Since the end of the nineteenth century, the Japanese empire had been competing with the other world powers to achieve equal rights, recognition, and security. Her ultimate aim was to expand her power in East Asia and thereby reduce the influence of the Western powers by obtaining a position of regional hegemony. Since the end of World War I the United States had met this policy with growing opposition. America was committed to a liberal world economic order and was not prepared to accept a market area in Asia that was self-sufficient and shut off from the rest of the world. It was possible, for a time, to incorporate Japan into a world system of armament limitation and to restrict her territorial ambitions.
"Japan and Germany, 1941-1943: No Common Objective,No Common Plans, No Basis of Trust,"
Naval War College Review: Vol. 46
, Article 5.
Available at: http://digital-commons.usnwc.edu/nwc-review/vol46/iss3/5