PHNOM PENH — Japan has provided Cambodia with $11 million worth of technical supplies to support clearance of landmines and unexploded ordinance, for which a handover ceremony was held on Thursday.
At the ceremony, Heng Ratana, director general of the Cambodian Mine Action Centre, said Japan’s technical assistance includes nine pieces of heavy demining machinery, 88 vehicles, 788 detectors, 450 safety jackets and a large number of spare parts.
He said that in more than 25 years, CMAC and international demining organizations have cleared more than 1,400 square kilometers of land, destroying nearly 4 million piece of unexploded ordnance in the process. But an estimated 2,000 square km of affected area remains.
The handover of the equipment in the northern province of Siem Reap was conducted at the same time as the inauguration there of a CMAC “Peace Museum of Mine Action.”
Japan has been a strong supporter of landmine clearance activities in Cambodia since 1998.
At the ceremony, Japanese Ambassador Hidenhisa Horinouchi expressed hope that this assistance “will further strengthen the close and friendly relations that already exist between” the two countries.
He said land mine clearance is crucial to securing the safety of residents and farmers living and working around minefields, and it is important for generating economic growth through rural development.
Posting on his Facebook account Thursday, Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen said, “I would like to thank Japanese people and government for the rehabilitation and development of Cambodia on demining missions through technical supplies to CMAC.”