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3. Japanese Nuclear Weapons Program - Chapter 3 JAPANESE...

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Chapter 3 JAPANESE NUCLEAR WEAPONS PROGRAM © M. Ragheb 9/2/2007 3.1 INTRODUCTION Japan, like Germany, failed to develop an atomic weapon or “genshi bakudan” during World War II, even though some unsubstantiated sensationalist accounts claimed that it succeeded in building one that was tested and detonated on August 12, 1945 near Hungnam in North Korea, shortly after the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. The surrender of Japan three days later on August 15, 1945 would have halted any supposedly existing effort. Japan’s effort had an important impact on the post war period where both Germany and Japan opted to develop civilian nuclear technology to the level that they have both become latent nuclear weapons states. While forsaking the actual manufacturing of nuclear devices and the exorbitant cost of maintaining nuclear weapons stockpiles, Germany and Japan possess the technical and resource capability to develop nuclear weaponry on a short time scale should either culture feel threatened at some future date. 3.2 JAPANESE EFFORT Fig. 1: Japanese stamp commemorating Yoshio Nishina. The head of the Japanese project is reported to have been renowned scientist
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