Pearl Harbor and the Coming of the Pacific War
The "Hull note" convinced the Japanese leadership that negotiations with the US would lead nowhere. How do you assess the Hull note? Do you think the Hull note was reasonable or not? How do you assess the Japanese reaction to it?
It seems as though much of the conflict between Japan and the United States, which eventually resulted in the bombing of Pearl Harbor and United States eventual entry into World War I, was in part due to miscommunication and lack of understanding. In the book Pearl Harbor and the Coming of the Pacific War¸ Iriye briefly depicts how most of Europe and Asia was situated prior to the attack on Pearl Harbor. At the time, the Japanese were militarily involved with China and were attempting to get rid of western influences throughout the Asian Pacific. Furthermore, the Japanese also began to form an alliance with Germany and Italy, which the United States viewed as a direct threat to American interests, as Japan could provide them with economic and material aid. However, I don’t believe that in forming an alliance with America’s enemies, Japan intended to wage conflict directly or indirectly with the United States. However the United States saw this otherwise and furthermore, sought to negotiate with Japan in creating the Hull Note. Furthermore, Japan viewed this note as an ultimatum rather than an outline for negotiation and as a result concluded that the only option was to go do war with the United States.
When I read the Hull Note, I thought it seemed like a reasonable outline formed from an American point of view but in part, took in to consideration Japanese thinking. In hindsight, to me, is seems as though both the Americans and the Japanese would have preferred to negotiate with each other in order to resolve the issue, however what ended up happening is that both parties automatically assumed that the other side believed negotiation was not an option and that war was inevitable....
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