Using these four passages and your own knowledge, asses the view that Japan was driven into war with the western powers in 1941 by American policies. Both interpretations B and D prove that America was the only driving force that caused a war in the Pacific. The oil embargo that America enforced in 1940 was an incentive for Japan, a country very reliant on imports of which most primarily came from America feeding its daily usage of 12,000 tons of oil,to declare war on the country that was slowing its progress to conquer China. Interpretation B states that “moderates and militants alike saw American pressure as provocative” thus creating a tension in the Pacific, with the American foreign policy at the forefront of the Japanese aggression, this would leave Japan with no choice but to declare war. Japan’s reluctance to enter a war with America is also shown in this interpretation where numerous times they extended a deadline to lift the oil embargo “by 15thOctober. The date was later extended to 25thNovember and then to 30thNovember.” Japan would have to fight America if the “life strangling embargo” was not lifted as it was their only choice out of a possible two the other was “pulling out of China and no Japanese leader counselled the latter.”This proves that without America’s strict oil embargo than a war in the Pacific may never have occurred. However America would never have left China to the aggressive advances of Japan. On the other hand interpretation B disagrees and displays Japan as irrational and links with interpretation A in seeing Japan as “naïve and unthinking”. This is presented by the comment made by the Japanese general in interpretation B which reads “sometimes a man has to jump with his eyes closed from the veranda of aKiyomizu temple.” The remark confirms the argument that Japan’s leaders were unthinking and made decisions without knowing the consequences for example the attack on Pearl Harbour in December 1941. Overall this...
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