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With the official opening Friday of Japan House in Los Angeles, the last of three planned facilities worldwide, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s government will now step up efforts to further extend the country’s soft power and strengthen its “strategic” global communication.

Along with familiarizing foreign people with Japan, Abe’s government plans to use the facilities in Sao Paulo, London and Los Angeles to better communicate with the world on sensitive issues such as Japan’s perception of wartime history and its position on territorial disputes with China, South Korea and Russia. The LA facility — which, unlike an embassy or other diplomatic establishment, can be accessed by anyone without prior appointment — is a cultural promotion center with exhibits featuring the nation’s cutting-edge technology, arts and regional specialties, as well as a library, hall and restaurant serving Japanese food and sake.

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