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Taro Kono and Fumio Kishida, two of the four candidates for president of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party, each said Saturday they are open to holding talks with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un to resolve the issue of Pyongyang’s abductions of Japanese citizens decades ago.

“The issue can’t be resolved without holding a summit meeting,” said Kono, administrative reform minister.

Kishida, former chairman of the LDP’s Policy Research Council, said that Japan “needs to consider all possible measures including a summit meeting” to address the issue.

They made the remarks during a debate that included all four candidates that was hosted by the Japan National Press Club.

The other candidates are former internal affairs minister Sanae Takaichi and Seiko Noda, the party’s executive acting secretary-general.

On China’s increasing military pressure on Taiwan, Takaichi stressed the need to prepare for a possible emergency.

Kono said that the possibility of China’s invasion of Taiwan cannot be ruled out. “It’s necessary to let China know that the international community is strongly determined not to let anything happen” in Taiwan, he said.

“First, countries should cooperate to solve the issue peacefully,” Kishida said of the Taiwan situation.

Noda said that Japan’s response is important given its strong economic ties with China.

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