Japan-proposed disarmament resolution to be put to vote Wed.

A Japan-proposed U.N. resolution for disarmament will be put to a vote Wednesday, a U.N. diplomatic source said Monday.

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

Given a record 72 co-sponsors as of Monday, this year's resolution, which Japan submitted in mid-October, is most likely to be adopted by the General Assembly's First Committee, which is in charge of disarmament issues, the source said.

The previous record number of co-sponsors for Japanese proposals was 58, marked in 2008. Given recent global moves toward disarmament, a record number of U.N. members may vote in favor of the resolution, eclipsing the previous record of 169 countries in 2006.

If the First Committee adopts the nonbinding resolution, it will be presented during a General Assembly plenary session and should be adopted, as it usually is, without revision.

The United States, under the leadership of President Barack Obama, has become a sponsor of the latest resolution, for the first time. It is expected to vote in support of it for the first time in nine years.

Under the previous administration of George W. Bush, the United States voted against the Japanese proposals.

Among the other permanent U.N. Security Council members, Britain, France and Russia are poised to support the Japanese proposal and China has yet to clarify its position, the source said. Beijing has abstained from voting in recent years.

If China backs it, that will mark the first time since 1998 that all those five nuclear powers support a resolution.

The draft text of the resolution says the United Nations welcomes the ''recent global momentum of nuclear disarmament toward a world without nuclear weapons'' strengthened by world leaders, according to the source.

Obama and Russian President Dmitry Medvedev have pledged to work together to further reduce their nuclear arms.

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

(Distributed by Kyodo News on Oct. 26, 2009)