Pearl Harbor Attack *theoretically* justified?

Larrey

Ad Honorem
Sep 2011
6,092
Japan had really not done much during WW1, using it as an opportunity to grab German possessions in the Pacific for essentially, free..... It suffered just a few hundred casualties , barely more than in training accidents in peacetime... So it could not expect much from Versailles
From the POV of a lot of Japanese, WWI was a Very Good War. Their principal aid to the Entente war effort was convoying the trade and transports of the British empire in the Indian Ocean and Pacific, freeing the RN to do other things.
 

robto

Ad Honorem
Jun 2014
6,261
Lisbon, Portugal
Japan had really not done much during WW1, using it as an opportunity to grab German possessions in the Pacific for essentially, free..... It suffered just a few hundred casualties , barely more than in training accidents in peacetime... So it could not expect much from Versailles
But since Japan was part of the victors (and turned into a Great Power in the international system) team and had a seat at the negotiation table, they were indeed expecting much.
 

MG1962a

Ad Honorem
Mar 2019
2,350
Kansas
But since Japan was part of the victors (and turned into a Great Power in the international system) team and had a seat at the negotiation table, they were indeed expecting much.
They also relinquished their seat at the Big 5 negotiations because as they put it, their interests lay outside Europe. So that should have gained them some level of cred for their own claims in the Pacific.
 

Tulius

Ad Honorem
May 2016
6,437
Portugal
The Japanese were denied a racial equality clause in the Treat of Versailles. That confirmed to them that the West still regarded them as inferiors.
Not sure if I got it: They were expecting a formal clause declaring racial equality, and that clause was absent from the Treaty of Versailles? That absense confirmed to them that the West still regarded them as inferiors?

I don't recall the Treaty of Versailles full text, but if that was their line of thinking... the formal reasoning was correct.
 

royal744

Ad Honoris
Jul 2013
10,958
San Antonio, Tx
How would anything be much different. The US was against Japan expanding into china and elesewhere. Either Japan changed it's actions or there would be war. A War Japan could not win.
How would anything be much different. The US was against Japan expanding into china and elesewhere. Either Japan changed it's actions or there would be war. A War Japan could not win.
The really curious thing about this is that many of the Japanese military planners assumed from the git-go that they could not beat the United States in a war. So what were they thinking?
 

royal744

Ad Honoris
Jul 2013
10,958
San Antonio, Tx
"they cut off 88% of their oil supply. "
"cutting off 88% of a country's oil supply"

Correct me if I am wrong, but it seems to me that the U.S. was under no obligation to supply Japan with oil. It was a business transaction, subject to the laws and rules of the U.S. And in the case of Britain and Germany, the U.S. 'sold' (lend lease, etc.) products to Britain but not to Germany; the U.S. was under no obligation to sell equally to Germany what they were sending to Britain.
Correct.
 

Chlodio

Forum Staff
Aug 2016
4,973
Dispargum
The really curious thing about this is that many of the Japanese military planners assumed from the git-go that they could not beat the United States in a war. So what were they thinking?
"Beat the US in a war" is something that can be interpreted many different ways. Were the Japanese going to capture Washington DC? Of course not. But the Japanese defeated the Russians in 1905 without occupying Moscow.

How many Japanese planners thought they could not win? Yamamoto was famously against the war, but I'm unaware that he actually predicted Japan would lose. I know he considered war with the US to be a great risk. He thought that after a year or so the Americans would have the initiative. That's not exactly the same thing as predicting defeat. One thing we encounter when reading about pre-war Japan is the self-delusion that many Japanese leaders had about Japan's relative power in the world. Delusions about victory and predictions of defeat don't usually co-exist, at least not in the same person.
 

Larrey

Ad Honorem
Sep 2011
6,092
Yamamoto wasn't alone in having misgivings about a war with the US. Admirals Okada and Yonai were know as part of the peace-faction among the senior ministers. That didn't mean they somehow refused to support the government if there would still be a war – that just wasn't the done thing, and sure it tended to kind of undercut the opposition.