The United States Committed at Least Two Acts of War Against Japan Before Pearl Harbor

I can hear everyone say, “NO! Japan attacked the USA first!”

If you mean that the Japanese bombed the military base of Pearl Harbor, before the US ever bombed the Japanese, then that is not exactly true.

If you mean that Japan committed acts of war against the United States first, before Pearl Harbor, then the answer is a definitive, “No!”

The United States committed at least two acts of war under international law against Japan before December 7, 1941. They were:
US military pilots — 40 from the Army Air Corps and 60 from the US Navy and Marine Corps — in a clandestine operation organized by and funded by the Whitehouse — flying bombing missions against Japanese forces in the famed Flying Tigers as early as 1937.* These people did “volunteer” to fly for the Flying Tigers but they were paid employees of the US government. US pilots flying bombing missions for the Chinese was an act of war under international law by America against Japan. Even with the weak argument that these professional military men were “volunteers” (when they were actually sent & paid by the US government), under international law, a nation is responsible for the actions of its nationals. To claim otherwise is hypocritical and completely irresponsible.

US initiated oil embargo against Japan. This is an act of war under international law. The US was also totally hypocritical on this point as they forced the British and the Dutch to uphold the embargo, yet secretly allowed Japan oil from the United States as a way to spy on Japanese shipping. See: Day of Deceit by Robert Stinnett.

Counting the above two, then President Roosevelt had a total of eight plans to incite hostilities with the Japanese. The rest, as they say “is history.” There are a great many excellent books and articles on what really happened in World War II. The serious student (and professor) would do themselves and their country good to seek out the truth. Things are not as black and white as US public schooling and US history books would lead us to believe. The true causes of the Pacific War were the clash of the US empire in Asia and the Japanese empire.

* See: Wikipedia, “Claire Lee Chennault“: Chennault retired in 1937, went to work as an aviation trainer and adviser in China, and commanded the “Flying Tigers” during World War II