Country’s First Japanese News Website Launched

Thmey Thmey online news website on Wednesday launched a Japanese-language version of the site to help illuminate the world of Cambodian politics and business for Japanese residents here, as well as those considering relocating or investing in the country.

The news site, which was set up two years ago by a group of ex-Radio France Internationale correspondents, announced a series of agreements in March to expand its services, including Japanese and French versions.

Editor-in-Chief Leang Deluxe said the addition of Thmey Thmey Japan was part of the media organization’s plan to both expand and strengthen the freedom of information in Cambodia.

“We are building on our reputation as a Khmer-language news source and expanding to cover the Japanese language. It’s our way of contributing to the extension of freedom of information in our country,” he said.

The editor of Thmey Thmey Japan is Shunichiro Hanai, owner of Thailand-based Global Grow Co. Ltd., who said he initially invested about $5,000 in the news site and recruited five translators and two Japanese-speaking editors.

“At the first step we have hired only translators and not our own reporters, but in the second stage we will hopefully hire Japanese reporters,” he said, adding that if the venture was successful a full print version of the paper could hit the news stands within a few years.

A number of international broadcasters and print and online newspapers deliver news in English, while there is a fairly robust Chinese-language newspaper market and French news outlets on the radio and online.

But for Japanese speakers watching Cambodia, the new service, which will cover everything from politics and business to sport and lifestyle, will be a welcome addition to the media landscape, said Hiroshi Suzuki, chief economist at the Business Research Institute for Cambodia.

“I did not know that there was a new Japanese website, but of course it is a good thing. It is not so easy for Japanese people here to get access,” he said.

“So not only for tourists, but for businesses this is good news.”

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