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Japan vows to keep up aid

SIEM REAP
JAPANESE foreign minister Katsuya Okada assured Cambodian Foreign Minister Hor Namhong on Saturday that Japan will continue its financial assistance to Cambodia despite the change of government in Tokyo last month.

Okada met with Hor Namhong and other regional officials at the Mekong-Japan Foreign Ministers Meeting in Siem Reap to discuss aid and diplomatic ties, with foreign ministers from Laos, Myanmar, Thailand and Vietnam also in attendance.

Following the meeting, Japanese foreign ministry spokesman Kazuo Kodama announced 1.1 billion yen (US$1 million) in new aid from the Japanese government to support demining activities in the Kingdom.

Kodama also said that the number of Japanese companies interested in investing in Cambodia has risen since last year, adding that Japan “hopes the Cambodian government will help to further improve the investment environment in Cambodia”.

Prime Minister Hun Sen was there to greet participants and offer some brief remarks at the start of the summit, speaking of the need to close the development gap in the region.

Hor Namhong thanked Japan for its ongoing commitment to the Mekong countries and congratulated the new Japanese government on its September election.

Following the conference, he said that he and the other foreign ministers agreed that the region, “despite its recent development, still confronts challenges that need to be overcome as soon as possible”.

During the conference, Okada invited the attendees to join him for a two-day summit in Tokyo starting November 6.

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