Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force (JMSDF) ships, the mine sweeper tender JS URAGA and the mine sweeper tender JS AWAJI, will visit the Sihanoukville Autonomous Port from April 24-26, according to an April 17 press release from the Japanese embassy.

The embassy said the visit is part of their mission of Indo-Pacific and Middle East Deployment 2023 (IMED23).

“On April 24, the Ream Naval Base will hold a welcoming ceremony, followed by a tour of the two vessels,” it added.

This is the second time that Japanese Maritime Self-Defense Force (JMSDF) ships have docked in Preah Sihanouk. On March 24-28, another vessel paid a port call, to boost cooperation between the two countries.

Since the beginning of the year, Cambodia has received naval vists from several nations, including France, India and the UK.

Royal Academy of Cambodia (RAC) secretary-general Yang Peou said Cambodia welcomed the navies of many foreign nations, in order to strengthen defence ties.

“This visit will elevate Cambodia-Japan relations,” he added.

“I have not received the agenda on what activities they have planned during their visit, but I would hope that humanitarian rescue drills and exercises have been scheduled,” he continued.

Peu said Cambodia’s maritime defence capacity remains limited, so it should embrace every opportunity to learn from a foreign power.