New evidence of Japan’s atomic bomb program during World War II has been discovered and it shows the country was preparing to build the weapon as the end of the war neared. A retired Japanese professor discovered a blueprint and drawings for machines to enrich uranium dated March 1945. Tokyo burned documents about the program as the war was ending and the U.S. confiscated the rest. Scholars say Japan had the technical know-how to build a bomb but was starved for uranium, a rare natural resource not available in the archipelago. In May 1945, a German submarine carrying 1,200 pounds of uranium oxide was destined for Japan but surrendered to the U.S. after the fall of the Third Reich.
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