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Japanese A-bomb


Unswerving cyclist
14 Mar 2002
I found the following story at Independent News (Aug.5, 2002):

Japan was 'days away from test' of A-bomb

By David McNeill in Tokyo

Japan's secret plans to build its own atom bomb have resurfaced with the uncovering of a dossier smuggled out of the country at the end of the Second World War.

The papers, containing crude diagrams for a small nuclear weapon, were part of a six-year effort by military scientists to make the country the world's first nuclear power.

According to yesterday's Asahi newspaper, the American widow of a Japanese researcher, who fled to the US with the document in 1945, has returned it to the Institute of Physical and Chemical Research, where he worked during the war. The researcher, Kazuo Kuroda, who later became a professor at the University of Arkansas, kept the document secret for half a century until his death in America in April last year.

The liberal-left Asahi, which seems to be the only Japanese media organisation to have picked up the story, says the military ordered the destruction of the plans the day before Japan surrendered on 15 August 1945. Scientists at the institute, however, thought this was "a waste" and decided to save at least part of the plans by giving them to Mr Kuroda.

Although suppressed in postwar Japanese education, the race by imperial scientists to develop the bomb has long been the stuff of wartime legend. Scientists at secret bases in Korea worked furiously to make a viable weapon before abandoning the facilities to the advancing Red Army.

Several historians have claimed Japan was days away from testing an atomic weapon in Nagoya when Hiroshima was obliterated by one American bomb on 6 August 1945.

The discovery of the dossier comes as Hiroshima and Nagasaki, which was bombed on 9 August, are preparing to commemorate the deaths of more than 250,000 nuclear victims.

Copyright Independent News
I recently found an article that was in the Japan Times. It wrote about this same situation but in different details.

I think it was more of an interview though, I packaged it up with my books and I'm not to willing to dig through boxes to find it again but the gist was:

Germany denied Japan sharing their Plutonium. But the researchers had basically finished all their plans and were quite sure that it would work. They also stated that they had no doubts that they wanted it to be used. They were not proud of that fact but being war time perceptions change.

The imperial military were also trying to figure out different ways to save Japan like with ballons to send over to drop bombs and what not. Towards the end of the war Japan was pretty much resource exhausted and the Kamikaze were basically their last chance for glory ...

I was very surprised to see such an article which is why I clipped it out and saved it.
I had no idea that Japan had a nuclear program in WWII. A kamikaze pilot with a nuclear device would have been some sort of threat.
ooops, small correction. I found that article that I had clipped from about 4-5 years ago.

Yeah, it was pretty freaky when I read that article.
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