Oh dear Japan has a research project headed by Dr Nishina.
Dr. Nishina had established his own Laboratory at the Riken (the Institute for Physical and Chemical Research) in 1931 to study high-energy physics. He built his first 26 inch cyclotron in 1936, and another 60 inch 220 ton cyclotron in 1937. In 1938 Japan also purchased a cyclotron from the University of California, Berkeley.
In 1939 Dr. Nishina recognized the military potential of nuclear fission, and was worried that the Americans were working on a nuclear weapon which might be used against Japan. Indeed, in 1939, President Franklin D. Roosevelt started the first investigations into fission weapons in the United States, which eventually evolved into the massive Manhattan Project (the very laboratory from which Japan purchased its own cyclotron would become one of the major sites for weapons research). Dr. Nishina tried to match the U.S. research, and promoted the development of a nuclear weapon. In October 1940, Lt. General Takeo Yasuda of the Japanese army finally decided that such a weapon was feasible and practical, and the Japanese atomic program started in July 1941 under the guidance of Dr. Nishina.
So considering its already been underway for several decades yes and probably with ten years .