US had poison gas plan

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 06 August, 1995, 12:00am
UPDATED : Sunday, 06 August, 1995, 12:00am

THE United States drew up plans for a poison gas attack on Japan in 1945 which could have killed five million people, according to secret documents uncovered in Washington.

The plan, which we report on Page 9 today, shows that the US military chose 50 urban and industrial targets.

The biggest attack was to have been on an area of Tokyo inhabited by almost one million people.

Four different kinds of gas were to be used, with 'refresher attacks' every six days until the winter frosts began.

The dropping of the first atomic bombs on Hiroshima, 50 years ago today, and then on Nagasaki, followed by the Japanese surrender, made the gas plan redundant.

But the US Defence Department kept its existence secret until today, because of possible political implications.