The Foreign Ministry plans to set up new cultural centers in London, Los Angeles and Sao Paulo in fiscal 2016 to spread information on Japan's culture, technology and diplomatic policies abroad.

The facilities, called Japan House communication centers, are intended to promote Japanese culture through animation and comic book displays, restaurants, and shops selling regional specialties, ministry officials said.

If the related expenses in the fiscal 2015 budget are approved, the ministry will open the facilities as early as March 2016. Additional Japan Houses centers are envisioned for Hong Kong, Jakarta and Istanbul.

The ministry hopes the facilities, to be set up in busy urban areas and headed by local figures, will sway global opinion toward Japan in its various disputes with China and South Korea.