Former Prime Minister Hun Sen, in his capacity as president of the ruling Cambodian People’s Party (CPP), recently met with Japanese ambassador Atsushi Ueno to discuss bilateral relations as the two countries mark their 70th anniversary of diplomatic ties.

During their September 12 meeting, held at the CPP headquarters known as the “January 7 Palace, Hun Sen emphasised the enduring friendship between the two nations, dating back to the tenure of former Japanese Prime Minister Noboru Takeshita.

In a CPP press release, Hun Sen expressed his gratitude to Japan for its continued support in helping the Kingdom rebuild post-civil war, notably in restoring peace, society and the economy.

Ueno conveyed a message from current Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida, highlighting the achievements of the comprehensive strategic partnership between the two nations.

The ambassador also commended Hun Sen for the smooth transition of power to current Prime Minister Hun Manet and lauded the Kingdom’s commitment to regional and global peace through the principles of dialogue and conflict resolution.

“Over the past 70 years, both our countries have substantially benefitted from each other. Cambodia has seen improvements in infrastructure, the telecommunication sector and especially port capacity in Preah Sihanouk province. Japan is also planning to inaugurate a Toyota assembly plant in Cambodia in 2024,” he added.

The following day, Ueno also met with National Assembly (NA) president Khuon Sudary, who praised the ambassador for his efforts in fostering and enhancing bilateral ties and cooperation in his tenure.

“The leaders of both nations have maintained and strengthened this diplomatic relationship since the era of the late King Norodom Sihanouk,” Sudary was quoted as saying in an NA press release.

Kin Phea, director of the International Relations Institute at the Royal Academy of Cambodia, pointed out the mutual benefits of the countries’ relationship.

“Our country needs Japan politically and economically, as they are a significant donor and investor. Conversely, they require our support in their Indo-Pacific strategy. They value each of the ASEAN member states, including Cambodia, for their geopolitical and economic significance,” Phea added.