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Wednesday, 13 May, 1998, 14:10 GMT 15:10 UK
Japan suspends India aid
Japanese peace protest over India's nuclear testing
Japanese peace activists protest against Indian nuclear testing
Before India announced its latest nuclear tests on Wednesday, Japan said it was suspending aid to India, excluding humanitarian support, in protest against Monday's underground tests.

According to Prime Minister Ryutaro Hashimoto, Tokyo will suspend its 3.5 bn yen annual grant aid to India.

A decision on Japanese loans to India, which reach around 133 bn yen each year, is also being made.

Tokyo has also refused to host a meeting on international aid for India scheduled to be held in Japan this year.

India counters criticism

The Indian government earlier moved to counter the widespread international criticism it incurred after conducting the first three nuclear tests.

The Prime Minister, Atal Behari Vajpayee, wrote to leaders of the worlds' major powers to explain the reasons for the tests.

He insisted that India was committed to nuclear disarmament, but emphasised that the country's security requirements would remain paramount.

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