Essay about Japanese Motivations for the Attack on Pearl Harbor

Essay about Japanese Motivations for the Attack on Pearl Harbor

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A. Plan of the Investigation
This investigation asks the question, what was the motivation of the Japanese government behind the air attack on Pearl Harbor? To assess these motivations, the significance of Pear Harbor, the result of the attack, the overall intentions of the Japanese government, as well as the relations with them and the United States are being identified and evaluated in this investigation. In addition, the attack itself must be evaluated to have a full understanding of the attack and its intention.
B. Summary of Evidence
The Japanese military strike on Pearl Harbor occurred on December 7th, 1941. The attack cost the U.S. 18 ships and 347 planes, and 2403 lives were lost. (Lord 219-220). On September 18th, 1931, the Japanese military invaded Manchuria, an area of land located in Northern China. While previous relations between the two countries were tentative, this was the first major event that spurred contempt between the U.S. and Japan. The purpose of this invasion was both the large amount of growth and expansion the territory provided, and more importantly the resources Japan now had access to. In this strike, Japan no longer needed to rely on the U.S. By gaining support of the League of Nations, the U.S. sent Japan the “Stimson doctrine”, which refused to recognize their newly acquired land. This only led to more hostility with the Japanese. As a result of this and other aggressive actions, Japan withdrew from the League of Nations and rapidly increased the budget of the Royal Navy (Costello 42-48).
In 1937 tensions between Japan and China boiled over in the Japanese conquest of North China. Roosevelt responded by attempting a trade quarantine. It wasn’t until Japan pushed into French controlled Indochina ...


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Clarke, Thurston. Pearl Harbor Ghosts: The Legacy of December 7, 1941. Novato, CA:
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Clausen, Henry C., and Bruce Lee. Pearl Harbor. New York: Crown Pub., 1992. Print.
Conroy, Hilary, and Harry Wray. Pearl Harbor Reexamined: Prologue to the Pacific War.
Honolulu: University of Hawaii, 1990. Print.
Costello, John. The Pacific War: 1941-1945. New York: Rawson, Wade, 1981. Print.
Ienaga, Saburō. The Pacific War, 1931-1945: A Critical Perspective on Japan's Role in World
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Lord, Walter. Day of Infamy. New York: Holt, 1957. Print.
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