The Motive of Japan For Attacking Pearl Harbor

The Motive of Japan For Attacking Pearl Harbor

Hawaii Territory’s naval base at Honolulu, Pearl Harbor, was the target of a surprise military attack on December 7, 1941, by the Imperial Japanese Navy Air Service. The Japanese army command knew the attack as the Hawaii Operation, Operation A.I., and Operation Z while it was being planned.


Early in combined naval and aircraft combat, the attack on Pearl Harbor was considered the most effective military surprise strike. The United States maritime facility in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii Territory, was attacked on December 7, 1941, by the Imperial Japanese Navy Air Service. As a direct result of the attack on Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941, When America joined World War II, atomic bombs were finally dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

America entered World War II, which eventually resulted in the dropping of nuclear bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, which was disastrous for the Japanese. Over 2,000 Americans were killed by the Japanese, who also managed to destroy over 20 U.S. Navy ships, including 8 big battleships and 200 warplanes.


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Particulars Of The Pearl Harbor Attack

DateDecember 7, 1941
LocationOahu, Territory Of Hawaii, U.S.
Resulted InJapanese Victory
Units InvolvedUS Pacific Fleet & 1st Air Fleet
Civilian Casualties68 Killed & 35 Wounded

Japan planned the assault as a preventative measure. Its goal was to stop the US Pacific Fleet from interfering with its planned military operations in Southeast Asia against the U.S., the U.K., and the Netherlands’ overseas possessions. Accordingly, Japanese attacks against the British Empire in Malaya, Singapore, and Hong Kong, as well as the US-held Philippines, Guam, and Wake Island, were synchronized and took place over seven hours.

Motives for the Attack

A Changing Demand for Natural Resources

As Japan’s aspirations for growth in Asia and the Pacific grew, so did its demand for natural resources, including steel, minerals, and oil.

Japan’s Restriction

Additionally, the United States had a clear stake in these natural resources, and in reaction to Japanese aggression, the American Congress imposed trade restrictions on Japan. Additionally, Japanese assets in the U.S. were frozen as if that weren’t enough. Finally, to prevent the Pacific Naval from interfering with Japan’s invasion of the Dutch East Indies and Malaya and to allow Japan to overrun Southeast Asia unhindered, it was intended to destroy significant American fleet units.


Before the 1940 Vinson-Walsh Act, which allowed shipbuilding and eliminated any possibility of victory, it was intended to buy Japan some time to strengthen its position and grow its naval might. Instead, because battleships were the pride vessels of any navy at the period, they were selected as the primary targets to cripple America’s capacity to mobilize its troops in the Pacific.

Expansion in the Pacific

In 1939, President Roosevelt ordered the relocation of the US Pacific Fleet from California to Pearl Harbor. This action threatened Japan’s desire to grow in the Pacific. Politicians and military officials believed that starting the war between the United States and Japan would be the best course of action. Japan accomplished that.

These three causes account for Japan’s attack on Pearl Harbor. Many individuals think the Japanese onslaught was successful. At least 2,500 Americans were killed, and 18 ships and nearly 300 airplanes were destroyed. However, the attack’s outcome did not allow Japan to grow in the Pacific. Natural resource acquisition did not increase as a result.

Furthermore, the attack had little impact on the lifting of the limitations. Therefore, Japan’s attack on Pearl Harbor was a failure and a blunder, according to the justifications given.

Japan Strategy Behind The Attack

Understanding how the Japanese combined four critical components of the assault plan: denial and deception (D&D), radio intelligence (R.I.), cryptology, and operations security is essential to understanding how they were able to carry out the attack. This includes understanding Japan’s pre-war change in naval strategy.

Transitioning from Defense to Offense

Japan’s naval tactics closely mirrored its overall goals. In addition to defending the Home Islands from an anticipated attack by the U.S. Pacific Fleet, which could directly threaten Japan or its commercial supply routes. It also envisioned a two-part mission: supporting operations to expand to the south into Southeast Asia and the Netherlands East Indies. The site of the decisive battle moved eastward as ship technology improved and Japanese carriers got more punch from proficient planes until, by the late 1930s, the Japanese Naval General Staff (NGS)

keeping Track Of American Radio Traffic

Americans are mostly unaware of the role performed by Japanese radio intelligence, which was primarily carried out by the IJN but also inadvertently by the Post, Telegraph, and Telephone (PT&T) Ministry of Japan. The radio intelligence division of the Imperial Japanese Navy had been keeping an eye on U.S. Pacific Fleet drills and operations for years before the Atomic bombs were ultimately deployed on Hiroshima and Nagasaki after America entered World War II.

The Pacific Fleet was the Japanese military’s principal focus, even though they also monitored and analyzed the communications of other regional navies, including the Royal Navy and the Soviet Pacific Squadron.

Japan had created an R.I. capacity early in the 1920s, similar to most other fleets. The Communications Department’s “Special Section” handled radio intelligence. General Staff Department of the Navy set up listening stations on several islands under Japanese control. To follow yearly U.S. Navy drills, Tokyo also sent out merchant ships with special monitoring crews on board.


Japanese weaponry poured down on American ships and personnel for over two hours. Even though the strike caused tremendous damage, the fact that Japan spared American repair facilities and gasoline tanks lessened the harm. More importantly, no American aircraft carriers were present at Pearl Harbor on that particular day.

Moreover, the Japanese launched strikes against American and British sites in the Philippines, Guam, Midway Island, Wake Island, Malaya, and Hong Kong right after they attacked Pearl Harbor. The Japanese dominated the Pacific in a matter of days. Just before Fuchida’s jets took off, an encrypted communication had warned authorities in Washington that an attack was about to happen.

However, a hiccup in communication kept a warning from getting to Pearl Harbor in time. When an officer disregarded a tip from an Oahu-based radar operator that a significant number of planes were heading their way, the Americans lost another chance.

What was the primary justification for the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor?

●        They desired complete independence as they established a Pacific empire.

Was Japan bombed by America after Pearl Harbor?

●        Japan attacked Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941. There were 2,400 fatalities and 18 ships damaged or destroyed by the U.S. military. the primary outcome was the United States’ involvement in World War II was its most significant result.

Has Japan ever expressed regret over Pearl Harbor?

●        Emperor Hirohito informed General MacArthur that he was ready to offer a formal apology to General MacArthur for Japan’s involvement in World War II, particularly the assault on Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941.

A war crime at Pearl Harbor?

●        A quarrel escalated into a war as a result of the attack, and Pearl Harbor was a crime since the Japanese launched it.

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