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Cambodia's Prince Ranariddh to return to politics

Cambodian Prince Norodom Ranariddh, a son of the late King Norodom Sihanouk, has decided to return to politics and plans to form his new party within the next two weeks, his aide said Monday. Noranarith Anandayat told Kyodo News that the prince, who hopes to mobilize royalists and Sihanoukists to "save" the country, will announce his intentions in a meeting with old supporters on March 16, at which they will also formulate plans for the new party.

Cambodia's Prince Ranariddh to return to politics

Cambodian Prince Norodom Ranariddh, a son of the late King Norodom Sihanouk, has decided to return to politics and plans to form his new party within the next two weeks, his aide said Monday. Noranarith Anandayat told Kyodo News that the prince, who hopes to mobilize royalists and Sihanoukists to "save" the country, will announce his intentions in a meeting with old supporters on March 16, at which they will also formulate plans for the new party.

Former US Marine jailed for Cambodia sex abuse

A former US Marine captain will spend the rest of his life in prison for the violent sexual abuse of young girls in Cambodia, officials said. Michael Pepe was convicted in 2008 but was only sentenced by a federal court in Los Angeles on Friday after a delay following allegations of an affair between a US investigator and a local interpreter. US Federal Judge Dale Fischer handed Pepe a 210-year sentence after stating the former soldier had shown "absolutely no remorse." "He went to Cambodia because it was easy to molest little girls there," Fischer said.

Cambodian jailed over poll protests, lawyer says he was tortured

PHNOM PENH (Reuters) - A Cambodian court sentenced a man to a year in prison on Friday for attacking police and destroying public property during protests over election results last year, but his lawyer said torture was used to extract a confession from him. A general election last July was won by the ruling Cambodian People's Party (CPP) but the opposition alleged it was fraudulent and launched what was the biggest challenge to long-time Prime Minister Hun Sen in years.

Japanese artists hold "bonding" concert in Cambodia

Japanese artists from Okinawa and the Amami islands performed traditional music in a concert in Phnom Penh on Saturday to promote friendship at the grass-roots level between the two countries. Four artists from the southern Japanese region, and four Cambodian musicians together performed 20 songs for some 400 Cambodian spectators in the third Japan-Cambodia Kizuna Festival. Kizuna is the Japanese word for bonding.

Japanese companies diversify investments in Cambodia

While more Japanese companies are flocking to Cambodia for investments in recent years, they are more diversified, ranging from restaurants to manufacturing industries and electronics. Yoshihito Katsuo, first secretary in charge of trade at the Japanese Embassy in Phnom Penh, told Kyodo News on Friday that Japanese companies investing in Cambodia are overwhelmingly engaged in labor-intensive manufacturing, mostly in the garment and shoe-making sectors.

3 Japanese MSDF ships on training cruise arrive in Cambodia

Three Japanese Maritime Self-Defense Force vessels on a training cruise docked in Cambodia on Monday. The three ships -- the Shimakaze, Shimayuki and Yamayuki -- with 106 cadet officers aboard will stay until Thursday. The vessels are led by Capt. Koji Yagi, commander of Escort Division 15 of the MSDF. Naoki Koga, operation officer of the Shimakaze, told Kyodo News that it is the first time for him as well as the cadets to visit Cambodia.

Cambodia attracted 4.2 million foreign tourists last year

Cambodia attracted 4.2 million foreign tourists last year, an increase of 17.5 percent over the previous year, according to government statistics released Friday. A total of 4,210,165 foreign tourists visited Cambodia in 2013 against 3,584,307 in 2012. In 2003, by comparison, Cambodia received only 701,014 foreign tourists, earning $347 million. Ten years later, earnings from the tourism sector shot up to $2.5 billion, according to the data.

Cambodian police recover stolen Buddha relics

Cambodian police on Friday said they had recovered a golden urn said to contain relics of Buddha after it was snatched from a mountain shrine, sparking a nationwide manhunt. The disappearance of the urn -- believed to contain hair, teeth and bones of Buddha -- and several small statues came to light in December and prompted an outcry in the Buddhist-majority country. Authorities said they found the relics during a raid on Thursday at a house in the southern province of Takeo, about 130 kilometres (80 miles) away from the shrine in the former royal city of Udong.

Cambodia introduces public bus service in capital with Japan's help

Cambodia on Wednesday introduced a public bus service in Phnom Penh with Japanese assistance in a bid to reduce traffic congestion in the capital. Pa Socheatvong, governor of Phnom Penh, said the operation of the bus service will help reduce traffic congestion and improve public order. "This bus service will help reduce the increasing traffic congestion in the capital and contribute to the better public service and public order," he said at the launching ceremony.
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