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Cambodia and Japan Strengthen Bonds with Milestone Agreements

by Surya Narayan
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In a momentous event on December 18, Cambodia and Japan solidified their longstanding friendship and cooperation with the signing of several crucial memorandums of understanding (MoUs). The signing ceremony, which took place on the sidelines of the 50th anniversary of ASEAN-Japan Friendship and Cooperation in Tokyo, saw Prime Minister Hun Manet and Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida witness the forging of key partnerships.

Among the significant agreements is the National Data Centre Development Project aimed at promoting e-Government initiatives. This project reflects a commitment to advancing digital governance and enhancing public services for the benefit of both nations.

Furthermore, the collaboration extends to the digital management of water supplies in urban areas, exemplifying a joint effort to address essential infrastructure needs. The hydrological survey vessel project, focusing on the production of electronic navigation maps, underscores the commitment to technological advancements for mutual progress.

In the realm of finance, the MoUs on Cross-Border Payment Cooperation via QR Code between the National Bank of Cambodia and the Japanese Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry mark a significant step toward seamless financial transactions between the two countries. This development is poised to enhance economic ties and facilitate smoother financial interactions.

The commitment to sustainability and clean energy is evident in the cooperative agreements signed with the Ministry of Mines and Energy. These agreements pave the way for solar energy projects with Minebea Mitsumi and SchneiTec, as well as a biomass energy project with Erex Co Ltd and SPHP (Cambodia). Japan’s interest in Cambodia’s agricultural sector, particularly cashews, is another positive sign of economic collaboration and mutual benefit.

Prime Minister Manet and Prime Minister Kishida engaged in meaningful discussions during the meeting, touching upon various aspects of bilateral ties and cooperation. The shared commitment to demining training for specialists from Ukraine exemplifies a broader dedication to global security and peacekeeping efforts.

As the two nations celebrate the 70th anniversary of their bilateral ties, the upgrade to a comprehensive strategic partnership marks a significant milestone. Prime Minister Manet emphasized the goals of cooperation in defense, security, trade, investment, infrastructure connection, and the resumption of direct flights.

In a meeting with Masahiro Imamura, chairman of the Japan-Cambodia Parliamentary Friendship Association, Prime Minister Manet expressed optimism about the future of the relationship. The association’s collaboration with the Cambodian embassy in Tokyo to enhance cooperation in healthcare, energy, and mine clearance further strengthens the foundation of friendship.

Thong Mengdavid, a research supervisor at the Asian Vision Institute, highlights Japan’s keen interest in maintaining ties with ASEAN member states, including Cambodia. He anticipates that the signed MoUs will contribute significantly to Cambodia’s progress through technical assistance and human resource development.

The recent agreements between Cambodia and Japan signal a new chapter in their enduring friendship, characterized by shared goals, mutual respect, and a commitment to progress. These partnerships across various sectors affirm that Cambodia and Japan are indeed good friends, working together for a brighter and more prosperous future.

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