Conflict in the Pacific Essay

1904 Words Jul 23rd, 2012 8 Pages
Conflict in the Pacific essay

Question: Analyse the strategic and political reasons for bombing Pearl Harbour.

There were numerous strategic and political reasons that lead to the bombing of Pearl Harbour on December 7th, 1941. However nationalism, militarism and imperialistic notions were key influential factors, which together contributed to the almost complete annihilation of the US Pacific fleet. Based on Japan’s nationalistic beliefs of superiority over Asian nations, the surprise attack attempted to fulfill a change in the balance of power within South East Asia and expose the vulnerability of the West.

Portraying Japan’s notions of nationalism and desires for imperialistic gain, the attack on Pearl Harbour was planned,
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It aimed to hinder the US ability to wage war to allow Japan access to South East Asia’s abundant resources and therefore fulfill imperialistic aims and beliefs of superiority.

The power vacuum in South East Asia in 1940 resulted in the attack on Pearl Harbour supporting the Japanese political imperialistic aims and enhancing nationalistic feelings. Due to the European war, the colonial powers ability to protect colonies in South East Asia had been limited considerably. The initial successes of the German advance had substantially assisted the Japanese political aims based on the notion of superiority of enhancing its influence in South East Asia. When Hitler broke the Anti-Comintern Pact with the invasion of the Soviet Union in June 1941, Japan was provided with the ability to ‘push south’ through the use of constructive diplomatic maneuvering. It was November 26th 1940 when the US formally called for the Japanese to withdraw from Indochina and China, however, Japanese notions of superiority and imperialistic aims led to a refusal. As a result the Japanese came to the conclusion that an attack upon Pearl Harbour was necessary to fulfill the political goals of spreading its perceived superior system of government, culture and economy.

The militaristic nature of politics in Japan, due to the appointment of Hideki Tojo, the Minister for War, as Prime Minister on October 18th, 1941, was highly influential on the attack on

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