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Japan’s top football league celebrates ‘Cambodia Day’

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
Cambodian ambassador Ung Rachana (centre) and Masahiro Imamura (left), Japan’s House of Representatives member and chairman of the Japan-Cambodia Parliamentary Friendship Association. CAMBODIAN EMBASSY

Japan’s top football league celebrates ‘Cambodia Day’

A Promotion Campaign called “Cambodia: Kingdom of Wonder” has featured ad spots during television programming for Japan’s top football league or J-League, thanks to Japanese company Taica, which also organised a “Cambodia Day” on August 9 for the match between Shimizu S-Pulse and Yokohama.

The match on August 9 ended in a 2-2 draw. The Cambodian embassy in Japan said the Cambodia Day event for the match that day was held in order to showcase the country’s potentials to Japanese investors and potential visitors.

It was the first time that a Cambodia Day promotional event had been organised in Japan’s top football league. Many positive messages about Cambodia were displayed at different angles around the stadium, from the entrance to the scoreboard displays, the goals and backdrops on the fans’ seats.

“When I saw Cambodia Day and the words Kingdom of Wonder on everything and everywhere there – as a Cambodian – I was so happy. There are many people who came to watch the game and saw those messages,” said Samen Sokha, the labour attache with the Cambodian embassy in Japan.

The game was opened by Masahiro Imamura, a member of Japan’s House of Representatives and chairman of the Japan-Cambodia Parliamentary Friendship Association, along with Cambodian ambassador to Japan Ung Rachana.

Ambassador Rachana told The Post that the embassy and Taica had worked together on promoting Cambodia through football since the beginning of this year.

He said Taica had signed a contract with the Shimizu S-Pulse – based in Shizuoka prefecture – to promote Cambodia by putting the words “Cambodia: Kingdom of Wonder” on the shorts of the team for the entire season and holding a special Cambodia Day event was also a part of the contract.

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
Cambodian ambassador to Japan Ung Rachana kicks a ball as he opens the game along with Masahiro Imamura on Monday. CAMBODIAN EMBASSY

“Even though the number in attendance at the game is at just half or around 5,000 people, the game broadcasted live, which reached a lot of Japanese people because the Japanese love football,” he said.

Rachana said that this promotional activity is a part of the economic diplomacy strategies which the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation launched at the beginning of the year, with the concept that diplomacy now is now more than just politics, but also includes economic investments, tourism and cultural exchanges.

He said that now many activities are still being interrupted by the Covid-19 pandemic, but in previous years he had organized many events at the embassy and elsewhere to show off Cambodian foods, culture, tourist destinations and investment opportunities in Cambodia.

Foreign minister Prak Sokhonn announced in January of this year that his ministry was launching the “Economic Diplomacy Strategy for 2021-2023” framework for future diplomatic and cultural initiatives.

He instructed diplomats to move beyond traditional diplomacy and seek opportunities to further enhance Cambodia’s economic diversification.

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