Hiroshima Mayor Takashi Hiraoka on Tuesday sent a letter to Indian Ambassador Siddharth Singh protesting underground nuclear tests conducted the previous day.

The mayor said the tests were “extremely deplorable,” coming while an exhibition on nuclear destruction in Hiroshima and Nagasaki is being shown in New Delhi.

“The latest nuclear tests (come after) a series of precritical nuclear tests conducted by the United States and Russia that show little faith in nuclear disarmament,” Hiraoka said in the letter. “India’s tests could heighten tensions in Asia and refuel a nuclear arms race in the region.”

Meanwhile, some 30 citizens staged a sit-in during light drizzle at Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park to protest the tests. Some of them said India should realize the dangers of nuclear fallout.

In the morning, Nagasaki Mayor Itcho Ito personally visited the Indian Embassy in Tokyo and handed over a letter of protest. “It was such a shock,” the mayor said after leaving the embassy. “I can’t express in words what a shock it is.”

Ito said he lodged a “strong protest” with the Indian government over the tests, which he called “an outrage that ravages the wishes of victims and citizens” in Nagasaki.

Tokyo Gov. Yukio Aoshima mailed a protest letter to the Indian prime minister via the Indian Embassy in Tokyo. The letter calls the tests extremely regrettable and says they run counter to “the wish” of the international community that nuclear arms be abolished.

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