Japan-Backed Restoration of Angkor Wat Causeway Completed
13:59 JST, November 5, 2023
SIEM REAP, Cambodia (Jiji Press) — A ceremony was held on Saturday to mark the completion of a Japanese-backed project to restore the western causeway of Angkor Wat in Cambodia, a UNESCO World Heritage site.
The ceremony was attended by Cambodian King Norodom Sihamoni and Yoshiaki Ishizawa, head of the Sophia Asia Center for Research and Human Development at Sophia University in Japan, who played a leading role in the project.
Other participants included Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Manet and former Prime Minister Hun Sen.
At the ceremony, the king expressed gratitude to Ishizawa and others for their work on sustainable conservation and human resource development for the Angkor archaeological site.
Ishizawa, 86, said he hopes to continue working with the Cambodian people.
The 200-meter-long western causeway leads to the main building of the temple, which was built about 900 years ago.
From 1996 to 2007, Sophia University and a Cambodian government agency carried out the first phase of the restoration project, which covered the 100-meter northern part of the causeway.
The second phase, which began in 2016, restored the remaining 100 meters with Japan’s official development assistance.
The causeway is made of bricks of red soil called laterite and sandstones. In the restoration project, the Japanese side provided technical assistance to Cambodian experts in the preservation of ruins, who also used the construction methods of that time.
Ishizawa, a former president of Sophia University, won the Ramon Magsaysay Award, known as the “Nobel Prize of Asia,” in 2017.
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