TOKYO, Feb 6, 2022, Kyodo News. Hun Manet, the eldest son of Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen and commander of the country’s army, plans to visit Japan in mid-February for talks with Prime Minister Fumio Kishida and other top officials, Japanese government sources said Sunday, Kyodo News reported.
Japan intends to step up coordination with Cambodia, this year’s chair of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, over the Myanmar crisis and regional security through the visit of a man Hun Sen has appointed as his heir apparent, the sources said.
Hun Manet is expected to hold separate talks with Kishida, Foreign Minister Yoshimasa Hayashi and Defense Minister Nobuo Kishi, as well as Ground Self-Defense Force troops to discuss ways to deepen bilateral defense cooperation, among other issues.
Japan plans to focus on Myanmar issues during a series of meetings with Hun Manet, who is said to have accompanied Hun Sen when he traveled to Myanmar’s capital Naypyitaw in January for talks with junta chief Min Aung Hlaing.
Hun Sen became the first foreign leader to visit Myanmar since the military detained civilian leader Aung San Suu Kyi and overthrew her democratically elected government in a coup on Feb. 1, 2021.
The junta has killed about 1,500 peaceful demonstrators and other citizens since the military takeover, according to the Assistance Association for Political Prisoners, a local monitoring group.
The planned trip of Hun Manet comes at the invitation of the Japanese Defense Ministry as this year marks the 30th anniversary since Japan sent Self-Defense Forces personnel to Cambodia as the first case of SDF participation in U.N. peacekeeping operations.
Hun Manet last visited Japan in April 2018 and met with then Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.