Tokyo, Japan (FN), May 31 - Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe pledged to assist Cambodia in developing Sihanoukville Port, speaking in a bilateral meeting with Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen in Tokyo on Friday, according to delegate minister Kao Kim Hourn.

"What is important for Japan is the kingdom's Sihanoukville Port. We will assist Cambodia in making master plan for port development and port administrative management," delegate minister quoted Abe.

This Friday, 31 May, Cambodian Prime Minister and his counterpart Abe witnessed the signing of a letter of exchange for grant aid for a 339 million yen human resource development scholarship program and a 200 million yen project to build a container terminal in the special economic zone of Sihanoukville Autonomous Port.

Japan’s provision of 23 billion yen in ODA for the new container terminal at Sihanoukville Autonomous Port will help Cambodia become a transit hub of goods in ASEAN with an annual capacity to handle up to 900,000 TEUs – a two-fold increase from the current capacity. The new terminal will be able to accommodate the large vessels increasingly used to transport goods through international waters, helping to reduce future freight costs, according to Strongman Hun Sen.

The Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) has acquired a strategic shareholding in Sihanoukville Autonomous Port, a further confirmation of the Japanese government's faith in the future of the port – and the future of Cambodia.

Prime Minister Hun Sen expressed sincere gratitude and appreciation to the government and people of Japan for their significant contributions to our quest for peace, national unity as well as rehabilitating and developing the Cambodian economy through cooperation in financing, infrastructure development, technical assistance, and human resource development in addition to investment by the Japanese private sector.

Between 1992 and 2018, Japan provided the equivalent of more than $2.8 billion in Official Development Assistance (ODA) to Cambodia – about 15 percent of total financing by all development partners.