Japanese emperor Hirohito OKs Pacific War, November 2, 1941
The Japanese military came up with an audacious plan: it would invade every nation, island, and colony in the western Pacific that could offer Japan natural resources. The scope of this outrageous design would catch the rest of the world flat-footed. Japanese generals hoped the element of surprise would guarantee total victory. Emperor Hirohito chose a distinguished army general, Hideki Tojo, as prime minister. Though the emperor wavered for months to expand Japan’s war with China, through Tojo’s careful ministrations, Hirohito finally agreed it was time to complete Japan’s war of conquest. There was one stumbling block: the United States Navy.