policy towards Japan is an important part of American Far East policy. In the Far East, there has been a long-term conflict of interests between the United States and Japan, and the relations between the two countries have been tense and eased from time to time. From the 1930s to the eve of the outbreak of the Pacific War, the international situation was extremely volatile. In order to protect its greatest economic interests, the United States adopted a policy of combining appeasement and containment against Japan. Its core is to avoid any obligation, isolate from war disputes, maintain the “open door” of the United States with both soft and hard diplomacy, maintain the competitive advantage of the United States with economic strength as the backing, and seek the long-term goal – Far East and world hegemony. However, in the face of the aggressive military offensive of the West and the East, this policy was finally pushed to the brink of war.

policy towards Japan is an important part of American Far East policy. In the Far East, there has been a long-term conflict of interests between the United States and Japan, and the relations between the two countries have been tense and eased from time to time. From the 1930s to the eve of the outbreak of the Pacific War, the international situation was extremely volatile. In order to protect its greatest economic interests, the United States adopted a policy of combining appeasement and containment against Japan. Its core is to avoid any obligation, isolate from war disputes, maintain the “open door” of the United States with both soft and hard diplomacy, maintain the competitive advantage of the United States with economic strength as the backing, and seek the long-term goal – Far East and world hegemony. However, in the face of the aggressive military offensive of the West and the East, this policy was finally pushed to the brink of war. On December 7, 1941, Japan secretly attacked Pearl Harbor, the United States was forced to declare war on Japan, and the diplomatic relations between the two countries ended. This paper intends to analyze the contradiction between the United States and Japan and the evolution of American policy towards Japan in this period.

first, the evolution of American policy towards Japan in the 1930s

in 1929, the great capitalist economic crisis broke out, causing capitalist countries to compete frantically for foreign markets. In the Far East Pacific region, the long-standing US Japan hegemony dispute focusing on China has intensified again. With small territory and few resources, Japan embarked on the path of militaristic fascist aggression, pointing at China and posing a serious threat to the “open door” policy of the United States. In the era of rapid changes in the international situation, the US foreign policy-making faces more complex international and domestic factors. The Far East policy fluctuates in the diplomatic waves, and the policy towards Japan presents the characteristics of both soft and hard.

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in the first half of the 1930s, the contradiction between the United States and Japan for hegemony in the Far East was secretly intensified, and the U.S. policy towards Japan was weak, mainly adopting the mitigation policy of “non recognition” and “non-interference” in Japanese aggression.

in 1931, Japan launched the “9.18 Incident”. On September 24, US Secretary of state Stimson issued a memorandum to China and Japan, calling for the cessation of military operations and the withdrawal of troops. However, the Kwantung Army further expanded its military operations. Although there are other reasons for the gradual escalation of Japan’s aggression against China, the weak attitude of the United States towards the aggressor and the aggressor without distinction has contributed to Japan’s aggressive arrogance until Japan completely controlled the three northeastern provinces. The United States felt that it was in danger of being completely excluded from the Manchukuo capital market, and its attitude towards Japan became tough. On January 17, 1932, Stimson announced that he would not recognize the so-called “Stimson doctrine” that Japan used force to change the current situation of China. The oral protest of the United States did not make Japan yield. On January 28, Japan launched the Shanghai incident, which directly violated the rights and interests of Europe and the United States in China. Europe and the United States expressed a tough attitude towards Japan’s military action. In order to protect the vested interests of Manchuria and Mongolia, Japan signed an armistice agreement on May 5. At this time, the “Manchukuo” controlled by Japan had been declared to be established.

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after Japan withdrew from the association of foreign countries, it was even more determined to consolidate its position in Manchuria on the one hand and launch an offensive against North China on the other. On July 1, 1933, Yinger Tianyu, director of the Intelligence Department of Japan’s foreign ministry, declared that he would exclude the forces of the United States and Britain in China, close the door to China and regard China as a “protectorate” monopolized by Japan. In response to Japan’s military provocation, the new president of the United States, Franklin, while inheriting the principle of Stimson’s non recognition, actively strengthened the construction of the Navy, so as to stimulate domestic economic recovery and compete with Japan militarily. In June 1933, Roosevelt earmarked $238 million from public construction projects to build 30 ships with a total of 120000 tons. This figure, combined with the five ships with a total of 17000 tons that Congress had agreed to build, the total construction cost was three times that of the Navy since 1916, and it was also the largest Navy construction plan since then. At the beginning of 1934, Roosevelt urged Congress to pass the Vincent naval expansion act, which stipulated that the number of ships to be built and renewed reached the maximum limit stipulated in the two naval treaties of 1922 and 1930, with 102 new ships 1] in view of the strong isolationist forces in China, in order to ensure the smooth implementation of the new deal and avoid falling into the crisis of trade relations with Japan, Roosevelt proposed the naval plan and approved a far east policy without any action and stimulation. He expected the League of nations to deal with the conflict between China and Japan, and he hid in a safe haven. On the other hand, the United States increased economic and technical assistance to the Kuomintang government and supported the pro British and American faction in China’s ruling group to counter Japan. In March 1933, the United States provided $50 million in cotton and wheat loans to the Chiang regime, sold aircraft to China, and actively planned Song Ziwen and Kong Xiangxi to organize a new bank. These measures are conducive to the U.S. economic revitalization and control of the Chinese market, but they have deepened the open and dark disputes with Japan. In April 1934, Yinger Tianyu issued a statement, claiming that Japan has a “mission to maintain peace and order in East Asia”, which means that Japan wants to replace the status of the United States and Britain in the Far East, and the contradiction between the United States and Japan is escalating step by step. The above process of

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reflects that the U.S. policy towards Japan in the first half of the 1930s was mainly a diplomatic gesture of firm non recognition, which did not produce any substantive diplomatic effect and reflected the characteristics of weakness. Its purpose is to keep the more important US Japan trade unaffected during the crisis, which has played a role in appeasing Japan’s aggression. The United States adopts such diplomatic tactics, which is determined by many factors. First of all, under the impact of the great crisis, the United States is to solve domestic affairs, which is the aspiration of the people, and the public is indifferent to international affairs