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Monday, December 5, 2011

Why Did Japan Attack U.S. On Pearl Harbor?

The USS Shaw explodes after being hit by bombs during the Japanese surprise attack on Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, in this Dec. 7, 1941 photo. (AP)

Seventy years ago this week, the surprise Japanese attack on the U.S. Navy’s Pacific fleet at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, forced President Franklin Roosevelt to ask Congress to declare war on Japan.

But all these years later the question is still asked, why did Japan do it? Jeffrey Record says the war was inevitable, because of Japanese ambition, and their dependence on the U.S. for oil and other goods. Record’s book is “A War It Was Always Going To Lose: Why Japan Attacked America in 1941.” Record says, “Japan felt entitled to an empire in East Asia and it pointed to the United States and Britain as models.”


  • Jeffrey Record, professor of strategy at the Air War College

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Robin and Jeremy

Robin Young and Jeremy Hobson host Here & Now, a live two-hour production of NPR and WBUR Boston.

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