Abe hopes advent of direct flights will boost Japan-Cambodia ties


Prime Minister Shinzo Abe expressed hope Thursday that the launch of regular direct flights between Japan and Cambodia in September will promote commerce and ties between the countries.

In talks in Tokyo with Say Chhum, president of the Senate of Cambodia, Abe noted that All Nippon Airways Co. was slated to launch daily service between Narita airport and Phnom Penh from Sept. 1, according to the Foreign Ministry.

Japan signed bilateral aviation pacts with Cambodia and Laos in January last year that allow airlines to operate regular direct flights. Tokyo now has such accords with all 10 members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations.

In Thursday’s talks, Say Chhum told Abe that Cambodia will do its utmost to ensure future elections there are held peacefully and in a way acceptable to all involved, the ministry said in a news release.

He also said Cambodia is promoting reform to improve economic and social development and raise living standards, it said.

Abe said Japan wants Cambodia to ensure that elections will be held in a “free and fair” manner, and that he wants to continue developing a strategic partnership.