How Japan Committed Crimes Against Humanity in Pursuit of Self-Interest

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Japan was one of the major powers of Axis Powers during the World War II. From 1937 to 1945, Japan started a series of wars, and resulted in millions of casualties along the way. Japanese battlefield consists of three parts: China, Pacific and Southeastern Asia. Japanese started these wars because they wanted to gain resources and war advantages for their own country. Japan committed crimes against humanity during their wars, which means they neglected human dignity and degraded human value by humiliation. During the Sino-Japanese War, the Pearl Harbor Attack and wars in Southeastern Asia, Japan, in pursuit of self-interest, violated human rights and committed crimes against humanity. Japan's attacking China in 1937 is a crime…show more content…
Joseph Keenan, the chief prosecutor during the Tokyo Trial after the war, stated that the attack on Pearl Harbor violated both the war agreement and was a deceitful and treacherous act:" But the attack of Pearl Harbor did not alone result in murder and the slaughter of thousands of human beings. It did not eventuate only in the destruction of property. It was an outright act of undermining and destroying the hope of a world for peace. " (Keenan 57-58). In addition, the attack on Pearl Harbor was a crime against humanity since Japan gave American soldiers no time to organize proper defense, and deprived them of their right to fight for their safety. Japan also humiliated U.S. soldiers during the attack, which is a violation against human dignity. Japan attacked the Pearl Harbor to weaken U.S. , as a powerful response to U.S. oil embargo to Japan. In 1941, Japan and China reached stalemate, and the former was in dire need of resources for a long war. U.S. and the Western oil sanction did not want Japan to exploit the oil resources in China and Southeastern Asia, so U.S. set an embargo on oil to restrict Japan. Japan wanted the resources, but was concerned with U.S. military power, so it decided to strike a sudden attack to weaken U.S. in order to acquire resources and win the Sino-Japanese war. Clearly, Japan attacked Pearl Harbor to prevent U.S. intervention of Japanese interest, and Japan, desperately wanting U.S. out

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