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Tuesday, November 03, 2009

Hun Sen praises Japan's role in Cambodia ahead of regional summit+

PHNOM PENH, Nov. 3 (AP) - (Kyodo)—Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen on Tuesday praised Japan's contributions to peace in Cambodia over the years and said Tokyo is playing a key role as a development partner in the Mekong River region.
In a written interview with a group of senior editors from Kyodo News' member newspapers visiting Cambodia, Hun Sen expressed a request for Japan to upgrade infrastructure to strengthen ties in the region.

In particular, Hun Sen sought support as "a highest priority" for the Mekong River Bridge that will serve as the final gateway of the Southern Economic Corridor, and requested cooperation in world heritage protection.

Hun Sen said Japan has played a key role in seeking justice for the victims of the genocidal Pol Pot regime by contributing both spiritual and financial support for the work of the Khmer Rouge tribunal.

He said Japan has provided $56.9 million to the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia, nearly half of the total budget spent by both Cambodia and United Nations since it began operation from 2006.

Other than key roles played in Cambodia, Hun Sen also commended Japan's contributions to larger regional cooperation.

Hun Sen is due to visit Japan later this week to meet with Japanese Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama along with his fellow leaders from other Mekong countries -- Laos, Myanmar, Thailand and Vietnam -- at the first Mekong-Japan Summit to be held in Tokyo on Friday and Saturday.

Hun Sen said he "regards Japan as a key partner in discussion over political and security issues in the region and also thanks Japan for her recent efforts in helping maintain political stability in the region such as seeking a solution over problems in Myanmar and the Korean peninsula."

In spite of receiving great assistance from Japan in many fields, Hun Sen said he desired to see more Japanese investors flocking to his country.

He said as his country is enjoying the discovery of oil and gas, and assured a warm welcome for Japanese investors.

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