Prime Minister Hun Manet requested the Japan Mine Action Service (JMAS) to expand cooperation with demining operators in Cambodia, as the Kingdom vowed to clear more areas of UXO and ERW.

In a July 11 meeting with JMAS director Koji Yamazaki in Phnom Penh, Manet said that the clearance of landmines and unexploded ordnance (UXO) has been the main goal of the government since the previous mandate and the current government continues to pay close attention to the issue.

“The prime minister encouraged JMAS to continue to strengthen and expand cooperation with demining operators in Cambodia, such as the Cambodian Mine Action Centre (CMAC) and other relevant institutions to contribute to clearing the remaining landmines,” the prime minister’s cabinet said in a July 11 press release. 

Manet highlighted that since 1992, the country has cleared more than 3,000 square kilometres of landmines and explosive remnants of war (ERW) and will continue to work to clear more than 1,700 additional square kilometres.

He added that the government continues to strengthen and expand cooperation in demining with the Japanese side, both in cooperation in Cambodia and in humanitarian demining activities in other countries.

Yamazaki praised the cooperation between JMAS and relevant Cambodian government institutions, as well as assistance to mine victims.

He said that the collaboration between JMAS and CMAC has led to the clearance of more than 6,000 hectares of landmines and UXOs and the destruction of 20,000 anti-personnel mines, according to the press release.

Yamazaki commended the centre for its hard work in collaborating with JMAS in a professional, responsible and highly disciplined manner, it stated.

The press release noted that JMAS has assisted people in agriculture and education by providing techniques to increase yields, raising farmers' incomes, training people to be aware of landmine dangers and evacuation procedures and building infrastructure for rural communities, such as schools in some provinces.

“Yamazaki expressed his commitment to further strengthen and expand cooperation with CMAC to contribute to the demining of Cambodia,” it added.

Manet reiterated that the government and people of Japan have greatly supported Cambodia in finding peace and contributing to its socio-economic development to improve lives.

He added that the cooperation between the two institutions has significantly helped Cambodian people affected by these remnants of past conflicts.