History – World Wars: Pearl Harbor

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Pearl Harbor is a naval base in Hawaii near Honolulu in the middle of the Pacific Ocean in the United States. Pearl Harbor rests closer to the US borders in terms of mileage compared to Japan (Hoyt, 2008). It is 2,000 miles away from the United states mainland but twice as far from Japan.

Pearl Harbor came to the limelight after a surprise military attack against the U.S naval base by the Japanese forces on 7th December 1941 (Hoyt, 2008). The Japanese Navy air Service launched the surprise against the US naval base minutes before 8.00am. Though the attack was unexpected, a war between the two countries had been brewing for years. There had been signs of war for a long time. The Japanese government believed it needed to expand its territories and take over the neighboring country’s import market as a way of addressing its economic and demographic challenges.

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Japan lacked natural resources. They relied on the US to supply many essential and natural resources. The two countries had entered into a commercial treaty in 1911, which elapsed in January 1940 (Hoyt, 2008). A foreign and military policy against the States seemed a viable solution for Japan as an alternative way of getting the much-needed supplies. The Northern part of China was rich in minerals and oil. The Japanese superiority complex over other Asian nations also influenced their decision to dominate other Asian countries. Consequently, the Japanese government declared war against China leading to devastating effects including the Nanking massacre. On the other hand, the US was displeased with Japanese government handling of the Chinese issue. The US government responded to these acts by imposing economic sanctions and trade embargoes against Japan. The rationale for this approach was that Japan would have to rethink its expansionism goal once it lacked access to oil and other essential supplies.

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