- June 23, 2021 4:04 PM
- November 26, 2021 5:41 PM
- January 29, 2020 2:37 AM
PHNOM PENH – Cambodia and Japan on Aug. 6 signed two agreements to fund the construction of a container terminal in Preah Sihanouk province port, which will turn the facility into a major deep-sea port for the country.
In a ceremony presided over by Prime Minister Hun Sen at the Peace Palace in Phnom Penh, Foreign Affairs Minister Prak Sokhonn and his Japanese counterpart Hayashi Yoshimasa signed the exchange of notes and related documents for the extension of a loan amounting to 41.39 billion yens—more than $300 million—for the purpose of conducting the first phase of the Sihanoukville Port New Container Terminal Expansion Project.
Hem Vandy, secretary of state of the Ministry of Economy and Finance, signed the loan agreement for the project along with Kamei Haruko, chief representative of the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) in Cambodia.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs said in a statement that the loan will substantially contribute to the expansion and modernization of Sihanoukville Autonomous Port and the transformation of the port into a major deep-sea port for Cambodia and the region.
Built in early 1956, the port is the only main deep-sea port off the coast of Cambodia. Expanded over the years, the facility now consists of eight berths equipped with up-to-date cargo handling equipment. As the main development partner for the facility, Japan has heavily contributed to the development of the port by providing millions of dollars’ worth of assistance and investment.
Japanese Foreign Minister Hayashi has been in Phnom Penh to attend the 55th ASEAN Foreign Ministers’ Meeting, which took place on Aug. 3, and the related meetings that were held around the event.
Prior to the signing ceremony, Hun Sen held talks with Hayashi on bilateral ties and cooperation.
Eang Sophalleth, the prime minister’s assistant, told reporters that, during their meeting, Hayashi had thanked Cambodia for the condolences offered for the passing of former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe who was assassinated on 8 July 2022, and said that the two countries were on good terms.
“[Hayashi] expressed appreciation that the relation is on a good path,” Sophalleth said.
According to Sophalleth, Hun Sen told Hayashi that the sanctions imposed on Russia by several countries following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine don’t only affect Europe but the whole world including Cambodia. Japan is one of the countries that impose sanctions on Russia in order to put an end to the invasion.
On the issue of Myanmar, the prime minister said that Cambodia is trying to help Myanmar return to the path to democracy, he said.
During the meeting, Hun Sen again expressed his sadness regarding the death of Abe who had contributed to establishing cooperation between Cambodia and Japan, Sophalleth said.
On August 5, the prime minister announced that he will attend the state funeral held for Abe next month. “I will attend his funeral in person on September 27,” Hun Sen said during a speech at the Royal University of Phnom Penh.