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Just war theory states that inorder for a war to be justified it must meet the 6 requirements of jus ad bellum.

I will analyise Japans attack on Pearl Harbor and the start of the war against the 6 requirements of jus ad bellum to determine if they were justified in going to war.

1) Just Cause: The reasons to launch the war must be right generally for the defence of others (protection of innocent people) or punishment of serious wrong doing which have not been corrected.

After considering the reasons behind Japans attack on Pearl Harbour I believe that Japan felt that it had just cause in starting the war. They felt that America and the ABCD encirclement was trying to cut off their valuable resources, such as oil, and discriminating their people to render them helpless. They also felt that America was interfering with their rights as a nation in their attempt to invade China as they argue that they were invading China to make it a better place, an argument that the Americans and British used on numerous occasions; such as when the US invaded the Philippines.

After the US warned Japan not to pursue their invasion of China and Japan responded to the warning by occupying French Indochina (attempt to cut off Chinas lifeline). The US sent the largest fleet of warplanes to their colony the Philippines and also cut off oil supply and froze all Japanese assets in the US. By cutting off Japans oil supply they could only last on their reserves for 20 months before becoming helpless. Japan tried to negotiate that if the US would cut off aid to China and provide them with oil they would rule Asia in peace. The US counter argued that they would sell them oil only if they got out of China. Japan felt that the US was being hypocritical as they were telling the Japanese to get out of China yet they were just in taking California from Mexico, invading the Philippines and taking from the Indians. In Japans eyes the US was Japan suspicious why was America aiding China just enough to keep the Japan troops down? Japan felt that the ABCD encirclement was

trying to choke Japan with economic sanctions and render it helpless. I can see how this is threatening to Japan and worrisome. IT can be argued that Japan was defending its own independence as a nation and its right to make its own choices like America and Britain who were able to invade anyone they felt like without intervention. 2) Right intention. The motivation behind the war must be morally correct. Japans intention in starting a war with the US was not necessarily morally correct. I believe the underlying reason was because they wanted to invade and rule over China and all of Asia. Motivations such as power and land grab are not morally correct reasons to start a war. However they were also protecting their people and they believed that with the invasion of China their people could have a better life, more space and hopefully reduced unemployment and poverty.

Proper authority and public declaration. Decision must be made by the appropriate authorities and made public. The decision to go to war was made by the leaders of Japan and Prime Minister Hideki Tojo declared war and made it public. 4) Last Resort. The state must have exercised all other options and peaceful alternatives. In Japans eyes this was their last resort. They had tried to negotiate with the US to restore their oil supply and get out of China however they were unsuccessful. The war could have been avoided if the Japanese had left China as the US asked but that was not an option for them. 5) Probability of Success. The state should only resort to war if there is a measurable impact to the situation Japan did not consider the probability of success for the war. They did not plan out what would happen once the war started, how many people would be injured or what the net effect would be. They failed to meet this standard. 6) 6. Proportionality. State must weigh the good and bad which will result from the war and only of the benefits outweigh the costs they should proceed.
3) Again they fail to meet this standard as they did not do a thorough analysis of the situation before they attacked.