Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said Thursday his administration will stand firm against China over its unilateral exploration for natural gas in contested waters in the East China Sea.

Abe was commenting on proposals issued by a Liberal Democratic Party panel calling on the government to take a hard line.

"The handling of the Chinese side comes in violation of their commitment and it stands to reason" that Beijing should remove its drilling facility in the area, Abe said. "We as the government will firmly address the matter."