Fourteen Cambodian students took part in a Japanese speaking contest on Sunday at the Cambodia Japan Cooperation Centre.
They were selected to compete from 106 students of Japanese in Phnom Penh, Siem Reap and Banteay Meanchey province.
The prize winners were presented with gifts donated by the Japan Foundation and Japanese enterprises in Cambodia.
Overall winner was Ean Chhorida, a 19-year-old student at the Royal University of Law and Economics, who spoke on law and daily life.
“In our society, people do not care much about the law, which is so important. I really want to share my experience of the law with everybody,” she said.
Ean Chhorida said she learned Japanese at her university, and spent a week writing and preparing her speech on the topic.
She said she practised hard how to give a good speech that wasn’t too fast, with clear pronunciation and the right gestures.
Another contestant, Hai Socheta, 23, said she had only been taking Japanese lessons for one year at Yamamoto Japanese Language Education Centre in Siem Reap, before she worked for a Japanese tour company, JHC Angkor Tour.
Her topic was controversial – better economic conditions in neighbouring Thailand. “When I worked in Thailand for three months, I observed that their country is quite different from ours. Just on the border, Poipet on the Cambodian side is so messy while the Thai market at Long Koeur is so clean. As I read in books, Thailand has kept its country free from war for 1,000 years, so war is the obstacle of development.”
Her speech dealt with the sufferings of Cambodian people during wartime, and outlined the better economic growth opportunities in peacetime.
Speech contest organiser Seang Nimorl said the contest was established in Cambodia in 1998 by several Japanese teachers, and had been held every year since.