Pearl Harbor

The Japanese played a large part in WWII. They brought about new weapons, aircrafts, and ships as well as concentration camps and schools. Japan was apart of the Axis countries which included Germany and Italy. After the surprise attack on Pearl Harbor, the United States entered the war ready for revenge.

On December 7th of 1941, the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor. This moment would be remembered for all of time. The attack on Pearl Harbor was Japan’s attempt to move southward. This was when the United States entered the war. When Japan’s oil supply and exchange for raw materials was cut off from the western US, they went to the East Indies and Southeast Asia for supplies. With the Pacific Ocean in the middle of this, a Pacific war was bound to come. At the end of 1941 when they thought the war would be coming to an end, US officials detected a Japanese attack on the Indies, Malaya, and most likely the Philippines as well.

On December 7, just before 8AM, a wave of 180 aircrafts were secretly sent over from Japan. Shortly Soon after, a second wave was ordered to follow. 2,400 Americans died and 5 out of 8 US ships were sunk. The rest were severely damaged. Some of the ships that were hit included:

· USS Arizona (BB-39)
· USS West Virginia (BB-48)
· USS Tennessee (BB-43)
· USS Shaw (DD-373)

Soon after the attack on Pearl Harbor, President Franklin D. Roosevelt issued an Executive Order 9066. With this order, more than 120,000 Japanese people were forced to leave the US. These people, half of whom were children, were taken to remote camps for up to four years. Families were split up while in these camps and sent across the country. While in these camps, they did not receive medical care and often had emotional breakdowns from all the stress. Some were beat down by military guards while trying to escape. With no jobs or money, they were left in these camps to wait until the war would end and peace was declared.

When the Commission on Wartime Relocation and Internment of Civilians heard of the remote camps, they were disgusted with the actions of the US and said it was a failure to political leadership. With this in mind, the Congress passed the Civil Liberties Act of 1988 almost 50 years later. After this, the President sent out reparations that continued to be sent out until 1998. Studies show that premature death and heart disease in Japan is two times more likely for Japanese who did not attend the remote camps as apposed to people that did.

Five months after Pearl Harbor, the Battle of Coral Sea was fought in the waters southwest of the Solomon Islands. The Japanese wanted to capture Port Moresby, located on New Guinea’s southeastern coast. They threatened Northeastern Australia by saying they were going to expand into the South Pacific.

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