January 14, the completion ceremony of Neak Leung Bridge over National Road No.1 was held. As a result, the entire route of the Southern Economic Corridor linking Vietnam, Cambodia, and Thailand will be connected by land. Neak Leung Bridge, of which the construction has been underway by the Grant Aid of Japan (ODA), the ceremony was attended by Prime Minister Hun Sen and Deputy Prime Ministers, as well as Parliamentary Vice Foreign Minister Kazuyuki Nakane from Japan. The ceremony was held in a friendly atmosphere throughout, Nakane Parliamentary Minister said in the speech that “With the completion of this bridge, it will ease the transportation of Southern Economic Corridor and will lead to connectivity improvement”. Prime Minister Hun Sen expressed that the bridge looks like a bird extending its 2 wings flapping in the sky, and named it with Japanese word, “Tsubasa Bridge”. Then, he expressed his gratitude for all the cooperation ranging from the Japanese financial assistance to the construction and announced the launch of a new 500-riel banknote adding a design of “Tsubasa Bridge” as that proof. So far the “Kizuna Bridge” which was also built by Japan’s ODA was pictured in the 500-riel banknote, the “Tsubasa Bridge” was newly added next to it, and becomes a banknote that symbolizes the collaborative relationship between Cambodia and Japan. The construction work such as road pavement and installation of lighting equipment is underway from now on, and Tsubasa Bridge is expected to open officially before Khmer New Year in April.
This project is a large-scale project that was injected with huge funds of 11.94 billion yen, and naturally, it is required to exert a significant economic effect. The spot that becomes the only ferry transport and had been disconnected in the Southern Economic Corridor is replaced by Tsubasa Bridge, it can be expected to be also a big benefit for Japanese companies operating in Cambodia as the transport time is clear and shortened. In addition, besides logistics improvement, it will be boosting the growth of the country in many ways including further intensifying personnel exchanges.