Cambodia and Japan are working towards upgrading their bilateral relations further as the two countries are planning to celebrate their 70th anniversary of diplomatic relations next year.
Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation Prak Sokhonn and his Japanese counterpart Hayashi Yoshimasa met on the sidelines of the 55th ASEAN Foreign Ministers’ Meeting (AMM) on August 4 in Phnom Penh, according to the press statement released by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation.
“The two foreign ministers agreed to further strengthen friendly relations and close cooperation as next year marks the 70th anniversary of diplomatic relations between the two countries. Foreign minister Yoshimasa underlined that Japan is considering Prime Minister Hun Sen’s proposal to further elevate their strategic partnership to new heights to commemorate the anniversary,” the press statement said.
Sokhonn thanked Japan for its substantive assistance to Cambodia’s socio-economic development and for the close defence and security cooperation and capacity building for Cambodia’s peacekeeping forces.
Sokhonn also briefed his counterpart on the current situation in Myanmar as he has visited the country twice this year in his capacity as Special Envoy of the ASEAN Chair on Myanmar. He said some progress was achieved and he would continue his efforts to resolve the crisis until the end of his mandate despite the recent backsliding by Myanmar’s State Administrative Council, who carried out the execution of four opposition activists despite widespread international condemnation of the decision as an unnecessary provocation, including ASEAN and Cambodia.
“Foreign minister Yoshimasa commended Samdech Techo Prime Minister Hun Sen and Deputy PM Prak Sokhonn for their endeavouring to find a solution to the Myanmar crisis,” the statement said.
According to the statement, Sokhonn also underlined Cambodia’s support for holding events to commemorate the 50th year of ASEAN-Japan relations at the ASEAN-Japan Summit to be held in Japan next year, which will be themed as the “Year of Friendship and Cooperation”. He was also in favour of Japan’s intention to establish a Comprehensive Strategic Partnership with ASEAN.