The Japanese Football Association (JFA) Academy Fukushima touched down in Cambodia yesterday as they gear up contest two friendly football matches to commemorate the 65th anniversary of diplomatic relations between Japan and Cambodia.
Their visit comes as part of the Japan-East Asia Network of Exchange for Students and Youth (JENESYS) 2018 programme, which aims to promote mutual trust and understanding among the people of Japan and participating countries and to build a basis for future friendship and cooperation, conducted by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan.
The 15-strong JFA Academy Fukushima play their first friendly match against their Under-18 Cambodian counterparts tomorrow at 17:00 at National Olympic Stadium. Cambodia are led by Japanese Coach Mr. Musashi Mizushima who took on the role in February.
The Japanese youth will play a further friendly match against Visakha FC on Friday at 17:00, also at the National Olympic Stadium. The two matches are free of charge to the public.
The Embassy said it expected that Japanese and Cambodian young football players deepen friendships through these matches. The youngsters will also be taking time out to tour Phnom Penh’s Toul Sleng Genocide Museum, Tuol Tum Poung, the Royal Palace, The National Museum of Cambodia, Wat Phnom, and Japanese-operated Aeon Mall.
Japan and Cambodia have maintained close cooperation in many sectors, although their collaboration in football is one which is easily overlooked yet critical to the development of Cambodian football.
Japan, which will play host to the 2020 Olympic Games, is expanding its reach within Asia in an attempt to increase cultural exchange in the fields of art, education, language, and sport with their Asian neighbours.
Japan, already one of the biggest investors in Cambodia’s special economic zones, has been a longstanding partner in helping to develop the kingdom’s football scene.
Cambodia’s national team is led by General Manager Keisuke Honda, who operates a branch of his Solitilo Soccer School in the kingdom. He is also owner of Metfone C-League club the Siem Reap-based Soltilo Angkor FC.