Japan should expand foreign missions to vie with China, S. Korea: LDP

Japan's ruling Liberal Democratic Party will propose expanding diplomatic missions abroad to present Japan's views on controversial issues related to territory and perceptions of history to the international community, a summary of recommendations compiled by a party panel showed Monday.

The summary, which the panel on diplomatic strategy plans to release in June to influence the government budget for fiscal 2015, says Japan is "in the midst of a harsh environment," with the country at odds with China and South Korea over territorial and historical issues ahead of the 70th anniversary next year of the end of World War II.

The issues include the sovereignty of the Senkaku Islands in the East China Sea, which China claims and calls Diaoyu, and the wartime sexual slavery of women in Japanese military brothels, according to the document.

The proposal says the top staff at Japan's more than 200 foreign missions should spread understanding of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's strategy of "proactive pacifism," including his push to allow the country to exercise the right of collective self-defense.

The government should open more foreign missions, rather than closing them, as the number of Japanese diplomatic missions abroad is far behind that of China, the document says.