Prime Minister Fumio Kishida on Saturday reiterated his eagerness to hold a summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un in an effort to swiftly resolve the issue of Japanese nationals abducted by Pyongyang decades ago.

"It's crucial for leaders to first form a relationship that allows for frank discussions," Kishida said at a rally in Tokyo aimed at securing the return of all abductees. "I'll make best efforts."

The prime minister also said that establishing fruitful relations between Japan and North Korea would be in the interest of both countries.