Japan will provide financial support of $30.6 million to expand the water supply system in Svay Rieng province, as part of “generous assistance” that the government says will contribute significantly to the country’s socio-economic development.

An Exchange of Notes on the financial aid will be signed by Japan’s State Minister for Foreign Affairs Shunsuke Takei and his Cambodian counterpart Prak Sokhonn on February 24.

In its February 22 press release, the Cambodian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation described the grant as a “generous gesture by the Japanese government. Through this grant, it said the relations and cooperation between Cambodia and Japan will be further deepened in all fields ahead of this year’s 70th anniversary of the establishment of their diplomatic relations.

Japan will also provide grants of more than $840K to three NGOs, under the Japan Economic Cooperation Project, which will be signed by new Japanese ambassador to Cambodia Atsushi Ueno on February 27.

The recipient organisations include Nature Centre Risen, for sustainable environment and environmental awareness; Shanti Volunteer Association for improving additional education at remote primary schools; and Hearts of Gold for developing higher education institutions and physical education.

In early February, during a bilateral meeting with Japanese ambassador Ueno, Minister of Interior Sar Kheng said that key national achievements in social development along with the recent elections in Cambodia were made possible by significant contributions from the Japanese government and people.

Yang Peou, secretary-general of the Royal Academy of Cambodia, said the grant to expand the water system in Svay Rieng and other assistance from Japan are very noble acts of charity to the Kingdom.

“As of 2023, the relations between Cambodia and Japan have reached their 70th anniversary, and at the ASEAN summits in Phnom Penh last year, the two governments agreed to strengthen their diplomatic relations to become a comprehensive strategic partnership.

“This relationship is evolving for the better. Japan has never used negative diplomatic language towards Cambodia and Cambodia has never been negative towards Japan, while the Cambodian people have always placed a high value on the ties,” Peou said.

Similarly, Cambodian Institute for Democracy president Pa Chanroeun also said that Japan has been an important development partner of Cambodia since the Paris Peace Agreements on October 23, 1991, in terms of both physical infrastructure and human resource development.

“The gestures and activities of the Japanese government enhance the cooperation and friendship between the two nations,” he said.