causes of wwii in the pacific

Causes of WWII in the Pacific
Causes, Practices and Effects of War
Historical debate of Japan’s
Japan as aggressor
 Japan planned the war from
 Japan’s willingness to
negotiate was a plan to keep
enemy off guard
 Aggressor- aim to conquer
 Japanese declaration of war
blamed US- Japan wanted to
liberate Asia from Western
Japan as imperial power
 European style imperialism
 Japan didn’t plan for war,
just took too many risks
 Japan was creating a sphere
of influence (like US did in
Latin America)
 Japan fought a defensive
war- triggered by US
embargoes. They had to act
TIMELINE of Events prior to Pacific War
See textbook p. 130
1919- Versailles Treaty confirms Japan’s war gains
1926- Hirohito becomes Emperor
1931- Kwantung Army invades Manchuria
1936- Japan rejects fundamental objectives, signs Anti-Comintern Pact
with Germany
1937- Jun- Konoe Fumimora becomes Prime Minister
 Aug- Japan captures Shangai
 Dec- rape of Nanjing
1939- Japan blockades Britain in Tientsin
1940- Sep- Tripartite German-Italian- Japanese Axis
1941- Mar- Signs non-aggression treaty with Soviets
 Dec- bombing of Pearl Harbor
Background Info
 Mid 17th Century Japan is
isolated from outside world
American Commodore
Mathew Perry arrives in 1853
(wants to open up trade)
Japan signs Treaty of
Kanagawa (1854)- opening
up to the outside world
Improves military
Defeat China in the SinoJapanese War (1894-95)
Defeat Russia in 1905 with
Britain's support (AngloJapanese Alliance)
Read pages 131- 142
In groups answer the question assigned to you- fill in the Essay
Outline- be prepared to present your answers
 To what extent was Japan pursuing nationalist and imperialist
 How far was the military the driving force in Japan’s foreign
policy by 1940?
 To what extent was the USA responsible for the war in the
 How far can Hirohito be held responsible for the causes of
the war between Japan and the USA in 1941?
Long term causes
 WWI- Japan wants to
increase its influence
 1915 US and Japan
relations sour
 Japan insists on
political and economic
position in China
 US sees this as a threat
to their interests
Long term causes
 1917 Lansing-Ishii
Agreement—Japan could
keep the gains they made up
to 1917 (recognized by US)
but no more allowed
China feels betrayed by US
Maintained or gained land
after Versailles
Lack of foreign trade
increases Japanese self
reliance= economic boom
Britain and US mistrust Japan
Short term causes
 Sino-Japanese conflict
 1937 Marco Polo bridge in Beijing—nationalism high—
fighting. Large scale fighting—need for raw materials—war
with US
War with China leads to a complete takeover of Japanese
government by the military
Immediate cause of war in Pacific
US wants Japan
out of China
• 1940 US bans exports of scrap iron to Japan
• Japan must import raw materials to sustain war (heavily dependent
on US)
Tripartite Pact
• Germany, Italy, Japan- “New order”, come to defense
• US gives loans to China, political parties eliminated in Japan
Japan divided
• Attack USSR or South-east Asia? (Germany attacks USSR, so they go
• Leads to US, Britain, Netherlands embargo
• Japan will run out of oil= Pearl Harbor
Japan’s relationships
 USSR as enemy
 Tripartite Pact (keep US
out of war)
 Hitler declares war on US
11 December 1941
 Friendly with Russia
 After revolution (USSR)
Japan feels threatened
territorially and ideologically
 USSR supplied China
 1941 Germany and USSR
hostile- Japan relaxes- sign
Neutrality Pact with USSR
 Soviets declare war on Japan
Aug 1945
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