Japan submits resolution supporting Obama’s nuke-free world vision

Japan proposed Thursday that the U.N. General Assembly adopt a nuclear disarmament resolution, which specifically supports moves instigated by U.S. President Barack Obama with the aim of eventually achieving a nuclear-free world.

There are 41 sponsors of the resolution, including Japan and the United States, and a U.S. official indicated that the Americans, who had been consulting closely with Japan on the wording of the text, are likely to back it this time.

Japanese diplomats also confirmed that they had been working with their American counterparts on the text's final wording.

Resolutions calling for the elimination of nuclear weapons have been submitted by Japan and approved annually for 15 years since 1994.

But under the previous administration of President George W. Bush, the United States voted against past resolutions put forward by Japan for eight consecutive years.

The latest resolution is expected to be put to a vote at the assembly's first committee -- the Disarmament and International Security Committee -- during the last week of October.

This year the text introduced to the committee reflects recent positive moves made in the area of nuclear disarmament.

The draft text welcomes the ''recent global momentum of nuclear disarmament toward a world without nuclear weapons'' strengthened by world leaders.

The draft cites the United States and Russia, ''which currently together hold most of the nuclear weapons in the world.''

Obama and Russian President Dmitry Medvedev have pledged to work together to further reduce their nuclear arms and has been positively received and reflected accordingly.

The draft welcomes the Sept. 24 U.N. Security Council summit on nuclear nonproliferation and disarmament chaired by Obama.

The document calls for U.N. members to implement measures proposed under a resolution adopted following North Korea's second nuclear test on May 25, 2009, while urging Pyongyang to ''return immediately'' to the six-party talks to defuse its nuclear ambitions.

The draft, with a clause not seen in previous resolutions, ''stresses the importance of preventing nuclear terrorism and encourages every effort to secure all vulnerable nuclear and radiological material.''

(Distributed by Kyodo News on Oct. 15, 2009)