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Cambodia, Japan defence ministers set to expand bilateral cooperation

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Minister of National Defence Tea Banh meets his Japanese counterpart Nobuo Kishi via video conference on Friday. TEA BANH VIAFACEBOOK

Cambodia, Japan defence ministers set to expand bilateral cooperation

Japan's Minister of Defence Nobuo Kishi pledged to expand bilateral cooperation with Cambodia through the exchange of information on counter-terrorism, human resource training, peacekeeping, disaster management and engineering.

Kishi made the pledge during a meeting with Minister of National Defence Tea Banh via video conference on June 25.

The ministers jointly stated that the meeting was held to strengthen defence capacity, political security, and humanitarian efforts through human resources training and knowledge-sharing by building closer military ties between the two countries.

They pledged to further develop bilateral defence cooperation, including capacity building assistance, educational exchanges, visit of leaders and exchange visits under the terms of a memorandum of understanding signed in 2013.

“The Japanese side has pledged to expand bilateral cooperation between the Cambodian army and the Japanese ground self-defence forces in the form of mutual information exchange, counter-terrorism, human resources training and peacekeeping, disaster management and engineering work,” the ministry said.

Tea Banh asked his Japanese counterpart to examine the possibility of providing scholarships to Cambodians to study in Japan. He also requested material assistance on maritime security including ship docking as well as information and experience sharing, equipment and supplies to be used for peacekeeping and disaster relief.

Some other issues were also raised by Kishi during the meeting, such as Japan’s concerns about the situations in Myanmar, the Korean Peninsula and ongoing issues regarding China, the East China Sea and the South China Sea as they relate to the maintenance of a “free and open Indo-Pacific”.

Tea Banh responded that a free and open Indo-Pacific was important and could be achieved through the promotion of multilateralism and respect for the law in a way that preserves security, peace, prosperity and non-interference without serving any other countries’ political agenda.

“As a member of the ASEAN Defence Ministers’ Meeting, Cambodia maintains the common goals ... of seeing all people in the region enjoy greater freedom, transparency, inclusivity, prosperity and competitiveness,” Tea Banh was quoted as saying by the defence ministry.

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