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Regarding the Dec. 8 editorial, “70 years since Pearl Harbor attack“: The Pearl Harbor attack was a spectacular failure of diplomacy, but hardly surprising in view of the dominance of the militarists in the Japanese government over the diplomats, and the insularity of the Japanese people, who were less exposed to both the horrors of war and the different views of world players.

Those aware of America’s potential might, such as Adm. Isoroku Yamamoto, would have advised caution, but their views were either never solicited in a top-down society or ignored (I don’t know which). Had Japan waited, America’s support of Western Europe would have dragged it into war with Germany, diverting America’s time, attention and resources elsewhere.

Japan, by keeping neutral and avoiding war, would have been courted as an ally, or as favorably neutral, in view of the German and Italian threat, and the war’s end would have left Japan the undisputed economic and military power in Asia for decades to come — perhaps for even a century or more, if one looks at Asia and the Pacific region as it existed in 1941.

Japan simply had no other regional rival. But “war fever,” as America itself has learned, is difficult to quash once started.

The opinions expressed in this letter to the editor are the writer’s own and do not necessarily reflect the policies of The Japan Times.

gregory mcdonald

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