ArrowArtboardCreated with Sketch.Title ChevronTitle ChevronIcon FacebookIcon LinkedinIcon Mail ContactPath LayerIcon MailPositive ArrowIcon PrintIcon Twitter
International relations

80 years since Pearl Harbor: How the attack reshaped Asia

Japan's near simultaneous invasion of Thailand spelled end of British Empire

The Japanese bombing of Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, on Dec. 7, 1941 is a date that has gone down in history. Less remembered is that Japanese forces had begun invading Southeast Asia hours earlier.   © AP

BANGKOK -- President Franklin Roosevelt's somber speech to the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives the day after "naval and air forces of the Empire of Japan" attacked Pearl Harbor in Hawaii, home to the U.S. Pacific Fleet -- "a date which will live in infamy," in his estimation -- has indeed never been forgotten.

"It will be recorded that the distance of Hawaii from Japan makes it obvious that the attack was deliberately planned many days, or even weeks ago," said Roosevelt. He noted that Malaya, Guam, the Philippines, Wake Island and Midway Island were also attacked on Dec. 7, 1941, but neglected to mention that Japanese forces had begun invading Thailand hours earlier, on Dec. 8, across the international date line.

Sponsored Content

About Sponsored Content This content was commissioned by Nikkei's Global Business Bureau.

Discover the all new Nikkei Asia app

  • Take your reading anywhere with offline reading functions
  • Never miss a story with breaking news alerts
  • Customize your reading experience

Nikkei Asian Review, now known as Nikkei Asia, will be the voice of the Asian Century.

Celebrate our next chapter
Free access for everyone - Sep. 30

Find out more