Jiji Press KYOTO (Jiji Press) — Kyoto University on Friday made public part of Nobel prize-winning physicist Hideki Yukawa’s diary in which he mentioned a fallout incident caused by a U.S. hydrogen bomb test at Bikini Atoll in 1954.
In a diary entry dated March 16, 1954, he wrote that the Japanese tuna fishing boat Fukuryu Maru No. 5, contaminated by the radioactive fallout, “returned home, covered with pure white ash.”
“Crew members with burns were examined and were presumed to have hydrogen-bomb sickness,” he continued.
The United States carried out the hydrogen-bomb test at the Pacific atoll on March 1, 1954. On March 16 the same year, it emerged that the Fukuryu Maru crew had been irradiated.
Yukawa “made it a habit to write facts in the diary in a calm manner,” said Keio University professor emeritus Michiji Konuma, 87, who analyzed the diary of the first Japanese Nobel laureate.
For Yukawa, the year of 1954 was “a turning point,” Konuma said, adding that from that time, the scientist grew engaged in activities to eliminate nuclear weapons.
In an entry dated Sept. 23, 1954, Yukawa wrote, “There was a report that Aikichi Kuboyama, a victim of the deadly fallout from Bikini, has died.”
Newly disclosed diary entries also showed that Yukawa contributed to the major Japanese daily Mainichi Shimbun an article whose title can be translated as “Nuclear Power and Humankind at a Turning Point.”
Another part of Yukawa’s diary, disclosed by Kyoto University in December last year, said that in 1945, he attended meetings of an atomic bomb development project commissioned by the now-defunct Imperial Japanese Navy.Speech