Japan has emphasized China as a threat in escalating regional tensions as Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's government tries to convince the public of the need to pass legislation to give Japan's military a greater role.

The Cabinet on Tuesday approved the report, delayed for more than a week as Abe's ruling party panel demanded mention of additional examples of China's "one-sided" maritime activities, such as undersea gas and oil development in the East China Sea.

The report raised concerns over China's recent reclamation work in the South China Sea, saying it escalated regional tensions.

Abe's ruling coalition has been pushing to pass highly contentious legislation allowing Japan's Self-Defense Force to fight for foreign militaries even when it is not under attack, while expanding its role in international peacekeeping.