Top diplomat, Japan envoy talk step-up in cooperation

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Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation Prak Sokhonn (right) shakes hands with Japanese ambassador Atsushi Ueno at the ministry headquarters in Phnom Penh on January 19. MFAIC

Cambodia and Japan are exploring opportunities to bolster bilateral ties and step up cooperation in a variety of fields such as trade, investment, tourism, human rights and resource management, mine clearance, peace-building, and democratic development.

Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation Prak Sokhonn on January 19 discussed the matter with Japanese ambassador Atsushi Ueno.

At the meeting, Sokhonn highlighted the strength and resilience of the Cambodia-Japan friendship and multifaceted cooperation in the face of the Covid-19 crisis, which he said were underscored by a robust recovery in two-way trade and the island nation’s continued support in all domains, the foreign ministry said in a statement.

The minister expressed gratitude for Japan’s assistance to Cambodia’s socio-economic development and Covid-19 battle, particularly the provision of 1.3 million coronavirus jabs and $416 million in loans for post-pandemic recovery, as well as healthcare and medical equipment and supplies.

He also voiced appreciation for Japan’s promptness in showing support for the “Mine-Free Cambodia 2025” initiative.

Both sides expressed satisfaction at plans to elevate bilateral relations from a Strategic Partnership to a Comprehensive Strategic Partnership (CSP) as of this year.

The foreign ministry confirmed that Sokhonn and Ueno also exchanged views on current regional and international developments. The ambassador conveyed Japan’s compliments to Cambodia for hosting the ASEAN summits last year, and to the minister for his work on resolving the crisis in Myanmar, as the bloc’s special envoy on the issue.

Sokhonn is also due to pay a visit to Japan from January 21-24, in which he is scheduled to discuss bilateral and multilateral cooperation, along with current regional and international issues of common concern with his Japanese counterpart Yoshimasa Hayashi.