Do you think that the European war affected the polices adopted by japan? Did this lead them to Pearl Harbor?
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I can offer you my opinion, but my personal opinion would not be worth much. In dealing with a question such as this, I would want to consult as many experts as possible. Let me therefore dig around a bit on the internet for you. Here is some of what I found:
I think we can view Japan's actions as being based on the best knowledge they had available at the time. Clearly, there is evidence that they had a certain level of arrogance in their own military superiority, and this could have led them to miscalculate, but at the same time, it was clear that the World War was resulting in nations making bids to control and annex other locations, and Japan did not want to be left out.
In 1930, I would say that the Japanese leaders did not think there would be any international repercussions of their actions in China. I do not think that they felt that the actions they were taking at that point were really likely to "step on the toes" of the West. For the most part, it seems that they were right. Their actions did not seriously worry the West until after the war started in 1939. So I would say that they just didn't think that their actions in Manchuria/China would matter to the West.
In 1930, Japan was not yet at war either, even in China, and the European war had not yet started. Japan's government was becoming more aggressive, building up their naval and military strength such that they could establish an empire, and never have to worry about being held resource-hostage again. Surely by 1930 Imperial Japan was already on that path. They did, however, underestimate the strength and resolve of the western powers in terms of their long term willingness to continue the fight, and this turned out to be a fatal miscalculation.
Aside from the pact signed by Germany and Japan, I see no relationship between the European war and the attack on Pearl Harbor. Japan's interests were primarily in the Pacific Basin, and their quarrel with the U.S. and Britain was over perceived attempts by those two nations to interfere with Japanese expansion. The Japanese had come away from the Treaty of Versailles disappointed and disillusioned, and the War Party which later dominated the government was intensely nationalistic and imperialistic. Typical of the Japanese attitude was the motto used by Japanese soldiers who invaded Manchuria: "Asia for Asians!"
The attack on Pearl Harbor was an ill conceived attempt to gain an advantage over the U.S. and thereby gain time to negotiate a settlement by destroying the Pacific Fleet. The hope/plan was that the U.S. would not have the stomach for a long war and would come to terms before the Atlantic Fleet could steam to the Pacific. The Japanese high command never envisioned a long war with the U.S.; but made fatal misjudgments.
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