Direct air links for Japan-Cambodia

Direct air links between Japan and Cambodia are on the cards this year, with Japan Airlines tipped to be the first carrier to land in Phnom Penh.

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The flights are expected to be launched over the next six months after recent talks between Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen and Hideo Sawada, chairman of HIS, a Japanese tourism firm, according to the Phnom Penh Post, which quoted reports from AKP, the state news service.

Direct flights will boost tourism, investment and trade between the two countries, the newspaper said.

An representative of the Cambodian State Secretariat of Civil Aviation said officials of the two countries are undertaking a feasibility study and expected the Japanese flag carrier to be the airline to operate the flights.

Cambodia has become a popular destination for tourists from Japan. The Cambodian Tourism Ministry said 184,833 Japanese went to Cambodia in the first 11 months of 2013, a 15.7% rise from 159,745 in the same period of 2012.

Japan's foreign direct investment in Cambodia totalled US$47.5 million (1.56 billion baht) in 2013, an increase from $328 million in 2012, according to the Japanese embassy in Phnom Penh.

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