December 19, 2023
PHNOM PENH – Cambodia and Japan have signed several memorandums of understanding (MoU), as well as other documents relating to various sectors, including e-government, clean water, and financial payment connections between the two countries. Meanwhile Japanese companies have expressed a keen interest in importing more of the Kingdom’s agricultural products, especially cashews.
The signing event, held on the sidelines of the 50th anniversary of ASEAN-Japan Friendship and Cooperation on December 18, was witnessed by Prime Minister Hun Manet and his Japanese counterpart Fumio Kishida in the Japanese capital Tokyo.
The MoUs included the National Data Centre Development Project towards Promoting e-Government, a project to develop the digital management of water supplies in urban areas, the request of a hydrological survey vessel for the production of electronic navigation maps, and general cooperation for digital socio-economic development.
Also signed were MoUs on Cross-Border Payment Cooperation via QR Code between the National Bank of Cambodia and the Japanese Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry; as well as two cooperative agreements with the Kingdom’s Ministry of Mines and Energy – one on a solar energy project with Minebea Mitsumi and SchneiTec, and one of a biomass energy project with Erex Co Ltd and SPHP (Cambodia).
During the meeting, Manet and Kishida also exchanged views on bilateral ties and close cooperation, as well as demining training for demining specialists from Ukraine.
“To commemorate the 70th anniversary of bilateral ties between the two countries – as well as the upgrade of the ties to a comprehensive strategic partnership – Manet raised the goals of cooperation between two countries on defence, security, trade, investment, infrastructure connection, as well as the resumption of direct flights,” said Manet’s official social media channel.
While in Japan, he also met with Masahiro Imamura, chairman of the Japan-Cambodia Parliamentary Friendship Association. The Japanese side noted that several Japanese companies have shown interest in increasing the import of cashew nuts and finished products from Cambodia.
Imamura described how the association has collaborated closely with the Cambodian embassy in Tokyo to increase Japan-Cambodia cooperation, especially in the priority areas of healthcare, energy and mine clearance.
Manet shared his pleasure at meeting with him again, recalling their previous two meetings, when he was serving as deputy commander-in-chief of the Royal Cambodian Armed Forces (RCAF) and commander of the army.
“The seven-mandate government will maintain the same policies towards Japan as the previous mandates, meaning we intend to maintain the longevity and consistency on what we already have. We also intend to nurture the relationship and expand it,” he said.
Thong Mengdavid, a research supervisor at the Asian Vision Institute (AVI), said Japan is keen on maintaining ties with ASEAN member states, including Cambodia, particularly in terms of security cooperation, politics, economics and culture.
“Through the MoUs that have been signed, I believe that Japan, as a significant power, will contribute significantly to Cambodia’s progress through technical assistance and human resource development. This will serve as testament that Cambodia is still a good friend of Japan,” he added.