TITLE: Bankrupting the Enemy: The U.S. Financial Siege of Japan Before Pearl Harbor
SPEAKER: Edward Miller
EVENT DATE: 2008/01/15
FORMAT: Video + Captions
RUNNING TIME: 59 minutes
TRANSCRIPT: View Transcript (link will open in a new window)
Was the bombing of Pearl Harbor an unprovoked attack on the United States? According to a new book by Edward S. Miller, the Japanese motivation stemmed from U.S. plans to defeat Japan economically in the years before World War II.
Miller discussed his book, "Bankrupting the Enemy: The U.S. Financial Siege of Japan Before Pearl Harbor" in a program sponsored by the Humanities and Social Sciences Division.
In his book published by the Naval Institute Press, Miller contends that the United States forced Japan into international bankruptcy to deter its aggression. The Japanese government had a huge cache of dollars fraudulently hidden in New York. In July 1941, President Roosevelt froze the money to "bring Japan to its senses, not its knees," Miller asserts. Roosevelt's intentions were thwarted, however, by U.S. bureaucrats who were determined to deny Japan the dollars needed to buy oil and other resources for economic survival. Miller demonstrates that the deprivations facing the Japanese people as a result of the fund cutoff buttressed Japan's choice of war at Pearl Harbor.
Speaker Biography: Edward Miller, who is retired, served as chief financial officer of a Fortune 500 international mining corporation and as vice president of finance for the U.S. Synthetic Fuels Corporation. Interested in business planning, national strategy and history, Miller extensively researched and wrote his first book in 1991, "War Plan Orange: The U.S. Strategy to Defeat Japan, 1897-1945," which won numerous awards, including the Society for Military History's Distinguished Book Award and the Theodore and Franklin Roosevelt Naval History Prize.