30 years since Japan sent peacekeepers to Cambodia

Saturday marks 30 years since Japan sent its Self-Defense Forces to Cambodia for UN peacekeeping operations.

The SDF's first peacekeeping mission, which began in 1992, helped the Southeast Asian country to rebuild after decades of civil war.

Many Japanese civilians also contributed to Cambodia's recovery. In 1993, a police officer on a UN peacekeeping mission and a man working as a UN volunteer were shot dead.

Malinda Kosal, a spokesperson for the National Centre for Peacekeeping Forces, Mines and ERW Clearance, told NHK that Cambodia will not forget how Japan contributed to Cambodia's peace.

She said Cambodia is a small country but that it has acquired many friends by sending its own peacekeepers on UN operations.

Since 2006, Cambodia has sent more than 8,000 peacekeeping troops on missions to nine countries, for the removal of landmines and other tasks.