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Causes Of The Pearl Harbor Attack

1155 words - 5 pages

December 7, 1941, a day that will forever live in infamy. The United States and Great Britain were worried about the expansion of Japan’s small empire. Japan invaded Southeast Asia in order to gain natural resources but this just heightened the concerns of what would be the Allied powers (Fitzgerald 14-16). The U.S. had been growing the island of Oahu into a strong naval base since it became a U.S. territory. The U.S. clear dislike in the expansion of Japan caused the Japanese to see Pearl Harbor as a threat. The Japanese decided to take out the threat by launching a surprise attack on a Sunday (“Pearl Harbor”). Several things caused Japan to make a surprise attack on the United States naval base of Pearl Harbor.
The U.S. combated this with increased aid to China but the Japanese wouldn’t stop in Manchuria. Japan wanted natural resources as they had very little on their small Pacific island so they saw Southeast Asia as a place to get them (Fitzgerald 14-16). This was the same method that the Europeans used in order to get their colonies such as what the British had done to India. After four years of fighting with the Chinese, Japan controlled many coastal cities of China. This aggressive behavior caused the U.S. to impose an embargo on steel and scrap metal (Buchanan).
The Japanese continued their aggression when they attempted to block more U.S. supplies from reaching China through the French controlled Indochina. Japan moved into Indochina in September of 1940 after the U.S. failed to equip the occupying French with modernized weapons. Japan then advanced with multiple infantry brigades and few tanks in order to surround the French which only number 25,000. The occupying French surrendered and a few days later a ceasefire was issued from the Japanese. The U.S. continued to send supplies to the French in order to strengthen them, but this was not useful as the Japan held major cities with Indochina (Liardet).
The Japanese prime minister wanted to meet with the U.S. ambassador Joseph Grew. Konoye, the prime minister of Japan, was planning to talk to the U.S. ambassador about what could be done in order to lift the embargos. He said that Japan was willing to retreat in order to receive the aid from the United States once again. The United States wanted this deal so Japan would release control of the oil fields of the Dutch East Indies that were taken after an embargo was place on Japan without FDR’s approval. This embargo stopped the Japanese purchase of U.S. oil and severely hurt Japan (Buchanan).
Japan was willing to retreat from everywhere that they held except a small buffer state in order to have protection from Stalin. In return, the U.S. was willing to Lift the embargos that were placed on Japan for items like metal and oil. The U.S. was making this deal because they were worried of the Japanese aggression and the control they had over the oil fields. This deal was about to take place until it was interrupted. The leader of The Republic...

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