Japan's Secret War by Robert K. Wilcox
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By Robert K. Wilcox

Years ago, I happened onto an important historical story. It’s relevant today. It explains why a small nation like North Korea can clash swords with much mightier America.  

The story in 1985, when my first book about it was published, was untold: Japan, known only as the victim of the first atomic bomb, had also tried to make one. They may actually have constructed and tested a nuclear device – but too late. The war ended and neighboring Russia seized Japan’s plants. After looting them, the Soviets turned the plants over to Kim il-sung’s newly-formed North Korea.

Russia, not coincidentally, became the second world power to possess an atomic bomb. Russia’s transfer of the plants to North Korea marked the real beginning of North Korea’s nuclear program, something little known. This is significant because in order to pin-point North Korea’s full arsenal of nukes and hiding places, threatened nations like the U.S., South Korea, and Japan must know exactly where all of them are. But that depends on knowing NK’s nuclear origins. For political reasons, that’s never been done. The Carter, Clinton and Obama Administrations were so keen on striking deals with North Korea, that they neglected these origins. Consequently, North Korea has been able to hide important targets should, in case of emergency, they ever need to be known.

When I wrote the first version of Secret War in 1985, it was largely attacked as untrue. Japan was solely a victim of the bomb. It had not tried to make one, wrote critics. Or if it did, it hadn’t gotten beyond the drawing board. It’s scientists weren’t good enough. They didn’t have the resources. There was prejudice in such statements, as well as political gain. But the critics couldn’t rebut those I interviewed in the Japanese program, or the many secret documents confirming the program, and its surprising achievements I unearthed in U.S. and Asian archives. Consequently, a second edition, expanding the story, was published in 1995.

Now, a fully-revised and greatly updated third edition of Japan’s Secret War will be published by Permuted Press. It will be available in early December – in time for the holidays. A Japanese edition of the new book debuted in Tokyo in July 2019. The new English edition is fully sourced and footnoted, and contains much new information, making it the most authoritative, comprehensive, and dramatic account of this secret history yet. And make no mistake, it’s dramatic. It’s told through the people who lived it. It’s already causing controversy in Japan.


REVIEWS for previous editions

From Historynet:
Japan’s Secret War is still spellbinding. It is intriguing and disturbing…Robert Wilcox deserves high praise for his meticulous research.”

From World War II in the Pacific: An Encyclopedia:
“One of the last secrets to come out of World War II” 

From Robert A. Clark, President International Association of Military Technology Historians:
“An outstanding Historical study of Japan’s Nuclear efforts!”


Japanese edition: https://tinyurl.com/y6qjlzdu

Index for Japan's Secret War