Shinzo Abe, Prime Minister of Japan
On behalf of the Government of Japan and the Japanese people, I would like to extend my heartfelt congratulations on the opening of Tsubasa Bridge, which was built with Japanese grant assistance.
This year, 2015, is important because it marks the 60th anniversary of the signing of the Japan-Cambodia Treaty of Amity and because it is also the year of the establishment of the ASEAN Community. To see the opening of Tsubasa Bridge in this historic year is quite significant, not only for the relationship between Japan and Cambodia, but also for the whole ASEAN region.
At a lunch meeting at the third UN World Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction held in Sendai, Japan, last month, Samdech Techo Hun Sen, Prime Minister of the Kingdom of Cambodia and I reconfirmed, with great pleasure, that Japan and Cambodia would propel our mutual cooperation to new levels across various fields, including disaster risk reduction, using the “strategic partnership” that our two countries already have in place. Tsubasa Bridge is, therefore, the perfect symbol of our Japanese-Cambodian relationship soaring to even greater heights on new “Tsubasa (wings)”.
Furthermore, Japan will host the 7th Mekong-Japan Summit Meeting in Tokyo in July this year and I am looking forward to welcoming Samdech Techo Hun Sen to Tokyo for the summit meeting. One of the important pillars of Mekong-Japan cooperation is the promotion of enhanced connectivity among the Mekong countries. With this objective in mind, I am proud to say that the opening of Tsubasa Bridge is expected to drastically improve opportunities for, and the efficiency of, the flow of traffic between Cambodia, which is centered on the South Economic Corridor, and neighboring countries. Through this, the bridge will also contribute to the vitality of the economy of the whole Mekong region.
A lot of people from both Japan and Cambodia have been involved in the construction of the bridge and have overcome enormous difficulties, such as the clearing of unexploded ordnance. I would therefore like to take this opportunity to pay tribute to them for all their efforts.
During the Khmer New Year holidays next week, many people will cross Tsubasa Bridge to return to their home provinces. I would like to close this message by extending my best wishes for the health and happiness of the Cambodian people during the coming Khmer New Year and beyond, and for the further development of the friendly and cooperative relationship that Japan and Cambodia have built.
Samdech Akka Moha Sena Padei Techo Hun Sen, Prime Minister of the Kingdom of Cambodia
I have great pleasure and the honor to attend the Opening Ceremony of the Tsubasa Bridge with the honorable presence of H.E. Akihiro Nishimura, Vice Minister of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism of Japan and H.E. Kumamaru Yuji, Ambassador of Japan to the Kingdom of Cambodia.
Tsubasa Bridge is the most precious structure in Cambodia; it not only serves transportation sectors for the Kingdom of Cambodia but also facilitates the connectivity of countries in the region, because this bridge is located on the Asian Highway No. 1 and Southern Economic Corridor of the Greater Mekong Sub-region, linking Ho Chi Minh City to Bangkok through Phnom Penh. This Bridge will make a substantial contribution to the development of economic growth in Cambodia, especially for the upcoming ASEAN Economic Integration in late December of 2015.
I would like to express my sincere admiration to all partners and institutions concerned for their active participation in the study and construction of Tsubasa’Bridge undertaken with great responsibility leading to the remarkable success of the project. Your achievement will be forever appreciated in the heart of the Cambodian people.
On behalf of the Royal Government of Cambodia, I would like to extend my heartfelt gratitude and sincere thanks to the distinguished government of Japan and especially to the people of Japan for their continuous assistance to Cambodia even during the period when they were experiencing severe natural disasters.
I sincerely wish for eternal friendship and cooperation between our two countries, Japan and Cambodia.