Japanese Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida on Monday signed off on $144 million worth of grants and loans to Cambodia after meeting with his counterpart Hor Namhong and Prime Minister Hun Sen in Phnom Penh.
More than $8 million will be supplied to Cambodia in the form of a grant for the expansion of eight schools in Phnom Penh. Another $136 million will be supplied as a loan with a 0.01 percent interest rate to be repaid over 30 years.
“I hope that all the aid will help to strengthen the relations and close the gap between poor people and rich people in Cambodia,” Mr. Kishida said after a two-hour morning meeting with Mr. Namhong at the Foreign Ministry.
The Japanese foreign minister also spent an hour with Mr. Hun Sen at the prime minister’s office building, known as the Peace Palace.
The loan will fund three projects: an expansion of Phnom Penh’s power facilities; an upgrade of sections of National Road 5 between Phnom Penh and Pursat province, including bypasses of Kompong Chhnang City and Oudong; and the construction of irrigation and drainage systems in Kandal, Takeo and Kompong Speu provinces.
Mr. Namhong said he and his counterpart had also discussed the danger posed to Japan by North Korea, which fired two short-range ballistic missiles into the Sea of Japan on Sunday—a breach of U.N. resolutions.
Mr. Namhong rebuked the actions of Pyongyang and said that in the event of any dispute between the two nations, Cambodia would support Tokyo.
“We ask North Korea to respect the United Nations,” he said.