The government has filed a protest against China's applications to have what it says are historical documents on the 1937 Nanking Massacre and Japan's wartime "comfort women" brothel system registered in the U.N. archive program, Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga said Wednesday.

During his daily news conference, Suga lashed out at Beijing for "politically exploiting" sensitive historical issues "when Japan and China need to make efforts to improve the bilateral relationship."

Beijing "is trying to unnecessarily play up (the two issues). It's extremely regrettable," Suga said. "We filed a protest and requested (Beijing) to withdraw the application."