Prime Minister Fumio Kishida has called for dialogue with China as he seeks to find common ground in opposing the threat and use of nuclear weapons in a message to a forum on Sino-Japanese relations that began Thursday in Beijing, organizers said.

Kishida said during a banquet on Wednesday evening for those taking part in the forum that international cooperation is needed to prevent the use of nuclear weapons by nations that seek to "change the status quo by force," noting that Beijing, a nuclear power, has an "important responsibility to ensure peace and prosperity" in Asia.

The annual forum, which is the first in-person meeting to be held in four years due to the COVID-19 pandemic, is scheduled to discuss issues related to Japan-China cooperation, with working together to prevent the use of nuclear weapons among the topics.