Pearl Harbor and the Coming of the Pacific War

1756 words 8 pages
Ashley Queener
HIST 399
In Pearl Harbor and the Coming of the Pacific War by Akira Iriye, the author explores the events and circumstances that ended in the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, an American naval base. Iriye assembles a myriad of primary documents, such as proposals and imperial conferences, as well as essays that offer different perspectives of the Pacific War. Not only is the material in Pearl Harbor and the Coming of the Pacific War informative of the situation between Japan and the United States, but it also provides a global context that allows for the readers to interpret Pearl Harbor and the events leading up to it how they may. Ultimately, both Pearl Harbor and the subsequent Pacific War between
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It can be assumed that Japan made these concessions with the idea that the U.S. would in turn make concessions of their own in order to achieve a compromise and peace. Prime Minister Tojo’s statement about the U.S. not making any concessions at all in return supported the abandonment of the optimism for peace and favored the decision to go ahead with war. Judging by the opinions voiced in the first conference, negotiating remained the key plan of action for Japan with war being a last resort, whereas the second conference made it clear that Japan had every intention of declaring war.
One could argue that there was a power struggle between Japan and the U.S. Judging by Japan’s unwillingness to completely back down and give up any progress that it made in East Asia, as shown in the Imperial Conferences, it appeared that Japan did not want to be made inferior and wanted to be considered powerful. But while Japan was willing to make concessions without fully acquiescing all of the U.S.’s demands, the U.S. refused to make any concessions at all, perhaps to prove a point to Japan or to appear powerful and intimidating so that Japan would give in.
The spark of the Pacific War was Japan’s attack on Pearl Harbor, a U.S. naval base located in Hawaii. Although the U.S. was a much stronger and


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