The Foreign Ministry moved yesterday to quash Japanese and Vietnamese media reports that said Foreign Minister Hor Namhong had pledged Cambodia’s support for Japanese efforts to remove restrictions on its military.
Japan’s cabinet approved the changes to its security policy yesterday, which now allows “collective self-defence”, meaning the country’s armed forces can fight to defend its allies.
The change required a reinterpretation of its pacifist postwar constitution.
China – Cambodia’s largest investor – opposes the move.
Yesterday’s statement says the Foreign Ministry wished to “strongly reject” reports from the Kyodo News Agency and Vietnamplus News Agency, which reported on Monday that Namhong had told visiting Japanese Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida that Cambodia backed the move.
Namhong “did not at all mentioned [sic] the terms ‘Self-Defence Forces’ or Collective Self-Defence Right[s]” during official talks, the statement says.