseas mission post-World War II, which was undertaken to help stabilize the Kingdom as a UN Peacekeeping Operation during the formative UNTAC period that gave birth to modern Cambodia.

Hayashi noted the impressive developments underway at the Sihanoukville Autonomous Port and said Japan was working out the details on further assistance to Cambodia for demining, clean water and electricity supply among other areas.

Separately, foreign ministry spokesman Koy Kuong announced on January 12 that the ASEAN foreign ministers’ meeting – originally scheduled for January 18-19 in Siem Reap town – is postponed to a later date due to the fact that many of ASEAN’s foreign ministers were having difficulty with travelling to attend the meeting.