Why did Japan attack Pearl Harbor?
On December 7th, 1941, the Japanese Naval attack force launched a surprise air attack on the US military force on the Island of Oahu, in the US territory of Hawaii. Aircrafts numbering to 253 were used to attack Pearl Harbor; the US Pacific Army airfields. About 2400 soldiers and civilians died, while approximately 1200 were wounded. The Japanese also sunk 21 ships of the US Pacific Fleet.
The beginning of this Pearl Harbor attack started way back in 1931. Japan was planning for its imperial expansion, and invaded the Chinese province of Manchuria. In 1937, Japan declared a full-fledged war against China. In response to this attack on China, the United States had increased military and financial help to the Chinese. It had also cut the export of oil and other raw materials to Japan.
So, in order to get back the oil and raw materials, Japan decided to conquer the Asian and Pacific territories that were rich in oil and natural resources. Japan knew that the United States will not overlook the war between Japan and China. Japan knew as well that its capture of Asian territories was also not tolerated by the US.
The two countries started considering the issue as sensitive, and showed interest in negotiations, but no peaceful solution developed between the two governments. The Japanese Government believed that the war with the United States is inevitable.
So Japan found an easy way of destroying the US military group installed at Pearl Harbor. Japan strongly attacked the US pacific fleet at Pearl Harbor, and destroyed it. The Americans took a long time to recover. The Japanese thought that their Pearl Harbor victory would demoralize the US troops, and eliminate the intention of the United States to engage in war against Japan.
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