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Protest letter against the India nuclear test (May 12, 1998)

May 12, 1998

The Honorable Atal Behari Vajpayee
Prime Minister of India

His Excellency Mr. Siddharth Singh
Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary
of India
Embassy of India in Japan

Letter of Protest

Yesterday, your country implemented three underground nuclear tests in Pokharan in the State of Rajasthan. The city of Hiroshima finds your action profoundly regrettable, especially coming as it did so soon after the strong reaction to the Hiroshima-Nagasaki exhibitions in Mumbai and New Delhi. On behalf of the citizens of Hiroshima, I hereby strongly protest.

India has long taken a positive stance toward the abolition of nuclear weapons. During the negotiations toward the adoption of the CTBT by the Conference on Disarmament in Geneva, you demanded that the nuclear powers set a concrete deadline for abolishing their nuclear weapons. In December last year, you were among the countries that signed a resolution put forward by Malaysia and 45 other countries demanding that negotiations begin in 1998 toward a total ban on nuclear weapons.

Now, despite these positive efforts, you have conducted nuclear tests of your own. Though the context of your testing is one in which the US and Russia have conducted repeated subcritical nuclear tests and in other ways are clearly not demonstrating the good faith effort toward nuclear disarmament they promised in the Nuclear Non-proliferation Treaty (NPT), you have nevertheless committed an act that can only heighten tensions in Asia and increase the danger of reigniting a nuclear arms race.

We demand that you immediately halt your nuclear testing. We request that, rather than seeking nuclear weapons for the narrow security interests of India alone, you open your ear to international public opinion demanding a world free from nuclear weapons, and we invite you to work in concert with the cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki for total nuclear abolition.

Takashi Hiraoka
Mayor of Hiroshima


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