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Countering China is top priority for Japan PM contender Kishida

Ex-foreign minister stresses Indo-Pacific partnership to stand against authoritarianism

Fumio Kishida, a former Japanese foreign minister and a contender to lead the ruling Liberal Democratic Party, speaks to Nikkei on Sept. 2. (Photo by Uichiro Kasai)

TOKYO -- Dealing with China would be a top priority in his government, Fumio Kishida, a contender to succeed Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga, told Nikkei, expressing "deep alarm" at Beijing's aggressive behavior on the diplomatic and economic fronts.

To protect "basic values such as freedom, democracy, the rule of law and human rights, we will work with those that share the same values, such as the U.S., Europe, India and Australia, to stand against authoritarian systems," Kishida said in an recent interview.

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