Prime Minister Hun Sen met with Fumiaki Takahashi, president of the Japan-Cambodia Association (JCA), on April 26 for talks about the progress of relations between the two nations. Takahashi requested the Kingdom’s cooperation to hold a major event to mark the 70th anniversary of diplomatic relations between the two nations.

The two sides discussed five major subjects during their meeting at the Peace Palace in Phnom Penh, according to the premier’s social media post.

“The agenda included discussions on a forum on the Kingdom’s investment potential for Japanese small and medium enterprises that are seeking investment abroad. It promoted the development of human resources in the fields of beauty, automotive repair and hospitality. They also discussed plans to mark the 70th anniversary of diplomatic relations between the two countries on November 19,” it said.

“They conferred on strategies to boost Cambodian exports to Japan, and also addressed the success of the Kingdom’s hosting of the ASEAN summits and related meetings.

“Hun Sen suggested that the JCA president encourage Japanese investors to examine the Kingdom’s preferential investment laws, and requested assistance with human resource development and the opening of Japanese markets to Cambodian goods,” it added.

Phnom Penh municipal governor Khuong Sreng said on April 25 that Takahashi, who was the Japanese ambassador to Cambodia from 2003-2007, had asked for the cooperation of the municipal administration to prepare celebrations of the upcoming anniversary.

“JCA, and the Japanese embassy, plan to hold a major event with a fireworks display and cultural performances,” he added.

Sreng suggested that the JCA request permission for the event from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, the Ministry of National Defence and the Ministry of Interior, noting that the administration is ready to cooperate.

“We have paid close attention to Japanese investors, as well as Japanese visitors to the Kingdom, and have always offered them a warm welcome,” he said.

Kin Phea, director of the Royal Academy of Cambodia’s International Relations Institute, noted that relations between the two nations had been declared a comprehensive strategic partnership, turning a new page for the 70th anniversary.

“Japan’s policy towards the Kingdom is one that respects Cambodia’s independence, sovereignty and integrity, and they have never applied diplomatic pressure on us. Within regional and global frameworks, Japan employs soft diplomacy and considers prosperity and development as its priorities,” he added.

Seng Vanly, a lecturer in international relations, agreed that Cambodian and Japanese ties had reached a comprehensive level of cooperation, with excellent relations between the leadership of the two nations.

“Japan focuses its attention on strengthening cooperation with other nations through traditional relationships and the enhancement of cooperation and mutual support. No matter how the internal political situation in Cambodia has changed, Japan has always acted as a mediator of political conflict in the Kingdom,” he added.

He believed that Japan is one of Cambodia’s most loyal allies.

“It has always made soft recommendations that allows the Kingdom to expand its cooperation with other countries,” he said.