Former Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida, a contender in a fast-approaching LDP presidential election that will effectively pick the country’s next leader, unveiled a raft of diplomatic and foreign policy initiatives Monday — including measures that would tackle China’s growing assertiveness near Japan as well as its alleged human rights abuses.

Kishida, taking a page from U.S. President Joe Biden’s multilateral approach to dealing with China, called for Tokyo to work even more closely with Washington and other "like-minded" democracies in confronting Beijing.

The country’s longest-serving top diplomat, who was once regarded as the heir apparent to former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, characterized Japan as being on the “front lines” of the Sino-U.S. standoff. Still, he dismissed concerns of the two sides slipping into a new Cold War, calling the situations with China and the former Soviet Union vastly different.