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Cambodian Gov´t sends Congratulatory Message to New Japanese PM

Written By vibykhmer on Wednesday, September 2, 2009 | 8:55 AM

Written by DAP NEWS -- Wednesday, 02 September 2009

The Cambodian government on Monday sent a congratulatory message to the newly-elected Japanese Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama after his election success on August 30, 2009, according to a spokesman of the Foreign Affair and International Cooperation Ministry.

“Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen on Monday sent a congratulatory letter to the new Japanese Prime Minister,” confirmed Koy Koung.

“In the letter, The Royal Government of Cambodia welcomed and showed applauding for newly-elected Japanese Prime Minister, Yukio Hatoyama,” he added.

The strong cooperation in all fields between Cambodia and Japan has been improved and aid is being provided to Cambodia by the Japanese, aimed at reducing poverty.

Cambodian-Japanese cooperation will increase in all fields and a closer relationship with newly the elected Japanese Prime Minister will help ties “become more developed and better than before,” Koy Koung told DAP News Cambodia last week.

“Cambodia’s relationship with Japan will not be changed whoever will be the next Prime Minister,” said Koy Koung.

The Foreign Ministry spokesman said that world leaders are promoting globalization so that all fields of cooperation among Cambodia and Japan, especially assistance and aid, will be not change, Koy Koung reiterated.

Yim Sovann, a spokesman for the opposition Sam Rainsy Party (SRP), on Friday told DAP News Cambodia that the next Japanese Prime Minister will be careful in considering new projects as they dot want to waste their donations to Cambodia.

Japan on August 13, 2009 provided US$72 million in concessionary loans to develop Cambodia’s Sihanoukville port to expand its capacity.

“The fund is to improve the capacity of Sihanoukville port, the only international deep sea port in Cambodia, by constructing multipurpose terminals including a bulk terminal and oil supply base, and developing infrastructure related to the terminal at the port,” Hor Namhong, deputy prime minister and minister of foreign affairs and international cooperation told reporters.

The minister signed the exchange note with Shinohara Katsuhiro, Japanese Ambassador to Cambodia, with the presence of Prime Minister Hun Sen.

It will also help contribute to industrial development and economic growth in Cambodia. And it is the third time that Japan has helped Sihanoukville port since 1999 aimed at improving handling capacity of containerized cargos, Namhong said.

Japan also provided about US$10 million non-project grant aid for promotion of economic and social development efforts in Cambodia, Hor said, adding that since 1993, under the type of grant aid, Japan has extended to Cambodia a total amount of US$187 million.

In Japan’s historic election on Sunday, the ruling Liberal Democratic Party lost power for only the second time in the post-World War II era. The opposition Democrats swept to power, winning 308 of 480 seats in the lower house of parliament, according to Japanese media.

According to a story in today’s New York Times: “Many Japanese saw the vote as the final below to the island nation’s postwar order, which has been slowly unraveling since the economy collapsed in the early 1990s.” In that period, Japan’s stock market fell 80 percent from its all-time high. Its real estate market lost 60 percent of its value.

Experts said a Japan led by the Democrats could put Tokyo into stiffer competition for leadership in Asia with Beijing in tackling non-traditional security issues including energy security, green growth, protecting sea lanes and disaster relief, Xinhua reported.

Hatoyama and the Democrats have called for a new arrangement for Japan’s most important security relations with the US, which for decades has had troops in the country.

Some analysts say Japan’s prospective effort to upgrade its role in the defense alliance may not be a good thing for China. US presence in Japan can be seen as a bottle cap keeping the Japanese military genie in the bottle, the Chinese analysts have argued.

The Democrats are seeking greater equality in the relationship that would allow Japan to act with greater flexibility. Some analysts worry that a more assertive Tokyo could lead to strained ties with Washington.

“However, the Democratic Party will probably sing the same tune with the US and move somewhat together” especially regarding the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK), said Kim Sang-joon, a professor of international relations at Yonsei University in Seoul.

The Democratic Party is an unlikely alliance formed across the political spectrum and it remains to be seen how it will address many regional issues such as often-stalled free-trade talks with Australia and the ROK.

However, much view is still looking forward to see what will happen for the Cambodia-Japan’s cooperation as the new-elected PM from opposition party won the PM’s post.


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