Japan will emphasize the importance of boosting collaboration with the United States and the Philippines to counter China's assertive behavior in the Indo-Pacific region, a draft of its annual foreign policy report showed Thursday.

The Diplomatic Bluebook for 2024 will also underscore that Tokyo "cannot afford to waste even a moment" to solve the long-standing issue of North Korea's past abductions of Japanese nationals as the victims' families continue to age, according to the draft obtained by Kyodo News.

"China has been continuing and intensifying its attempts to unilaterally change the status quo by force" and "military activities" in waters surrounding Japan, including the South and East China seas, the draft paper said.

Such moves by China have put Japan in "the most severe and complex" security environment and should be addressed by collaborating with like-minded nations not only its close security ally the United States but also the Philippines, Australia and South Korea, the draft said.

With Beijing's territorial claims and expanding military activities in mind, Japan, the United States and the Philippines have been strengthening security collaboration in recent years.

Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida is set to meet with U.S. President Joe Biden and Philippine President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. on April 11 in Washington, the first-ever trilateral summit for the countries. They are expected to agree on deeper cooperation.

In the draft, Japan also urged China to immediately lift its blanket import ban on Japanese seafood products, which was introduced following the release of treated radioactive wastewater from Japan's disaster-hit Fukushima nuclear power plant into the sea that began in August.

As for the abductions by North Korea in the 1970s and 1980s, Japan renewed its pledge to make efforts in realizing the return of all the victims as soon as possible, according to the draft.

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