Prime Minister Fumio Kishida on Wednesday agreed with the heir apparent of Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen to boost security cooperation to achieve a free and open Indo-Pacific region.

"I'd like to deepen not only our bilateral relations but also security cooperation," Kishida told Hun Manet, who is now commander of Cambodia's army, at his office in Tokyo.

Hun Manet arrived in Tokyo on Monday at the invitation of the Defense Ministry, as this year marks the 30th anniversary of Japan's dispatch of Self-Defense Forces personnel to Cambodia — the first time the SDF participated in a U.N. peacekeeping operation.

Hun Manet told Kishida that since his arrival he has been able to discuss "cooperation in various fields" with Japan's foreign and defense ministers, as well as senior officials.

The eldest son of Hun Sen also said he supports the vision of a free and open Indo-Pacific, according to the ministry. Japan has been promoting the concept with the United States and many other countries as a counter to China's growing assertiveness and influence in the region.

Kishida also welcomed Cambodia assuming the chair of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations this year, it said.

In late December, Hun Manet was named the future prime minister by the ruling Cambodian People's Party after Hun Sen, who has held power for 36 years, expressed his desire for his son to be the next leader.