Explain why Japan attacked Pearl Harbour?
By the end of WWI, Japan had emerged as a global superpower gaining recognition from Western Powers like the British and Americans. Japan’s influence in the Asia Pacific region during WWII was of particular concern to the Americans and European powers especially in regards to Japan’s imperialistic activities. With growing opposition from the US who were against Japan’s policies of nationalism, militarism, and imperialism, tension built up to a Pacific war. In response to a series of US foreign policies and the breakdown of international diplomacy, the Japanese decided to attack the American Pacific Fleet at Pearl Harbour Hawaii on December 7th 1941. The Japanese hoped that this surprise attack would prevent war with the US for at least two years, allowing time to conquer the Asia Pacific. Ultimately, the bombing of Pearl Harbour is a result of the growing tension in Japanese – American relations due to conflicting interests, and triggered when a compromise between these countries could not be agreed upon.
One significant factor that led to the bombing of Pearl Harbour is the Nationalistic and militaristic attitudes of the Japanese. Japans desire for recognition as a strong military power saw the implementation of many aggressive foreign policies. The outbreak of WWII provided an opportunity for Japan to conquer Eastern Asia since the European powers were focused on war with Germany, leaving the USA as the only country that could thwart Japanese goals. Along with adopting nationalistic policies, Japan also saw that militaristic policies were needed to maintain its power status. The militaristic nationalists rise to power in the 1930s like PM Tojo, saw Japan inclination towards military action should there be conflict in the Pacific, and this inclination was enhanced by the rivalry between the Army and the Navy. The Navy wished to match the glory of the Army who succeeded in many military campaigns, which eventually...
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