An organisation that seeks to foster stronger business and cultural ties between Japan and Cambodia was launched last week in Japan.
The official website of the Cambodian Embassy in Japan reported that Cambodian Ambassador Ung Rachana hosted the opening ceremony for the Japan-Cambodia Culture and Business Council (JCBC) on Tuesday.
The report said that Keiichi Kimura, who is also the chairman and CEO of the International Tourism Strategy Research Institute (ITSRI), was chosen to lead JCBC.
Mr Kimura has worked as an international consultant and lobbyist in Europe and Asia for many years, according to the embassy.
On its website, the ITSRI described itself as committed to developing the local tourism economy and making Japan a tourism-oriented country. Among its local clients are local governments and chambers of commerce across Japan. China, Cambodia, Germany, and Switzerland are among its international clients.
Mr Kimura reportedly decided to establish JCBC after several meetings with Mr Rachana and after he paid a visit to Cambodia early this year, where he was impressed by the level of progress achieved in recent years.
There are at least three other Japan-based, Cambodia-Japan friendship organisations: the Japan-Cambodia Association (JCA), the Toyama-Cambodia Friendship Association (TCFA), and the Western Japan-Cambodia Friendship Association (WJCFA).
The launching of JCBC is expected to strengthen business ties between Cambodia and Japan, which is among the largest sources of aid and investments for the Kingdom.
Japanese aid to Cambodia in the last ten years totalled $720 million, according to the Japanese Embassy in Cambodia. The Council for the Development of Cambodia reported that Japanese investments in Cambodia between 1995 and 2017 reached more than $1.5 billion.
More than 1,500 Japanese companies are operating in Cambodia, 265 of which are members of the Japanese Business Association of Cambodia (JBAC).
Major Japanese companies with a presence in the Kingdom include Toyota, Aeon Mall, Suzuki, Sumitomo, Creed Asia, Marubeni, Mitsui & Co, Mitsubishi, Fuji Electric, Eastern Steel Industry, Toyo Construction, Nippon Express, Panasonic, and Sathapana Bank.