Pearl Harbor Attack: Why Did Japan Attack Pearl Harbor

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 On a sunday morning of December 7, 1941, at most 8:00 am, there was an unexpected attack at Pearl Harbor which is a U.S naval base located on Oahu Island, hawaii. Hundreds of Japanese fighter planes descended on the base, where they led to the destruction or damage of nearly 20 American naval vessels, including eight battleships, and over 300 airplanes. More than 2,400 Americans died in the attack, including civilians and another 1000 were wounded.

Before the Pearl Harbor attack, tensions between Japan and the United States had been building up for the better part of a decade. Japan wanted to expand itself and the U.S was trying to stop Japan's global expansion. All things considered, The United States began boycotting or “passing economic sanctions” against japan. U.S thought trade embargoes on aircraft exports, oil and scrap metal, among other key goods would lead japan to stop its expansionism but as a result the sanctions and other penalties actually convinced Japan to stand its ground.

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To Japan, war or conflict with the United states had become unavoidable and they saw Pearl Harbor as an irresistibly easy target. In order to keep its spot as a major world power, with all odds against them, their only chance was an element of surprise. If they destroyed the base at Pearl Harbor, for them that would mean they controlled the pacific, since in may 1940 the united states had made Pearl Harbor the main base for its pacific fleet. Japan's Admiral (Isoroku Yamamoto) spent months planning the attack and how it would follow through and when they would attack (December 7, 1941).

The base at Pearl Harbor was left kind of undefended, making it an easy target. So, like said before Japan attacked Pearl Harbor base causing a disaster and leading the U.S into World War 11, a bigger war. At first the attack looked like Japan had won by hitting all eight U.S. battleships, sinking four and damaging four others, destroying or damaging more than 300 aircraft and killing More than 2,400 Americans at Pearl Harbor.

Although, the Pearl Harbor attack had gone wrong in its goal to completely destroy the Pacific Fleet. The “Japanese bombers” or fighter planes missed oil tanks, ammunition sites and repair facilities, and not a single U.S. aircraft carrier was present during the attack, by the 1940s, battleships were no longer the most important naval vessel: Aircraft carriers were, and as it happened, all of the Pacific Fleet’s carriers were away from the base on December 7.(Some had returned to the mainland and others were delivering planes to troops on Midway and Wake Islands.) In June 1942, this problem came to annoy the Japanese, as U.S. forces won in the Battle of Midway, “decisively turning the tide of war in the Pacific”.

President Franklin D. Roosevelt communicated a joint session of the U.S. Congress on December 8, the day after the attack on Pearl Harbor. He said “Yesterday, December 7, 1941—a date which will live in infamy—the United States of America was suddenly and deliberately attacked by naval and air forces of the Empire of Japan.” He continued “No matter how long it may take us to overcome this premeditated invasion, the American people in their righteous might will win through to absolute victory. I believe I interpret the will of the Congress and of the people when I assert that we will not only defend ourselves to the uttermost, but will make very certain that this form of treachery shall never endanger us again.”

Later on after the Pearl Harbor Attack and after years of discussion and debate, the Americans were finally all together and set on their determination to go to war. The Japanese had wanted to provoke the United States into a deal or agreement to lift the economic sanctions against them, instead, they pushed their enemy into a global conflict which didn't end so well.           

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