Japan close to making nuclear bombs in WWII

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The United States recently demanded Japan return the 300 kg weapon grade uranium it had borrowed for the purpose of scientific research during the Cold War, sparking international concern regarding Japan's nuclear capabilities.

Japan's recent urges to develop nuclear weapons evokes the memories of its similar plans during World War II.

Japan, through its bold nuclear power plant projects, has amassed large amounts of nuclear material capable of being turned into bombs. The Western media has already speculated Japan now possesses more than 40 tons of plutonium as it is becoming an invisible yet major nuclear power.

Japan will not encounter any technological obstacles in the manufacturing of nuclear bombs and its intentions to develop such weapons are in fact well-known. This thinking has already been reflected in numerous top Japanese politicians' remarks that the government should give the green light to any form of nuclear weaponry.

Most people would assume Japan's nuclear ambition originates from the Hiroshima and Nagasaki bombings in World War II, but in fact Japan already showed its own nuclear intentions during that very same war.

Shortly after German scientists Otto Hahn and Fritz Strassmann discovered nuclear fission, physicists in developed countries, including those from Japan, soon realised its military significance. Yoshio Nishina, a prominent Japanese physicist, hence proposed military applications based on this discovery.

In 1940, the Japanese military deemed it feasible to build nuclear bombs. Soon after, in May of 1941, Japanese Minister of War Hideki Tojo approved the "Report on producing uranium bombs," outlining related research headed by Yoshio Nishina. The Imperial Japanese Navy in 1942 started a similar nuclear plan entitled the "F Project," named after fission, sponsored by Kyoto Imperial University.

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