A U.N. committee adopted Wednesday a Japan-sponsored draft resolution calling for the total elimination of nuclear arms, prompting a divided response from the five permanent members of the U.N. Security Council.
In the vote, 152 countries supported the resolution, while four including council members China and Russia opposed it, with 30 abstaining.
Of the five major nuclear-weapon states, Britain and the United States co-sponsored the document while France, which abstained last year, voted in favor of it.
The draft resolution is expected to be formally adopted at the U.N. General Assembly in December.
"This resolution, as one of the concrete measures to realize a world without nuclear weapons, provides common ground with which all states can work together and thereby bridges the gap between nuclear-weapon states and non-nuclear-weapon states," Japanese Foreign Minister Toshimitsu Motegi said in a statement.
In consideration of the United States, which provides Japan with nuclear deterrence, the resolution failed to mention the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons that took effect in January.
The resolution includes phrasing about "bearing in mind" the fact that "various approaches exist towards the realization of a world without nuclear weapons and that confidence-building among all States is essential to this end."
The document also uses the word "recognizing" in reference to the "catastrophic humanitarian consequences that would result from the use of nuclear weapons," an expression included in the previous year's resolution and weaker than the "deep concern" mentioned in 2019.