Foreign Minister Kamikawa to Meet Cambodian Counterpart; Working to Boost Bilateral Cooperation, Demining Efforts

Yomiuri Shimbun file photo
Foreign Minister Yoko Kamikawa

PHNOM PENH — Foreign Minister Yoko Kamikawa will meet with her Cambodian counterpart on Saturday to discuss strengthening cooperation in land mine countermeasures, among other agenda items.

In the talks in Phnom Penh, Kamikawa and Sok Chenda Sophea, Cambodian deputy prime minister and foreign minister, were to present a new direction for bilateral cooperation based on three pillars — the improvement of social infrastructure, development of maritime transportation and land mine countermeasures.

Regarding social infrastructure, Japan will support Cambodia in developing water supply and sewage systems — considered to be among Japan’s strengths — as well as improving cybersecurity measures and fostering human resources in the field.

In terms of maritime transportation, because Cambodia’s southwestern area faces the sea, the country will take advantage of its geographical location to strengthen access to neighboring nations and international markets.

Japan will also support Cambodia in formulating a basic plan for opening shipping routes to North America and Europe, as well as in digitizing customs procedures in a bid to make Sihanoukville Port, the country’s only deepwater port, into a hub for international trade.

The two countries will also establish a Japan-Cambodia land mine initiative to proceed with demining operations in other countries, including Ukraine, which is plagued by Russian-laid land mines. An international cooperation team will be set up in Cambodia for the envisioned project.

Having received a large amount of investment and aid from China, Cambodia is highly dependent on Beijing. Japan hopes to strengthen its relationship with Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Manet’s administration, which was inaugurated last year, through a new cooperative relationship with the country.