Prime Minister Fumio Kishida pledged Saturday in Nagasaki to make more efforts to achieve a world free of nuclear weapons, saying that it is a "common ideal of humanity."

In his speech during a session of the International Group of Eminent Persons for a World without Nuclear Weapons, Kishida said, "The divisions in the international community over denuclearization are deepening," with Russia's invasion of Ukraine apparently in mind.

The framework was set up under an initiative by Kishida, a lawmaker from a constituency in Hiroshima, the first city to be hit by a U.S. atomic bomb. Kishida has pressed his vision of a nuclear-free world since taking office in October 2021.

"We must engage in discussions without hesitation and advance realistic and practical efforts to enhance the international community's momentum toward nuclear disarmament above all else," Kishida said.

Before the speech, Kishida met with atomic bomb survivors in Nagasaki, which was devastated by an atomic bomb on Aug. 9, 1945.

The forum, which held its first meeting in December 2022 in Hiroshima, mainly consists of scholars who are preparing proposals for the 2026 review conference of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty. The previous gathering took place in April in Tokyo.

Kishida hosted the Group of Seven summit in Hiroshima in May amid concern that Russia might use nuclear weapons during its war against Ukraine.