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Prime Minister Ryutaro Hashimoto on Wednesday afternoon urged Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif not to conduct a nuclear test, according to government officials.

In a telephone conversation, Hashimoto requested that Sharif continue to practice the utmost self-restraint, the officials said. Hashimoto made the phone call in response to reports that Pakistan is making final preparations for an underground nuclear test, they said.

Sharif informed Hashimoto that Pakistan is in a difficult situation but it is maintaining self-restraint. He was quoted as saying that the domestic situation is too inflamed to persuade the Pakistani public that a nuclear test should be ruled out. India, Pakistan’s neighbor, conducted five nuclear tests earlier this month, arguing that its “neighbors” could pose military threats.

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