TOKYO - Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida said on Monday the country must issue government bonds to fund policies aimed at helping the public weather the hit from the coronavirus pandemic.

"Japan is still in a crisis situation. To protect people's lives and livelihood, we should decisively resort to government bond issuance to fund necessary policies," he said in a party debate ahead of a lower house election scheduled on Oct. 31.

(Reporting by Leika Kihara and Kantaro Komiya; Editing by Himani Sarkar)