The National Bank of Cambodia has released new collector coins which are in observance of the 70th anniversary of formal diplomatic relations between the Kingdom of Cambodia and the Empire of Japan. Formal diplomatic relations between the two countries were established on the acquisition of Cambodian independence from France on the 9th November 1953. Japan became one of the first countries to recognise Cambodian independence and its kingdom, led by King Norodom Sihanouk, was intermittently the country’s head of state from 1953 until his last abdication in 2004. King Nordom Sihanouk was succeeded by Norodom Sihamoni, his eldest son born to him and Queen Consort Monineath. Over the years, the two nations have enjoyed a close relationship built on respect and cooperation for the past 70 years.
During the difficult years of Khmer Rouge rule from 1975 to 1979, also known as “the killing fields,” the friendship between Cambodia and Japan was put to the test, with few countries able to maintain any direct connection with the-then fanatically agrarian government. An essential component of the two countries’ diplomatic relations has been the exchange of cultural elements between Japan and Cambodia. This became especially important after the defeat of the Khmer regime and the toll of destruction, which was made evident. The preservation and repair of Cambodia’s historical sites, especially the Angkor Wat temple complex, was greatly assisted by Japan.
The Paris Peace Accords, which helped put an end to the Cambodian Civil War in 1992, included Japan as a crucial player and ally. Today, the diplomatic ties between the two countries remain strong, with Japan emerging as one of Cambodia’s most prominent investors. In addition, Cambodia and Japan have collaborated on several recent cultural projects. In May 2010, King Sihamoni became the first Cambodian monarch to visit Japan since the restoration of the kingdom. He has since visited Japan on three other occasions in December 2014, April 2018, and most recently in October 2019 for the enthronement of Emperor Naruhito. In honour of the king’s birthday in May 2010, Japan’s Emperor bestowed the collar and grand cordon of the Supreme Order of the Chrysanthemum. In reciprocation, Crown Prince Naruhito paid a visit to Cambodia in June 2012 at the invitation of HM King Sihamoni and the prime minister, where he spent three days in the kingdom and visited Angkor Wat in Siem Reap province.
The silver Proof and colour coins are produced by the Mint of Japan at their facilities in Osaka on behalf of the National Bank of Cambodia. The obverse side depicts the scenery of the Bayon Temple, a richly decorated Khmer temple related to Buddhism at Angkor in Cambodia, built in the late 12th or early 13th century. Above the image of the temple is the commemorative inscription ៧០ឆ្នាំ មិត្តភាពកម្ពុជា-ជប៉ុន (“70 years of Cambodia – Japan Friendship”). To the left is the year of release in Cambodian numerals ២០២៣ (“2023”) with the denomination ៥០០០ រៀល and 5000 Riels shown both in Cambodian and English text. The reverse side includes a colour-replicated image of the official anniversary logo designed by Mr. Sroeun Menglong, a student from Cambodia. The design incorporates the red and blue of the national flags of both countries; the number seven is designed to resemble “Jahva,” which is used as a part of the traditional design found on the roofs of temples, palaces, churches, and pagodas etc. The number zero represents the cherry blossom or Sakura, the national flower of Japan. Above and around the logo is the text ព្រះរាជាណាចក្រកម្ពុជា Kingdom of Cambodia with the year of release, 2023, placed below the primary design.
|.925 Silver||20 g||35 mm||Proof||
Available from the 6th October, each coin is encapsulated and presented in a custom case accompanied by a certificate of authenticity. For additional information, please click here.
For a list of international dealers, please click here.