The 1945 Radiation Surveys of Hiroshima Conducted by Japanese Scientists


Contrary to post war propaganda, the nuclear age did not commence in August 1945. Nor was this age an American invention.

The race to more completely understand the forces locked within the atom commenced in 1932. In that year James Chadwick confirmed the existence of the neutron with atomic nuclei.(See “The Existence of a Neutron”, J. Chadwick, 10.1098/rspa.1932.0112 Proc. R. Soc. Lond. 1 June 1932, vol. 136 no. 830 692-708, (full text, free)

Though it is a fact of history that the USA first manufactured nuclear piles and nuclear weapons, it is also a fact that radiation sickness and other effects of radiation had been studied in the course of medicine world wide long before 1945.

Within the sphere of nuclear physics, Japanese scientists, working with Bohr in Germany in the 1930s sought, similarly, to understand and define the nuclear forces. Chadwick ’s discovery compelled the view that a new force, the nuclear force, existed. This rendered the electromagnetic theories of atomic binding incomplete, to say the least.

In the immediate aftermath of the nuclear bombing of Hiroshima, Japanese scientists mounted repeated, comprehensive, coordinated surveys of the stricken city. These surveys would be repeated in Nagasaki.

The current paper follows the work of Professor Sakae Shimizu and the rest of the team from Kyoto University. This team mounted multiple surveys of Hiroshima and recorded their samples and results.

With the Occupation of Japan by the US, the work of the Japanese scientists was confiscated by General Farrell and his men.

Some of the reports and samples (including human remains taken to the USA in 1945) have been returned to Japan.

The report written by Prof. Shimizu has never been returned to Japan. It is past time that it was. Some years ago media reports indicated that Shimizu’s work lay unsorted and uncatalogued in the US Library of Congress.

A study of the 1945 Japanese work, as recalled by Prof. Shimizu in 1982, reveals a depth of scientific and medical knowledge alive in Japan at the time, which would, if widely known by the general public, embarrass to a greater or lesser extent, the post war claims of the USA.

No human is King of nuclear forces. The consequences of the use of nuclear forces were foreseeable in 1942. The human data held by E.O. Lawrence, gained in the pursuit of nuclear medicine from 1932 onward, show this is so. Iodine 131, Strontium 89 and Phosphorous 32 being three of the first artificial substances use by Lawrence’s medical researchers successively from the early 1930s on.

Professor Shimizu found phosphorous 32 to be of particular interest in the bones he retrieved from the ashes of the doomed city. He recalled in 1982 the amount of P32 he found to be induced in bone as neutron rays from the horrific weapon rendered the bone radioactive due to P32 induction.

It is little wonder that the Allies at the time concentrated on the blast effects of the bomb, diminishing the radiological consequences in comparison.

It is no surprise that controversy still rages in regard to the effects of radiation. Still today, nuclear victims report facts and effects which nuclear “authorities” claim to be propaganda of the enemy or opponent.

Paul Langley