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‘Handover’ of singer’s ode to Cambodia lifts ties with Japan

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Japan hands over song ‘Rainbow for Tomorrow’ to Cambodia on May 30, 2022. BTV

‘Handover’ of singer’s ode to Cambodia lifts ties with Japan

Japanese singer and actress Yoko Minamino’s original song “Rainbow for Tomorrow” has been delivered to Cambodia as a gesture of friendship in a handover ceremony between senior diplomats of the two countries.

Tout Panha, secretary of state at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, said at the May 30 ceremony at the ministry headquarters that the “beautiful” song had “touched the heart” of Prime Minister Hun Sen when it was played to him at a dinner hosted by his Japanese counterpart Fumio Kishida on April 23 in Kumamoto city, Japan, on the sidelines of the 4th Asia-Pacific Water Summit. He said Hun Sen had sent her an appreciation letter for writing the song.

According to Panha, Minamino and other right holders authorised the posting of a video clip of the song on the Social Network Service of the Cambodian government, allowing it to be broadcast on television stations registered with the government.

Minamino, a Japanese personality with a large following in her home country, has close ties with Cambodia. She first visited the Kingdom in 1989 as part of a television project, and again in 2013.

She said this song “truly reflects the reality of Cambodia in the late 1980s and the gradual transformation of the country”, as well as the close people-to-people connections between the two nations.

“I am confident that many Cambodian people will also be deeply touched by this wonderful song, which will also help promote the long-lasting bond of friendship between the peoples of Cambodia and Japan,” said Panha.

Masahiro Mikami, Japanese ambassador to Cambodia who handed the composition to Panha, said at the ceremony that this song was first performed at the opening ceremony of this year’s Kizuna Festival, an annual cultural event hosted by the embassy every February.

He said Minamino had been “thinking about doing something for many years”, based on her “precious” memories of Cambodia, to promote friendship between the two countries.

“Minamino voluntarily produced this song and delivered it to us. The song Rainbow for Tomorrow reminds us of our friendship and how it will continue into the future. I therefore hope that many Cambodian people will watch and listen to, and enjoy, this song and video,” Mikami said.

He added that next year, Cambodia and Japan will celebrate the 70th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations. “I believe that the history of relations between our two countries is based on people-to-people exchanges and feelings of mutual respect for each other,” he said.

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