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Japan told of Kingdom’s democratic reforms

Ben Sokhean / Khmer Times Share:
Prak Sokhonn, Cambodia’s Minister of Foreign Affairs. KT/Mai Vireak

Foreign Affairs Minister Prak Sokhonn yesterday outlined the government’s commitment to uphold democracy to Japanese Vice Foreign Minister Norikazu Suzuki who is on a three-day working visit to the Kingdom.

Mr Suzuki and his delegation who arrived yesterday paid a visit to Mr Sokhonn at the ministry.

During the meeting, Mr Suzuki affirmed Japan’s support for democracy in Cambodia and also said his country is keen to help develop the Kingdom’s agriculture sector.

Ket Sophann, Foreign Affairs Ministry spokesman, told journalists that Mr Suzuki had told Mr Sokhonn that he was amazed by Phnom Penh’s development.

This is his first official visit to the Kingdom.

“He mentioned that Japan supports democracy in Cambodia and this is reflected through their recent invitation of young Cambodian politicians to visit Japan,” Mr Sophann said.

He said that Mr Sokhonn told Mr Suzuki that the Cambodian government had in December outlined its efforts to strengthen democracy to Western countries.

“The minister told him that Cambodia had also addressed the EU’s concerns regarding political space and the implementation and strengthening of democracy in Cambodia,” Mr Sophann noted. “We are fully implementing what we have announced to the West, such as legal reform, rehabilitation of the political rights of former [opposition] politicians and also released political and land activists. We also allowed the VOA to reopen the office in Cambodia.”

Yesterday, Mr Suzuki also paid a courtesy call to Prime Minister Hun Sen at the Peace Palace where he expressed Japan’s desire to build stronger ties.

A statement on Mr Hun Sen’s Facebook page said the prime minister had expressed his gratitude for the Japanese government’s help in repairing National Roads 1 and 5 and also the expansion of Sihanoukville Autonomous Port.

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