Former Japanese Prime Minister Yasuo Fukuda recently expressed his opposition to the theory that the COVID-19 pandemic originated in China, Sankei News reported.
In a speech on Wednesday, Fukuda said that the China origin of COVID-19 was "a rumor."
He expressed his understanding about the Chinese side in terms of addressing the rumor.
He also insisted on holding a Japan-China summit, saying that "it is necessary to build a new relationship of trust" regarding bilateral relations with China.
The former prime minister questioned the ruling Liberal Democratic Party's pledge to increase defense costs by more than two percent of gross domestic product.
"If the surrounding countries are enemies, no matter how hard you try, you will not be able to protect (Japan). It is necessary not to create enemies," Fukuda said.