Prime Minister Fumio Kishida on Thursday urged Russian President Vladimir Putin to find a diplomatic solution that is "acceptable" to the countries concerned amid fears that Russia may invade neighboring Ukraine.

Kishida told reporters after the 25-minute teleconference with Putin that Japan opposes the use of force to change the status quo and will continue to monitor the Ukraine-Russia situation with "grave concern." The two leaders agreed to continue dialogue over the crisis in the eastern European country.

Their first conversation on the Ukraine crisis took place as the United States and major European nations, such as France and Germany, have been stepping up diplomacy to avert a further escalation of the situation.