PHNOM PENH, Dec. 17 (Kyodo) — Japanese auto parts maker Yazaki Corp. opened a wire harness factory in Cambodia on Monday, which President Yasuhiko Yazaki said will create about 600 jobs in the country immediately.

The $24 million plant is in Koh Kong Province about 270 kilometers southwest of Phnom Penh.

Speaking at the opening ceremony, Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen said the new plant will contribute to "socio-economic development by promoting the livelihoods of Cambodian people."

He added Cambodia is welcoming more investment from Japan and noted Minebea Co. opened a new plant in the capital a year ago and last week Japanese retailer Aeon Co. broke ground in Phnom Penh for a major shopping complex that will include hospital facilities.

Yazaki said the new factory will use "sophisticated technologies" and is expected to employ as many as 2,000 people by 2015.

Government statistics show only 15 Japanese companies invested in Cambodia from 1994 to 2009 with a total capital of $147 million, but investment is picking up with five companies making investments worth $35 million in 2010 and 19 making investments worth $66 million in 2011.

In 2012, Japanese total investment is expected to top $300 million.