Minister of Labour and Vocational Training Ith Samheng on March 16 met with Japanese ambassador to Cambodia Atsushi Ueno at the ministry headquarters, where they expressed their appreciation for the two nations’ “excellent” bilateral cooperation, particularly in the fields of diplomacy, trade and development assistance.

Samheng thanked Japan for its contributions to the Kingdom’s development, and also complimented the Japanese investors who have pursued business opportunities in Cambodia.

He said this year marks the 70th anniversary of diplomatic relations, which have recently been elevated to a comprehensive strategic partnership.

“Cambodia will always remember Japan’s contributions to the pursuit of peace and stability in 1991. Japan remains one of the Kingdom’s most important development partners,” Samheng was quoted as saying in a ministry press release.

“The ambassador thanked Cambodia for its cooperation. The two countries have built a long relationship, which lasted through Cambodia’s recovery from its darkest days. This relationship forms the basis for the trust that exists between Cambodian and Japanese investors,” said the statement.

Yang Peou, secretary-general of the Royal Academy of Cambodia, said the comprehensive strategic partnership is of great significance.

“The two countries benefit each other politically, diplomatically, economically and commercially,” he said.

The ministry said that both sides expressed their commitment to cooperating more closely, through vocational training and the expertise of Japanese advisers from the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA).

Both sides also agreed to provide more Cambodians with the chance to work or study in Japan. Upon their return, they are expected to use the skills they have gained to contribute to the national economy and attract more Japanese investors.

In addition, they pledged to continue their important cooperative work on two additional projects: Working conditions in the informal economy and the reproductive health of garment factory workers.