The following is the Joint Statement between the Kingdom of Cambodia and Japan released this evening:

“At the invitation of Samdech Akka Moha Sena Padei Techo HUN Sen, Prime Minister of the Kingdom of Cambodia, His Excellency KISHIDA Fumio, Prime Minister of Japan, paid an official visit to the Kingdom of Cambodia on 20-21 March 2022.

During the visit, Prime Minister Kishida laid wreaths at the Independence Monument to pay tribute to the war heroes and heroines of Cambodia and paid respect to the Royal Memorial Statue of His Majesty Preah Bat Samdech Preah NORODOM SIHANOUK, PREAH BOROM RATANAK KAUDH, Late King-Father of Cambodia. Prime Minister Kishida also visited the memorials for the late Police Superintendent TAKATA Haruyuki and the late NAKATA Atsuhito.

Samdech Techo Prime Minister and Prime Minister Kishida held a summit meeting, during which they shared the recognition that both countries’ relationship is at the best level ever. On top of that, in order to further promote the bilateral relations as well as to address the current regional and international situation such as Ukraine and Myanmar in close coordination, the two Prime Ministers shared the view to cooperate as follows.

Further promotion of the relationship

(Economic cooperation)

1. Samdech Techo Prime Minister expressed gratitude to a wide range of Japan’s cooperation including economic and social infrastructure, human resource development and the grass roots (kusanone) level supports. He highly appreciated the fact that Japan has supported, in particular, the construction of important infrastructure in Cambodia such as seaports, bridges, roads, electricity and water supply. The two Prime Ministers consented to fully cooperate to make the Sihanoukville Port operate as a hub of principal ports not just for Cambodia but for the Mekong region and beyond. They consented to actively explore new opportunities for the sustainable growth of Cambodia such as infrastructure construction.

(Cooperation in health sector)

1. Samdech Techo Prime Minister expressed gratitude to Japan’s support for countermeasures against COVID-19 such as donation of approximately 1.3 million doses of vaccines through COVAX, grant aid and support through contribution to international organizations amounting approximately 6 billion JPY as well as fiscal support loan amounting 45 billion JPY in total. The two Prime Ministers consented to continuously cooperate in taking countermeasures against COVID-19 and for the early recovery of the economy.

(Security cooperation)

1. On the occasion of the 30th anniversary of the Japan Self-Defense Forces’ participation in the peacekeeping operation (PKO) in Cambodia, Prime Minister Kishida highly appreciated the fact that Cambodia has changed from a recipient country to a contributing country which dispatches troops to PKO, and has taken part with the international community in the cause of international peace and stability. The two Prime Ministers welcomed the successful official visit of Lt. Gen. Hun Manet, Deputy Commander-in-Chief, Royal Cambodian Armed Forces and Commander of Royal Cambodian Army, to Japan last month. The two Prime Ministers welcomed the port call at the Sihanoukville Port by the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force (JMSDF) vessels and the goodwill exercise as well as the visit to the Ream Naval Base by JMSDF. Furthermore, the two Prime Ministers consented to further strengthen cooperation in the field of security through continuous visits, including port calls by JMSDF vessels, expansion of bilateral exercises as well as cooperation between Japan Ground Self-Defense Force and the Royal Cambodian Army for humanitarian aid and disaster relief. They also consented to coordinate activities for the maintenance of peace through capacity building in the field of the peacekeeping operation and cooperation in sharing Cambodia’s experience in demining with third countries. In this context, Samdech Techo Prime Minister expressed gratitude to Japan’s strong support for demining so far.

(Enhancement of economic relations such as strengthening supply chains)

1. The two Prime Ministers acknowledged the importance of the diversification of supply chains and industrial development of Cambodia. On top of that, under the Asia Japan Investing for the Future Initiative (AJIF), the two Prime Ministers consented to foster the development of high-skilled industrial human resources in cooperation with Cambodia-Japan Digital Manufacturing Center (CJDM) of the Royal University of Phnom Penh, to strengthen the resilience of supply chains and to support the efforts of both countries’ businesses to create new industries by solving social issues through utilizing digital technology.

2. Samdech Techo Prime Minister highly praised the investment by Japanese companies for contributing to Cambodia’s economic development and industrial diversification. Prime Minister Kishida welcomed the enforcement of Cambodia’s new investment law, which promotes business expansion, in October last year. In order to promote investment by Japanese companies, the two Prime Ministers consented to further enhance the investment environment of Cambodia by relevant ministers themselves through such means as the bilateral investment agreement and the Public-Private Sector meeting.

3. The two Prime Ministers shared the importance of achieving both goals of economic growth and lowering greenhouse gas emissions, and shared the recognition that it is essential to utilize all fuels and technologies according to the circumstances of each country while ensuring secure and stable supply of energy. Prime Minister Kishida expressed his intention that, under the Asia Energy Transition Initiative (AETI), Japan would support a realistic energy transition in Cambodia through means including the formulation of a roadmap towards carbon neutrality in collaboration with JICA and the knowledge sharing through the Asia CCUS Network.

(RCEP and AJCEP)

1. The two Prime Ministers consented to strengthen cooperation to ensure the full implementation of the ASEAN-led Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) Agreement and ASEAN-Japan Comprehensive Economic Partnership (AJCEP) Agreement.

(Cooperation in digital)

1. The two Prime Ministers shared the view that digital has potential to elevate the bilateral relationship to further height and the importance of enhancing the cooperation in digital. In relation to this, the two Prime Ministers shared the recognition that the development of a central bank settlement system, Bakong, which is supported by a Japanese company, is an innovative effort leading the region and the world, and the importance of supporting this kind of effort. Samdech Techo Prime Minister also highly appreciated the fact that Japan is contributing to the realization of smart cities in Cambodia and the two Prime Ministers consented to cooperate toward further realization in this field.

(Economic security)

1. The two Prime Ministers expressed their intention to enhance cooperation in economic security as a new field of cooperation between Cambodia and Japan. They expressed concerns about economic coercion and emphasized the importance of strengthening the international economic order to counter the new challenges such as economic coercion. They also emphasized that technologies should be used in the manner of respecting individual rights and making the lives of citizens more secure, prosperous, and rewarding. The two Prime Ministers confirmed the importance of advancing the development of secure, open and transparent 5G and beyond 5G networks as well as the importance of principles such as openness or diversity for ensuring long term security, reliability and resilience of telecommunication infrastructures including 5G. In this respect, the two Prime Ministers concurred that Japan would provide various support on economic security to Cambodia.

(Cyber cooperation)

1. The two Prime Ministers reaffirmed their shared commitment to the United Nations framework for responsible state behavior in cyberspace, including the applicability of international law, support for implementation of voluntary, non-binding norms, confidence-building measures, as well as support for cyber capacity building. The two Prime Ministers underscored the importance of implementing this framework, as well as working towards improved understandings of how existing international law applies to state conduct in cyberspace including through the sharing of national positions on this topic. The two Prime Ministers confirmed to continue to cooperate towards capacity building to respond to the cyber threat and the enhancement of resilience in cyber space.

(People-to-people exchange)

1. The two Prime Ministers consented to enhance intellectual exchange among the Government of Japan, Japanese think tanks, Asian Vision Institute (AVI) and Cambodian Institute for Cooperation and Peace (CICP). They also shared the view that they would continue to cooperate in developing human resources for Cambodia’s administration. Samdech Techo Prime Minister welcomed Japan’s decision to resume its acceptance of specified skilled workers and technical intern trainees from 1 March 2022. Prime Minister Kishida expressed his expectation that many specified skilled workers and technical intern trainees from Cambodia will come to Japan continuously when the COVID-19 situation improves.

(Cooperation towards hosting the South East Asia Games)

1. Prime Minister Kishida conveyed to Samdech Techo Prime Minister his intention to cooperate for the success of the South East Asia Games, which Cambodia will host in 2023 for the first time, through assisting the popularization of physical education in Cambodia and the sharing of experience of hosting the Olympic and Paralympic Games Tokyo 2020. Samdech Techo Prime Minister welcomed this and appreciated the assistance by the Government of Japan, Japanese NGOs and Japanese companies for the popularization of physical education, the promotion of para-sports as well as capacity enhancement in football and other sports.

(Cooperation in democracy and human rights)

1. The two Prime Ministers recalled that October 2021 marked the 30th anniversary of the Paris Peace Agreements on Cambodia and appreciated that Cambodia had achieved the current development by the tremendous efforts of the Cambodian government and Cambodian people in cooperation with the international community including Japan. The two Prime Ministers highly valued the fact that both countries had held frank exchanges of views on human rights, democracy and the rule of law based on their mutual trust. Prime Minister Kishida expressed his intention to support the promotion of democracy and the rule of law such as holding elections in a way that reflects diverse voices from Cambodian people through projects such as the promotion of dialogue between the Government of Cambodia and civil society, the enhancement of governance through civic engagement, and the legal technical assistance. Samdech Techo Prime Minister appreciated Japan’s support in this field and expressed his intention to make further efforts to embed the outcomes of these support into the Cambodian society. In this connection, Samdech Techo Prime Minister appreciated the efforts of Japan as the penholder of the resolution on Advisory Services and Technical Assistance for Cambodia at the Human Rights Council.

(Cooperation for the 70th Anniversary of the establishment of the diplomatic relationship and the 10th Anniversary of strategic partnership between Cambodia and Japan)

1. Towards the 70th Anniversary of the establishment of the diplomatic relationship and the 10th Anniversary of strategic partnership between Cambodia and Japan in 2023, the two Prime Ministers consented to elevate the bilateral relationship under a “strategic partnership” based on strong trust between the two governments and peoples to a new stage as well as to conduct necessary studies toward that goal in a concrete manner between their diplomatic authorities.

Regional and international issues

(Situation in Ukraine)

1. The two Prime Ministers recalled that both countries co-sponsored the resolution (A/RES/ES-11/1) adopted in the 11th emergency special session of the United Nations General Assembly on 2 March and that the ASEAN Foreign Ministers issued the Statements on Ukraine on 26 February and 3 March 2022. They shared the view that the aggression against a United Nations Member State infringes upon its sovereignty and territorial integrity, constitutes a serious violation of international law prohibiting the use of force, and is a grave breach of the United Nations Charter. They recognized that this aggression jeopardizes the foundation of international order which does not accept any unilateral change of the internationally recognized borders by force. In the same spirit, the two Prime Ministers confirmed their commitments to preserve peace, stability and security in the Indo-Pacific. Samdech Techo Prime Minister stressed from his own experience that a war can never end a war and that a peaceful resolution should be pursued. The two Prime Ministers urged for an immediate stop of the use of force and the withdrawal of the military forces from the territory of Ukraine. They stressed neither threat nor use of all kind of weapons of mass destruction can ever be accepted in any occasion. They also underscored that any armed attack on and threat against nuclear facilities devoted to peaceful purposes constitutes a violation of international law.

(Situation in Myanmar)

1. The two Prime Ministers expressed concerns about the situation in Myanmar and called for the immediate cessation of violence, a stop to the flow of weapon, all parties to exercise utmost restraint and commencement of a process of dialogue for peaceful solution, and the release of political detainees, as well as return to normalcy and the democratic political system. The two Prime Ministers consented to urge for concrete actions to swiftly implement the “Five-Point Consensus” reached at the ASEAN Leaders’ Meeting on 24 April 2021. The two Prime Ministers shared the importance of actively carrying out the delivery of humanitarian assistance, in coordination with ASEAN Coordinating Center for Humanitarian Assistance on Disaster Management (AHA Center) and international organizations, to the people of Myanmar who are most in need based on humanitarian principles. Prime Minister Kishida welcomed Cambodia’s active engagement as ASEAN Chair to break the deadlock, and expressed hope for fruitful outcomes of the first visit to Myanmar of Mr. Prak Sokhonn, Special Envoy of the ASEAN Chair in the third week of March 2022. In relation to this, the two Prime Ministers reconfirmed the importance of making efforts to solve the problems through communication with all parties concerned. Samdech Techo Prime Minister expressed his appreciation to Japan for its active role to break the deadlock through working in close coordination with Cambodia, respecting the unity and centrality of ASEAN and supporting its efforts.

(DPRK)

1. The two Prime Ministers expressed grave concerns over the continued ballistic missile launches by Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK), which escalate tensions and negatively impact environment for talks to address threat to regional and international peace and security. They reiterated the importance of international efforts and diplomatic means to achieve the complete, verifiable and irreversible denuclearization of the Korean peninsula, and commitment to the full implementation of relevant United Nations Security Council Resolutions (UNSCRs). They strongly urged DPRK to fully comply with all of its international obligations under relevant UNSCRs. Prime Minister Kishida expressed his gratitude to Samdech Techo Prime Minister for reaffirming commitment to support efforts in resolving the abductions issue immediately.

(South China Sea)

1. The two Prime Ministers reaffirmed the importance of sustaining peace, security, safety, freedom of navigation in and overflight above the South China Sea, self-restraint, non-militarization and peaceful resolution of disputes in accordance with international law including the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS). The two Prime Ministers emphasized the importance of urging countries concerned to avoid unilateral actions that would increase tensions or complicate the situation in the South China Sea. The two Prime Ministers stressed the importance of full and effective implementation of the Declaration on the Conduct of the Parties in the South China Sea (DOC), and took note of the progress of the negotiations on Code of Conduct (COC) in the South China Sea and emphasized the importance of an effective and substantive COC that is consistent with international law including the 1982 UNCLOS.

(Cooperation for a Free and Open Indo-Pacific (FOIP))

1. The two Prime Ministers reaffirmed to continue to cooperate towards realizing a “Free and Open Indo-Pacific” based on the rule of law for contributing to global and regional peace and prosperity. In this regard, the two Prime Ministers welcomed the continued progress of concrete cooperation between ASEAN and Japan based on the “Joint Statement of the 23rd ASEAN-Japan Summit on Cooperation on ASEAN Outlook on the Indo-Pacific” adopted in 2020 and came to the view to continue cooperation building on this process.

(Cooperation for the ASEAN Chair)

1. The two Prime Ministers consented to have close communication and coordination at various levels for successful ASEAN-related meetings which Cambodia chairs this year. Prime Minister Kishida expressed once again his intention to strongly support Cambodia as the ASEAN Chair and Samdech Techo Prime Minister expressed gratitude to Japan’s support for building capacity required to be the ASEAN Chair through capacity building for officials of Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation of Cambodia by the Japan-ASEAN Integration Fund (JAIF) as well as provision of vehicles and office equipment.

(The 50th year of ASEAN-Japan Friendship and Cooperation)

1. The two Prime Ministers shared the view that the year 2023, which marks the 50th year of ASEAN-Japan Friendship and Cooperation, would be a historic opportunity for the Leaders of ASEAN and Japan to look back on the history of friendship and cooperation for the last half century, and to jointly provide guidance for future cooperation between ASEAN and Japan. The two Prime Ministers confirmed to closely work together to upgrade ASEAN-Japan relations to a new height at the ASEAN-Japan Commemorative Summit which Japan will host in the year. Both Prime Ministers also expressed that they looked forward to various commemorative events and exchange programs both in ASEAN Member States and Japan being held throughout the year.

(Mekong-Japan cooperation)

1. The two Prime Ministers highly valued the fact that the Mekong-Japan cooperation is playing an essential role for the sustainable development of the Mekong region, and concurred on the further promotion of the Mekong-Japan cooperation. In this regard, Samdech Techo Prime Minister highly appreciated Japan’s contribution of approximately 1.4 million US Dollars, which is the largest amount from ACMECS Development Partners to the ACMECS Development Fund (ACMDF), as an effort to lift the Mekong-Japan cooperation to a new height. Samdech Techo Prime Minister expressed his strong hope that Mekong-Japan Summit Meeting would be held early in Tokyo.

(Reform of the UN Security Council)

1. The two Prime Ministers shared the recognition that, as the situation of Ukraine shows, early realization of the UN Security Council reform is necessary to deal with serious issues facing the international community, and they reaffirmed to continue to cooperate to this end. Prime Minister Kishida expressed his gratitude to Cambodia for its consistent support for the UN Security Council reform including Japan becoming its permanent member.

(Nuclear disarmament)

The two Prime Ministers reaffirmed their commitment to realizing a world without nuclear weapons. They shared their views that the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT) is the cornerstone of the international nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation regime, and that the two countries continue to work closely to achieve a meaningful outcome at the 10th NPT Review Conference in August. In this respect, Samdech Techo Prime Minister reiterated Cambodia’s strong support for Japan’s initiative of the UN resolution entitled “Joint courses of action and future-oriented dialogue towards a world without nuclear weapons” adopted at the Plenary Meeting of the UN General Assembly on 6 December 2021. Prime Minister Kishida expressed his appreciation to Cambodia’s consistent support.

Source: Agency Kampuchea Press

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