Cambodia’s silent investment from Japan: reform or realpolitik?

Human rights advocates criticize Tokyo for 'acting like China'.

Japan continues to quietly invest in Cambodia even as the human rights situation deteriorates, leaving observers wondering if the Asian democracy is capitulating to China’s influence or containing it.

On April 3, Prime Minister Hun Sen and Japanese Ambassador Hidehisa Horinouchi presided over a ceremony celebrating the reopening of the Cambodian-Japanese Friendship Bridge. Hun Sen, who once received a birthday serenade from Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, hailed the bridge as a “gift to the Cambodian people for the upcoming Khmer New Year.” Just up the river, the Cambodian-Chinese Friendship Bridge loomed in the distance.

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