Chum Reap Suo!
It is my great pleasure to be sharing this message with my friends, Facebook video fans and the Cambodian people in this, the week of Japan-Cambodia Kizuna Festival, which is the biggest Japanese cultural event in Cambodia.
The Japanese word “Kizuna” means “strong bond” and we chose this word for the name of our festival in 2012 in the hope that it would symbolize the strong relationship between our countries and our peoples. Since then, the festival has been held annually at the Cambodia-Japan Cooperation Center (CJCC) and, each year, it has attracted more and more visitors. It has lived up to our expectations and has truly become a hub where people can meet and exchange ideas and information.
The people-to-people exchange opportunities we organize are not limited to cultural events though. We also arranged a number of diplomatic events during the last year. These included the establishment of the Consular Office of Japan in Siem Reap and frequent visits between VIPs from both countries, including Prime Minister Samdech Techo Hun Sen’s visit to Japan and mutual visits between the Japanese and Cambodian Foreign Ministers.
Regarding economic relations, I am delighted to see that an increasing number of private Japanese companies are actively operating here and contributing to the economic growth of Cambodia. In addition, I am pleased to report that the number of Cambodian tourists visiting Japan is continuing to grow. In 2018 alone, more than 20,000 Cambodians visited Japan.
Based on developments such as these, we have significantly expanded the program of events at the Kizuna Festival. This year’s festival will be held on 21-24 February and the theme this year is “Experience Together”. All of the festival events will include experiences or activities that participants can take part in alongside Japanese artists or entertainers which will include leading Japanese street dance group “Area Rock Styler”, the “MINYO GIRLS” who perform a hybrid of traditional and modern Japanese music and performances of traditional Khmer “L’khon Bassac” theater.
I sincerely hope that many Cambodian people will come and enjoy the many Japanese and Cambodian cultural activities that will be on offer during the festival.
We look forward to seeing you at the 2019 Kizuna Festival soon!