Prime Minister Hun Sen on Friday concluded his three-day official visit to Japan by calling the trip a “success”.
Mr Hun Sen was in Tokyo to attend Nikkei’s 25th International Conference on the Future of Asia and meet Japanese leaders.
Shortly before returning to the Kingdom on Friday, Mr Hun Sen said in a Facebook post that “my presence in Japan has strengthened friendship and cooperation with Japanese friends”.
“Thank you to the Japanese government and its people for their assistance in the reconstruction of Cambodia,” he added. “Thank you to all Japanese companies that have been investing in Cambodia and providing tens of thousands of jobs to Cambodians.”
In another Facebook post on Friday, Mr Hun Sen called his visit a “success”.
“The results of the international conference were of great success,” he said.
Kao Kim Hourn, Delegate Minister Attached to the Prime Minister, said Mr Hun Sen met with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe shortly before his departure.
Mr Kim Hourn said that during the meeting, Mr Hun Sen and Mr Abe discussed regional and international issues.
He said the two leaders also witnessed the signing of agreements on the extension of nearly $5 million in Japanese grant aid for the development of two projects in the Kingdom.
In a statement last week, the Foreign Affairs Ministry said about $1.8 million will go to the implementation of the Economic and Social Development Programme, which aims to construct a container freight station, and about $3.1 million is for the implementation of the Project for Human Resources Development Scholarships.
During the meeting with Mr Abe, Mr Hun Sen requested Japan assist in the building of a 350-kilometre electrical line from Laos to Phnom Penh in order to address the Kingdom’s current electricity shortage, Mr Kim Hourn said.
“This year, Cambodia faces an electricity shortage as hot weather halts the production of hydropowered electricity,” Mr Hun Sen said during the meeting, according to Mr Kim Hourn. “Cambodia would like to request Japan to consider the proposed 350-kilometre transmission line discussed so far by the Japanese International Cooperation Agency and the Mines and Energy Ministry.”
During a keynote address at the Cambodian Investment Seminar in Tokyo last week, Mr Hun Sen said that since 1992, Japan has provided more than $2.8 billion in development assistance initiatives.
Kin Phea, director-general of the International Relations Institute at the Royal Academy of Cambodia, agreed that Mr Hun Sen’s trip to Japan was a success.
“I think his visit to Japan was really successful and it can boost relations between the two countries to a higher level,” Mr Phea said. “Cambodia gained benefits from this trip.”
“It also highlights the multi-colour diplomacy of Cambodia that is sometimes accused of being overly dependent on China,” he added. “Actually, Cambodia’s foreign policy was formulated based on the constitution and [a notion of] co-existence with all nations in accordance with Cambodia’s national interests.”
Additionally, Mr Kim Hourn said that Mr Hun Sen assured Mr Abe that Cambodia does not have a Chinese naval base in Koh Kong province.
“Mr Hun Sen said Cambodia does not have any foreign military base in its territory,” he said. “In response, Mr Abe said he was aware of allegations regarding the naval base and that he hopes that Cambodia will keep its stance.”
Mr Kim Hourn also said that Japan and Cambodia expressed concern regarding nuclear tests conducted by North Korea that violate resolutions by the United Nations Security Council.
“Hun Sen clarified that Cambodia is against North Korean nuclear tests that violate UNSC resolutions,” he said.