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Japan's Decision Timeline

September 18, 1931

To follow their policy of expansion for their industries, Japan begins to seize Manchuria, forcing all Chinese troops out of the area.  In just five months Japan has control over the entire Manchuria region and installs a puppet government (“JAPAN” 1).


The League of Nations, of which Japan was a member of, asks for Japan to stop attacking China. The Japanese response to this request was to withdraw from the League of Nations.

July 7, 1937

Japan begins to invade China through Northern China from Manchuria. The United States was opposed to this because of their positive standings with China and their assets located in eastern Asia (“JAPAN” 1).

October 1938

Roosevelt requests $500 million for defenses against a potential German threat. Japan views this request as an affront to their expansion in the Pacific ("Events Leading to the Japanese" 1).

September 1939

WWII begins

February 1939

Japan creates war plans of defeating all of the US Navy in one battle to remove them as a threat to their expansion ("Events Leading to the Japanese" 1).

January 1940

Japan specifies the war plans to take out the US navy in Hawaii. They assumed that this kind of attack would also demoralize the American people ("Events Leading to the Japanese" 1).


US imposes a oil, steel, iron, and other exports embargo on Japan and freezes Japanese assets in the US in an attempt to slow or halt their expansion ("Japan, China, the United" 1).

1940 and 1941

The United States begins to send aid to China ("Japan, China, the United" 1).

October 1941

General Tojo Hideki, who was militantly anti-American, becomes Prime Minister of Japan. (“JAPAN” 1).

November 1941

Japan sends an additional diplomat to the US to try and get the US to accept their wish for expansion. Japan intends on going to war if they do not get the diplomatic solution they want ("Events Leading to the Japanese" 1).

December 7, 1941

Japan attacks Pearl Harbor

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