Japan Close To Making Nuclear Bombs In WWII

The fact that Japan insists in developing nuclear weapons seems to bring back memories of quite similar plans during the Second World War. All the material Japan has been collecting until now, can easily be turned into bombs and what’s more, the media is speculating that Japan might have over 40 tons of plutonium, which although is invisible, it remains a major nuclear power.

It is also believed that Japan will not be stopped or even slowed down by any technological issues, when it comes to the production of nuclear bombs and their strong intentions of developing this kind of weapons. Several top Japanese politicians have said that the government should allow the development of any form of nuclear weaponry.

Although many people would think that Japan’s intentions of developing nuclear bombs come from memories of the Hiroshima and Nagasaki bombings in the Second World War, history says they already showed those intentions during the same conflict.

After the nuclear fission was discovered by German scientists Otto Hahn and Fritz Strassmann, many top researchers from developed countries realized their military significance. Among them was a brilliant Japanese physicist who proposed several plans of military applications using the nuclear fission discovery.

The “Report on producing uranium bombs,” was approved by the Japanese Minister of War Hideki Tojo in May 1941, followed by the “F Project”, which was named like this after fission, was initiated by the Imperial Japanese Navy in 1942 and financed by Kyoto Imperial University, the China.org.cn reports.

A year later, Nishina would have been able to start the developing of nuclear weaponry if it hadn’t been lacking uranium material, since all the necessary research was completed. Therefore, Japan turned to its axis ally, Germany, for help, giving them raw material and strategic resources from Japan’s Nazi occupied regions. The big problem of the operation was that neither Germany, nor Japan had long-ranged aircraft to transport the materials and transportation on the sea was too dangerous and risky, so there only option was to use submarines to transport the uranium.

In 1943, a German U-boat was sent to Japan, transporting one ton of uranium ore but it was sunk by the United States troops in the Malacca Strait. Germany and Japan continued with their plans of transporting uranium but they failed every time.

Their failure to develop atomic bombs after the Second World War was due to a lack of raw material, uranium and plutonium, materials they now possess in large quantities, after so many years of nuclear power plant development.

Ian Harvey

Ian Harvey is one of the authors writing for WAR HISTORY ONLINE