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Pearl Harbor Essay

2161 words - 9 pages

"Yesterday, December 7th, 1941 a date that will live in infamy United States of America was suddenly and deliberately attacked by naval and air forces of the Empire of Japan. I ask that the congress declare that since the unprovoked and dastardly attack by Japan on Sunday December 7th, 1941 a state of war has existed between the United States and Japanese Empire." The speech you have just read was given to congress by our president Franklin Delano Roosevelt. This speech put us into a full scale war against the Japanese. But why, and moreover what were the reasons behind this attack? Could we have prevented it? Did we have prior knowledge of this oncoming attack from Japan? Or did we let this ...view middle of the document...

This lead to the continued expansion of Japan and tensions with its neighbor country China. Tensions increased with China over Japanese dominance in Manchuria. In 1931 the Manchurian Incident began with a attack from China that went terribly wrong. This mistake resulted in an all out war with Japan and its total domination and occupation of all Manchuria. Rather than fight a losing war the civilian government agreed to set it up as a independent country separate from China, and change its name from Manchuria to Manchukuo. In 1932 The League of Nations recommended that Japan return control of this land to China and to withhold recognition of Manchuria as the Japanese state it has become. Seeing no other choice Japan withdrew for the League and continued to be a force in China's affairs. Many years later in 1937 Japanese troops resumed attacks on China. They took most of China in a matter of months. There movement of reuniting all of Asia and South East Asia would continue until British and American forces defeated them in the Coral Sea and again near Midway. (Peirano)Now Japan, as a economically and superior power aligned themselves with Germany and Italy in 1936. This pact was replaced by the Tripartite Pact and so Japan became a formal member of the Axis Alliance in 1940. Japan then with the Axis powers backing them occupied all of Indochina.The United States which had important political and economical interests in East Asia was alarmed by these movements from Japan. The increased military and financial aid to China from the United States increased and hoped that this would strengthen its military power in the Pacific. Also, to help China and try to stop Japan, we cut off all shipments of oil and other raw materials from us and other NATO countries. Because Japan has poor natural resources it viewed these steps, especially the ban on oil to themselves, as a threat to their survival. Japan responded by continuing their attack on South East Asia and getting their materials there. Even though this meant war with the United States, Japan saw no other choice. (Peirano)Now I want to show you what we, the United Sates of America, knew of what Japan was planning on doing to us at Pearl Harbor almost a year before the attack was going to happen. I am only going to give the most important points. According to the web site Pearl Harbor - Mother Of All Conspiracies these facts were well know by our government.*27 January 1941, Dr Ricardo Shreiber, the Peruvian envoy in Tokyo told Max Bishop, third secretary of the US embassy that he had just learned from his intelligence sources that there was a war plan involving a surprise attack on Pearl Harbor. This information was sent to the State Department and Naval Intelligence and to Admiral Kimmel at Hawaii*10 July, US Military Attache Smith-Hutton at Tokyo reported Japanese Navy secretly practicing aircraft torpedo attacks against capital ships in Ariake Bay. The bay closely resembles Pearl Harbor.*Early in...

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