Originally Posted by NIU Students for Liberty
The question is: Why did the U.S. put an oil embargo on the Empire of Japan?
The US had actually been trying to pressure Japan into abandoning its invasion of China for some time by embargoing certain strategic products like scrap iron. Pretty much everything else had already been embargoed when Japan threatened to occupy French Indochina to cut off American supplies being sent to the Chinese. The US warned Japan what would happen if they occupied Indochina, and they went ahead an occupied it anyway. In my opinion if anything, Japan provoked the United States. But the embargo did put Japan into a bind. Without the American oil they would be forced to shut down military operations in China. Their only recourse was to secure their own source of oil, and the only one available to them was in the Dutch East Indies. The line of communication to transport the oil was right past the US bases in the Philippines. To secure their lines of communication the Japanese decided they had to take out the Philippines, which meant going to war with the United States of America. This was a decision the Japanese made, and the US DID NOT PROVOKE Japan into attacking. This is an accusation used by America bashers today to try and demonize everything about America.