Prime Minister Fumio Kishida vowed Tuesday to prioritize policy aimed at surging energy and food prices exacerbated by Russia's war in Ukraine as the nation gears up for next month's Upper House election.

In a debate involving party leaders ahead of the July 10 House of Councilors election, Kishida said his government is not considering lowering the consumption tax rate from the current 10% or altering the ultraeasy monetary policy employed by the Bank of Japan.

"I will protect the lives of the people in Japan in the face of key issues, including the Russian invasion of Ukraine and rising prices," said Kishida, leader of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party.