Pearl Harbor is located at Hawaii in the United States of America. This was a military base of the US military forces during the Second World War. Japan was very keen on conquering the larger Asian region, having successfully suppressed China. It had entered into an alliance with Germany and Italy.
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This alliance formed the central power that would fight the allied forces led by Britain. This country was one of the strongest nations during the Second World War and its leaders were keen on asserting their control in Asian region.
The United States of America had taken a low profile in the war at the beginning. It preferred supplying both weapons and food to both sides. This stabilized it economically, which would later help it in strengthening its military. Japan was weary of the US and wanted to suppress it as it was the only threat to Japan’s conquest.
The German soldiers convinced Japan that Britain and France were under control. The Union of Soviet Socialist Republicans was still recovering from the German attack. The only threat was the United States of America (Rottman 45).
Tension between the two countries started building up in early 1940s. Both countries were suspicious of each other. The US was keenly monitoring the rate at which Japan was arming itself. Japan was also aware that the US was heavily armed.
Japan therefore decided to attack the US for one main reason, which was to offer the US a devastating blow that would completely discourage it from going to war. They expected that after the attack, the US either would be too weak to join the war or would be scared. This would enable their advancement to other Asian countries since there could not be any threat from major powers.
In 25 November 1941, Japan decided to launch its offensive. It attacked the US military base at Pearl Harbor. This was one of the US main military bases located in Hawaii. This resulted to death of over 2400 Americans and wounded about 1300 people. Several ships were also destroyed and the harbor was damaged, though not to a large extent.
The US had expected such an occurrence but had not predicted this kind of damage. The damage would have been worse but it was poorly planned. Furthermore, the military strength of the US forces was under-estimated by the Japanese senior commanders. It did not take much to repair the ships and get them back to the sea.
The United States of American responded to this attack very swiftly. It was convinced that Japan was an enemy that could no longer be assumed. They could no longer watch this war from the fence but had to join it actively. They declared war on Japan. This immediate cause forced America to join the Second World War officially.
This reaction was expected by German and Italy, which responded immediately by declaring war on the US. However, Japan did not expect this eventuality. They expected the US to be scared meaning that it could not be in a position to join the war.
The United States of America entered the war for two major reasons. One of it was to save its friendly nations such as Britain and France, which were under siege. In addition, it had to react to the attack on its military base. Although the US helped in suppressing the all-powerful Germany, its main target was Japan.
Rottman, Gordon. World War 2 Pacific Island Guide. New York: Greenwood Publishing Group, 2002. Print.