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Japan Continues Mine Action Cooperation With Cambodia

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In response to an invitation by Samdech Techo Hun Sen, Prime Minister of the Kingdom of Cambodia, H.E. IMAMURA Masahiro, Chairman of Japan-Cambodia Parliamentary Friendship Association, accompanied by Her Excellency OBUCHI Yuko, Parliamentarian and Secretary General of Japan-Cambodia Parliamentary Friendship Association, and Her Excellency OBUCHI Chizuko, mother of Her Excellency UBOCHI Yuko and a spouse of H.E. UBOCHI Keizo, the late Prime Minister of Japan, made a three-day official visit to Cambodia from January 14th to 16th, 2020. On the official visit, he led a delegation of Japan-Cambodia Parliamentary Friendship Association visited Cambodian Mine Action Centre (CMAC) in the afternoon of January 4th, aiming at getting insights of mine action in Cambodia, the suffering from war, and CMAC mission in cooperation on clearance of mine and Explosive Remnants of War (ERW).

On the auspicious occasion, H.E. Heng Ratana, Delegate of the Royal Government in charge as Director General of CMAC, made a brief report for the delegation on progress of demining activities of Cambodia including mine and unexploded ordnance (UXO) problems and threats, strategic plan 2020-2025 for implementation of Ottawa Convention as well as other activities, especially, the cooperation of People and Government of Japan in mine action of Cambodia. CMAC, so far, has received grant aid and technical assistance worth over 70 million USD and approximately 50 million USD as in-kind contribution from the Government of Japan. He also recalled the visit by H.E. OBUCHI Keizo and his wife with Samdech Techo Prime Minister to CMAC’s demining operations in Angkor Chum district, Siem Reap province, in 2000.

In response to the brief report, H.E. IMAMURA Masahiro highly appreciated CMAC leadership and staff, especially, Cambodia in making their efforts to overcome difficulties after the war. He continued that 20 years after the visit of the late Prime Minister OBUCHI Keizo, there is a great evulsion in mine combat. He stated that currently, Cambodia is in remarkable fast development after overcoming the difficulties and restoring the damaged country after the civil war, and Japan has made a faithful commitment in continually taking part in Cambodia’s development in all fields, in particular the economy cooperation. “At the same time, we learn that mines and UXOs remain the problem in Cambodia and we will continue our cooperation on this field with Cambodia,” said H.E. IMAMURA Masahiro.

Meanwhile, Her Excellency OBUCHI Yuko, a daughter of the late Prime Minster OBUCHI Keizo, expressed, in the name of her mother, an excitement in warm welcome and hospitality made by CMAC leadership and staff. “Although 20 years after former Prime Minister OBUCHI Keizo visited Cambodia in January 2000 is passing, and he passed away, my father’s will is not died, but still alive currently in Cambodia,” said Yuko.