Japan will lease additional land next year to expand a military base in Djibouti as a counterweight to what it sees as growing Chinese influence in the region, three Japanese government sources said.

China is seeking closer ties with African nations that could help it gain access to natural resources and provide new markets. Beijing said late last year it will pump $60 billion into development projects on the continent, cancel some debt and help boost agriculture.

Earlier this year, Japan also pledged to increase its support to infrastructure, education and health care projects in Africa, committing an extra $30 billion in public and private support.