PHNOM PENH (Cambodia Herald) - Japan's Crown Prince Naruhito met with Prime Minister Hun Sen Wednesday after arriving earlier in the day for a three-day visit to Cambodia.
Speaking after the 20-minute meeting at the Peace Palace, Information Minister Khieu Kanharith told reporters that Hun Sen highlighted Japan's role as the country's main donor.
Japan was significantly involved in the Paris Peace Agreements of 1991 and played an important role with the European Union in securing peace in Cambodia in 1998.
In addition to the Kizuna Bridge over the Mekong River in Kampong Cham, Japan has started building a second bridge over the river in Cambodia in Neak Loeung.
Naruhito highlighted the strong cooperation between Japan and Cambodia as well as Hun Sen's role in reinforcing peace and stability in Cambodia. He also said his visit to Cambodia would further boost cooperation between the two countries.
Khieu Kanarith said that Japan provided $759 million in grant aid to Cambodia from 2004 to 2012 including $76 million for the Khmer Rouge Tribunal since 2005. Japan also provided short and long-term training to 1,609 Cambodians while 192 Japanese volunteers are working in Cambodia.
The information minister recalled that the two countries established diplomatic relations in 1953 and that former prime minister Junichiro Koizum had visited Cambodia in 2000 as well as 2002.
During the visit, which is at the invitation of Hun Sen, the crown prince will also meet with King Norodom Sihamoni.
Born in 1960, Naruhito is the eldest son of Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko. He became crown prince in 1991 after the death of Emperor Hirohito, posthumously known as Emperor Showa.