Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida and Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman agreed Thursday to bolster cooperation on stabilizing global crude oil markets after Russia's invasion of Ukraine sent prices surging.

Kishida expressed hope for Saudi Arabia's "strong leadership" in bringing calm to the markets amid supply concerns, the prime minister told reporters after speaking by phone with the crown prince.

Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida meets the press at his official residence in Tokyo on March 17, 2022. (Kyodo)

They also confirmed close coordination in responding to the crisis in Ukraine, Kishida said.

Saudi Arabia is a major oil exporter to Japan, along with the United Arab Emirates.

Earlier this week, Kishida also asked the UAE to make "proactive contributions" as an oil producer and agreed with Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan during phone talks that the two countries will jointly help crude oil markets stabilize.

Soaring fuel and food prices have prompted calls for the Japanese government to take action to ease the financial burden on households when the economy has yet to fully recover from a slump caused by COVID-19 restrictions.

Separately, Kishida held phone talks with Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta on Thursday to discuss Russia's aggression in Ukraine.

The two leaders agreed to cooperate in dealing with the crisis and promoting reform of the U.N. Security Council, Kishida said. Kenya is currently a nonpermanent member of the council that has permanent member Russia.