New Japanese ambassador Masahiro Mikami arrived in Cambodia on Sunday, saying he was delighted to be serving in a country with such a rich culture.
“It is my great honour and pleasure to come to Cambodia, a close friend of Japan and a country of wonderful culture.
“I am looking forward to seeing you and visiting many places in Cambodia,” Mikami said in a message posted on the Japanese embassy’s official Facebook page.
Government spokesman Phay Siphan told The Post on Tuesday that the arrival of the new ambassador was welcomed as Cambodia and Japan traditionally had good relations.
“One mission after another, each ambassador always adds value and meaning to the relationship, strengthening cooperation between the two nations,” he said.
Kin Phea, the director-general of the International Relations Institute at the Royal Academy of Cambodia, said on Tuesday that Cambodian-Japanese relations had historically been positive.
“When he arrived, he immediately sent a message to Cambodians on the official Facebook page of the Japanese embassy.
“It is an inspiring message. It is a message that urges good relations between Cambodia and Japan,” Phea said.
Political analyst Em Sovannara told The Post on Tuesday that while relations between the two nations were very good, he felt the appointment of the new ambassador would not affect Japanese policy regarding Cambodia.
“The ambassador does not make decisions on foreign policy. Such decisions are made by Japan’s government, its prime minister and foreign ministers. So I think Cambodian-Japanese foreign policy will keep getting better and better,” he said.
Mikami takes over from Hidehisa Horinouchi, who is to take over as the Japanese ambassador to the Netherlands after ending his mission in Cambodia late last month.