A local newspaper misrepresented a meeting between Prime Minister Hun Sen and his Japanese counterpart, Mr. Hun Sen said on Thursday, inviting Japanese Ambassador Kumamaru Yuji to clarify the accuracy of the offending article.
The comments appeared to be directed at The Cambodia Daily, which on Tuesday published an article about a meeting between Mr. Hun Sen and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on the sidelines of the Asia-Europe Meeting in Mongolia on Saturday.
Drawing from a statement released by Japan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the article reported that Mr. Abe told Mr. Hun Sen he judged an international tribunal verdict invalidating China’s sweeping territorial claims in the South China Sea to be “final and binding.” Parts of the waters are also claimed by the Philippines, Vietnam and other countries in the region. The story called Mr. Abe’s words an “apparent rebuke” of Cambodia’s position on the sea.
Just days after Cambodia refused to join other Asean nations in issuing a statement in support of the verdict, China pledged to furnish the government with more than half a billion dollars in aid through 2018—one of the largest grants ever awarded to Cambodia.
Speaking during the inauguration of a Japanese-funded water and sanitation project in Battambang province on Thursday, Mr. Hun Sen said that a local newspaper had misrepresented his conversation with Mr. Abe in Mongolia.

“It’s a bit sad