World War 2
Pearl Harbor
Japan in WW2

Why did Japan attack the United States to begin with?

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January 04, 2005 11:51PM

The Japanese were desperate. During WW1 Japan had been America's

ally. When Japan tried to collect her share of the booty at

Versailles she ran into Woodrow Wilson. Wilson rejected Japan's

claim to this which Japan had captured at a price in blood. In 1921

at the Washington Naval Conference, the U.S. pressured the British

to end their 20-year alliance with Japan. The Brits appeased the

U.S. and enraged and alienated Japan that had been a loyal friend,

and so it went. Japan decided to create in China what the British

had in India, a vast conlony to exploit to bring her up amongst

those in world power. In 1937 after a clash at Marco Polo Bridge

near Peking, Japan invaded and after 4 years of fighting, Japan

controlled the coastal cities, but not the interior. Japan moved

into northern French Indochina and though the U.S. had no interest

there imposed an embargo on steel and scrap metal. After Hitler

invaded Russia in June 1941 Japan moved into southern Indochina.

FDR ordered all Japanese assets frozen. FDR didn't want to cut off

oil, but unbeknownst to him at the time the action took place Japan

was oil-starved and was blocked by any Japanese purchases of U.S.

oil. Forcing a choice between death of the empire or fight for it's

life Japan decided to seize oil fields in the Indies and the only

force capable of interfering was the U.S. fleet that FDR had

conveniently moved from San Diego out to Honolulu. And so ... Japan

attacked!


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