In August 1945, the U.S. dropped atom bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Now, as Japan and the rest of the world prepare to mark seven decades since the end of World War II in the Pacific, new evidence has emerged about the Japanese military's own secret program to build a nuclear weapon.
A retired professor at the state-run Kyoto University recently discovered a blueprint at the school's former Radioisotope Research lab, Japan's Sankei newspaper and other local media reported recently.
The notebooks were related to research work by Bunsaku Arakatsu, a professor at the university whom Sankei said was asked by the Japanese navy to develop an atomic bomb during the war.
Also found were drawings of a turbine-based centrifuge apparently to be used for the study of uranium enrichment. It was dated March 1945. Another blueprint was found of a centrifuge that a Japanese company, Tokyo Keiki, was producing, with a notation indicating the device was scheduled to be completed Aug. 19, 1945 — four days after Japan announced that it was surrendering.