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Issues Surrounding the Japanese Attack on Pearl Harbor - Research Paper Example

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The Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor is a very important event in the history of wars in America in general and wars between America and Japan in particular. The Pearl Harbor attack is one of the few examples of wars in America in which the initiative to open the war has been taken by the enemy. …
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Issues Surrounding the Japanese Attack on Pearl Harbor
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Issues Surrounding the Japanese Attack on Pearl Harbor

Download file to see previous pages... This paper explores the issues surrounding the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor. Japan’s attack on Pearl Harbor was to deprive America of its naval strength so that Japan could easily expand into China and the Dutch East Indies. The nature of attack When the interests of a country are threatened, its government and military forces can go to any lengths to take measures to neutralize those threats. Same happened with Japan whose expansion in China was threatened by the placement of the oil embargo upon her by America. The US Military essentially served as a threat for Japan’s interests, and so Japan acted to neutralize them. History provides evidence that America herself has acted in similar ways to expand. For example, the Mexican people and the indigenous people of America were eradicated from the land so that the Americans could achieve their manifest destiny. Although the assassination of the American servicemen in the Pearl Harbor attack is tragic, yet the Pearl Harbor attack by Japan seems justified from an impartial standpoint. Lack of war declaration One argument that is consistently raised against Japan on the Pearl Harbor attack is that the attack was undeclared. Japan made a sneak attack rather than declaring a war formally simply because she wanted to win. It was not a kind of war in which Japan wanted to show its power or uplift its ego that she would feel the need to challenge America upfront. Instead, all Japan wanted was to oust a country that was intruding into her plans of expansion, and Japan would choose any way to achieve that because accomplishment of her plans mattered the most. Saying that the attack was illegal does not make sense because law and war are two terms that do not go with each other. Anticipation of war Japan’s attack on Pearl Harbor was meant directed at the neutralization of the US Pacific Fleet, so that Japan’s advancement into the Dutch East Indies and Malaya that would provide Japan with access to a range of natural resources including rubber and oil could be ensured. Both America and Japan were aware of the possibility of war because of the growing tensions between the two countries since 1920s, though the invasion of Manchuria by Japan in 1931 marked the beginning of the most complicated terms between America and Japan. “The U.S. did not want to take military action in China, but it attempted to influence the foreign powers to take a strong stand against Japan” (Perkins, 1997, p. 111). During the 1930s, Japan’s continued expansion into China led to the commencement of war between Japan and China in 1937. The attack Nanking Massacre caused by Japan and her attack on the USS Panay increased the fear of Japanese expansion in the West and sharply turned the people of the West against Japan. As a result of the growing pressure from the people, the UK, France, and America resolved to provide China with loan assistance for the supply contracts related to war. In 1940, Japan tried to control the supplies that reached China by invading French Indochina (Gin, 2004, p. 651), but the shipment of machine tools, airplanes, aviation gasoline, and parts were halted by America. Japan understandably thought of it as an unfriendly act by America. However, to dilute the perceived unfriendliness by Japan, America continued to export oil to Japan. This was done, in part, because stopping oil export was perceived as an extreme step in Washington and was enough to provoke Japan. The ideological affinity between Britain and America was unquestionable in 1939, but large swathes of the American media and public were ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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