Prime Minister Fumio Kishida pledged Monday that Japan will "take the lead" in efforts to achieve a carbon-free Asia as he spoke at a multinational forum in Tokyo focused on discussing decarbonization measures.

Kishida said Japan will try to create a huge "decarbonization market" capable of attracting investment from around the world to Asia, adding that reducing carbon dioxide emissions is a "common challenge" for the region.

A joint statement issued after the first-ever summit of the Asia Zero Emission Community (AZEC) said the leaders agreed to pursue decarbonization through "diverse" and "practical" pathways, depending on the "circumstance and different starting point of each country."