Why did Japan attack pearl harbor?


So I know wwii was going on. The US was not yet in wwii and the attack is what made them enter, right? So what was Japan trying to do? What was their goal? What was best case scenario in their eyes?

In: 406

One of the main reasons is because we stopped making it easy for them to get oil. We were trying to stop them beforehand with hard diplomacy .

Japan is not a resource rich place, but all of the European and American ruled colonies in Asia were. Japan was going to invade them sooner or later, and the US was going to be their main opponent in the war. They decided to try and destroy the majority of their naval power before the US had a chance to oppose them.

The US had placed an oil and coal embargo on Japan in retaliation for their actions in China and the South Pacific.

The Japanese war machine couldn’t function for long without fuel, and so Japan was forced to attempt to disable the US fleet and break the embargo.

(Un)fortunately the bulk of the US carrier fleet was out on maneuvers at the time and was undamaged in the attack so the damage to the US navy’s capabilities was not devastating.

They believed war with the US was inevitable. And they were probably right.

They hoped if the US pacific fleet were wiped out, by the time the US could launch a counter offensive they would have had time to fortify their Pacific possessions.

Two things prevented their attack on Pearl Harbor from being success in terms of their long term war strategy. 1. The US carriers were out to seas so they weren’t damaged.
2. The battleships were sunk in a shallow harbor and many of them were raised, repaired and returned to service.

Had the battle ships been sunk in deep water it would have been a severe blow…like when the Japanese lost Several ships at Midway and Leyte Gulf. Those losses were unrecoverable.

In early 1941 the US had the Lend Lease act which gave a boat load of money and war materials to the Allies. But more notably mid 1941 the US had pretty strict trade embargos on Japan which cut off a lot of oil which was fueling their war machine. Japan kinda needed to keep trading or rapidly invading resource rich places to keep making stuff. The US was economically on the Allies side and the relationship with Japan just deteriorated throughout 1941. It was generally kinda of assumed the US would join the war eventually so Japan tried to knockout the US Pacific Fleet at Pearl Harbor conveniently concentrated there as a deterrent for the Japanese.

This is a very abridged version of two years of the war as of 1941 but check [this wiki article](https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Events_leading_to_the_attack_on_Pearl_Harbor#:~:text=Responding%20to%20Japanese%20occupation%20of,and%20gasoline%20exports%20to%20Japan) for a more in-depth timeline leading to the attack.

Edit: The Philippines was also a US commonwealth at the time. Japan wanted to occupy it. So war with the US was kind of inevitable for them to achieve that goal.