TOKYO — Filmmaker Michael Moore urged President Barack Obama on Monday not to expand the war in Afghanistan, as Washington prepares to announce a surge of US troops in the conflict-torn nation.

Moore, visiting Japan this week to promote his latest documentary "Capitalism: A Love Story," told reporters that he had sent Obama a message from his father, a World War II veteran.

"I passed on to him a personal request from my father and his Japanese friend: 'Mr. Obama, you do not know war. We both know war and want it no more'," he told reporters.

The activist director, whose latest movie targets corporate greed, held his first press conference in Japan at the Tokyo Stock Exchange, where he passionately discussed freedom and protection for the socially weak, and dished out harsh criticism against former US president George W. Bush.

Moore repeatedly praised the traditional values of Japan, but he criticised Tokyo for supporting Bush's policies, including by sending non-combat troops to Iraq and adopting pro-market economic policies.

Asked to offer a message to the Japanese public, Moore urged them to return to a "society of peace and respect."

"As much as I like America, quit being like us. Be Japan," he said.

Moore, visiting Japan for the first time, came to the press conference in a casual coat over a black sweat shirt and sweat pants, looking decidedly casual.

"The airline lost my luggage," he said, adding that one of his first stops in Tokyo was a clothing store popular with sumo wrestlers.

"Where are they going to find a store in Japan with clothes that fit me? I am partly in my pyjamas and partly in sumo attire," he said.