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Why did the Japanese attack the USA? Pro is telling why they did it so is con

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 12/14/2015 Category: Economics
Updated: 2 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 574 times Debate No: 83885
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Why Did Japan Attack Pearl Harbor?
Pearl Harbor attack was actually a preventive strategy adopted by the Japanese government to put a hold on the unnecessary interference of U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt in the internal affairs of Japan.

But there are a number of other factors that fueled the Japanese anger and led them to attack the US base as retaliation. Here are some other reasons given by critics.

The most important reason was the ban imposed by President Roosevelt on the trade functions of Japan especially export of oil, steel and crap iron. This ban gave a great set back to Japanese economy and their trade and military was adversely affected.

Japanese were on the way to emerge as the strongest naval power but America stood in their way. So Japanese wanted to clean their competitor and earn the title.

America had not overcome the loss and outcome of World War I and they did not want to involve in another war that can take many lives. The Japanese thought that their idea of surprise attack was too powerful that would destroy the American navy and all its hopes.

America also wanted Japan to withdraw from north Indo-China.

Japanese were eager to take control of Asia but Americans won"t allow it. So they had only two options either


Source 1 -
Source 2 -

Japan's ultimate objective was control of resources in South East Asia (SEA), driven by need to control rubber and oil-rich regions. This means occupation of then British and Danish territories, inlcuding sea access.

Prior to this, Japan already anticipated the US sanctions on critical war commodities (oil/rubber) after its occupation of China. The Nanjing Massacre prompted strong American public sentiment to "punish" Japan thru economic sanctions.

Retaliation primarily on the basis of sanctions, especially when Japan had already secured cheap and abundant alternative sources of raw materials, is a weak hypothesis by conspiracy theorists promoting the notion the US was encouraging Japan to attack Pearl Harbour.

In fact, the Japanese government considered the Peark Harbour attack to be strategically unnecessary.

Japan proceeded with the attack for one reason, and this reason alone - the Japanese parliamentary government collapsed, unable to further any negotiations with the US. Japan lost the political means to protect the "fruits of its efforts" in China and SEA.

The Japanese military now felt the need to secure China and SEA from the possible intervention of the remaining Western power in the region. To gain legitimacy, the military ultimately had to "seek approval" not from the Japanese government but from the emperor.

The Philippines and surrounding seas, then a US territory, is situated in-between Japan and the rest of SEA. Japanese planners believed that control of Philippines away from the US is inevitable, and the only long-term solution to achieve this is to fully deny the Americans the only means of controlling the sea.

The overall intention is for Japan to continue its conquest of South East Asia, and its resources, without political, economic and military intervention.
Debate Round No. 1


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