All four candidates vying to succeed outgoing Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga have welcomed Taiwan's application to join the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership, a move sure to provoke China.

In an online town hall meeting on Friday ahead of Wednesday's presidential election of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party, vaccination minister Taro Kono, former Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida, former internal affairs minister Sanae Takaichi and former gender equality minister Seiko Noda expressed support for Taiwan's entry into the 11-member regional trade pact.

"We have to monitor whether (Taiwan) will be able to respond to the high-level rules (required to become a member) of the TPP," Kishida said.