The use of the X-rays from the device to pump a laser is also a common suggestion, most notably used in David Weber’s “Honor Harrington” series. The same drawbacks that apply to conventional nuclear weapons apply to these devices, though to a lesser extent. Much of the information regarding this concept is classified, which has led to conflicting views of its effectiveness. Depending on the source, the effective range is between 100 km and several thousand kilometers. Particularly at the lower end of this range, the utility is questionable. The device gains a few seconds of standoff, but still has the other disadvantages of conventional nuclear weapons. At longer ranges, particularly with low-end defenses, the idea becomes feasible.
Over the next six months, the XXI Bomber Command under LeMay firebombed 67 Japanese cities. The firebombing of Tokyo , codenamed Operation Meetinghouse , on March 9–10 killed an estimated 100,000 people and destroyed 16 square miles (41 km 2 ) of the city and 267,000 buildings in a single night. It was the deadliest bombing raid of the war, at a cost of 20 B-29s shot down by flak and fighters.  By May, 75% of bombs dropped were incendiaries designed to burn down Japan's "paper cities". By mid-June, Japan's six largest cities had been devastated.  The end of the fighting on Okinawa that month provided airfields even closer to the Japanese mainland, allowing the bombing campaign to be further escalated. Aircraft flying from Allied aircraft carriers and the Ryukyu Islands also regularly struck targets in Japan during 1945 in preparation for Operation Downfall.  Firebombing switched to smaller cities, with populations ranging from 60,000 to 350,000. According to Yuki Tanaka , the . fire-bombed over a hundred Japanese towns and cities.  These raids were also devastating. 
The American government was aware from intelligence intercepts of the chilling implications of these Japanese defensive plans. Intelligence reports indicated that the Japanese would probably be able to muster two million troops and eight thousand aircraft for the defence of the four home islands against a traditional amphibious invasion. The dispersal of these military resources across Japan, and their careful concealment, would provide the Americans with no opportunity to destroy them from the air. The Ketsugo policy placed heavy reliance on suicide attacks on the American troops and their covering warships. For this purpose, several thousand aircraft would be adapted for suicide attacks. Other methods of suicide attack being developed included dynamite-filled "crash boats", guided human torpedoes, guided human rocket bombs (similar to the "Baka" rocket plane used against American ships at Okinawa), and specially trained ground suicide units carrying explosives. In addition, the invading Americans would have to face a civilian population drilled in guerilla tactics.