a cause of the Japanese-American war. Both Japan and the United States had a vital interest in Southeast Asia. While Japan hoped to get oil, the United States also expected to get such natural resources as gum and tin from Southeast Asia.
On 17 April, 1940, in defining this interest, Secretary Hull made a state- ment about the American dependence on the Netherlands' Indies for such essen- tial commodities as rubber, tin, quinine, copra, etc....6 These economic interests were a matter of serious strategic concern in the United States. It had been calcu- lated by the army and the navy that if the Japanese seized control of the Dutch East Indies, this would involve 90% of the American supply of rubber and tin. 7
On the 24th July, 1941, Japanese warships had appeared off Camranh Bay and twelve transports were on their way south from Hainan. These facts demon- strated Japan's decision to occupy southern Indochina. On that morning Presi- dent Roosevelt remarked about this southward advance as follows.
"There is a world war going on, and has been for some time ...nearly two years. One of our efforts, from the very beginning, was to prevent the spread of that world war in certain areas where it hadn't started. One of those areas is a place called the Pacific Ocean ... one of the largest areas of the earth. There happened to be a place in the South Pacific where we had to get a lot of things ... rubber … tin ... and so forth and so on ... down in the Dutch Indies, the Straits settlements, and Indo-China." 8
In this speech we can find that the United States fell into such a critical situation that she could not get the strategical resources, ... rubber ... tin ... and so forth. Japanese-American relations were at a deadlock, when the Japanese army advanced into southern Indochina on July 28, 1941. On August 1 the United States declared the oil embargo to Japan as a countermove.
Dr. Akira Iriye says that "The American-Japanese war was brought about by Japan's decision to extend its control over southeast Asia and by America's determination to prevent it." 9 And Dr. Rogers D. Spotswood states further that "More recent scholarship has called attention to the issues generated by Japan's economic, political, and military expansion into Southeast Asia, which was an effort to penetrate the colonial possessions of Western powers and ultimately to eliminate the hegemony enjoyed there by Great Britain, France, the Netherlands, and the United States." 10
Therefore I can go on to say the following: Japan took a first step to oc- cupy the areas where the United States got her essential resources from. The loss of the Southeast Asia market was a very severe blow to the United States.