By 1944 Japan’s war was going from bad to worse. Among the aircraft developed in response was a close air support light bomber featuring brand-new jet engine technology
By the summer of 1944, the Pacific war had turned decisively against Japan. Saipan had fallen, the battle of the Philippine Sea inflicting a devastating blow on her naval air and surface forces. Guam and Tinian followed, while the United States prepared to attack the Philippines, closing in on the home islands.
During that torrid period the Imperial Japanese Naval Air Service conceived several new air weaponry programmes. These were mostly ‘special attack’ aircraft, to be used in suicide missions opposing a feared future invasion of native soil. But the projects also grew to include a radical single-seat attack bomber utilising two home-grown jet engines: the Nakajima Kikka.