Japan, Germany, and Italy then formed the Tripartite pact in 1940, swearing their hostility to the United States, and setting the scene for the Pearl Harbour attack.
In his famous Art of War, legendary Chinese military theorist Sun Tzu wrote "All warfare is based on deception (18) Attack him where he is unprepared, appear where
you are not expected" (24). The Art of War had always been studied seriously in Japanese military circles, and the surprise attacks on the American ships, planes, and troops at the Pearl Harbour naval base in December 1941 were - at least until 9/11/2001 - the most famous examples of the use of deception in the history of modern warfare.
When Japan took military control of Indochina in June 1941 after the Nazi occupation of France, American President Franklin Roosevelt imposed an international embargo to cut off all foreign oil supplies to Japan until it would withdraw from China and Indochina.
This, or course, was a mortal threat to Japan's economy and military, which would have been severely compromised if the embargo was successful. American intransigence caused the Japanese leadership to plan a series of calculated steps to protect its interests. On the one hand they would secure their oil supplies by invading the oil-rich British and Dutch colonies of Malaysia and Indonesia. On the other they would defend themselves against the aggressive and intransigent United States by launching the most famous preemptive attack of recent history before the U.S. invaded Iraq in the second Gulf War.
"The Japanese knew very well that they couldn't wage a prolongated war against the powerful industry of the United States, but they also didn't expect them to be so determined to pursue a war and mobilize tens of thousand of men to such a distant land" (Japan Reference 2). In historical hindsight, apparently the Japanese leaders did not expect the United States to launch an all-out war. They also miscalculated tha...
Japan's Loss in the World War II. (1969, December 31). In LotsofEssays.com. Retrieved 19:58, March 31, 2015, from http://www.collegetermpapers.com/viewpaper/1304239132.html