What’s with the U.S.A.?
The US had placed a heavy embargo on Japan which prohibited them from exporting scrap iron, steel, aviation fuel and gas. This was done because Japan had taken over the Northern French Indochina.
After a year, in April 1941, the Japanese signed a treaty. The treaty was in terms with the Soviet Union that aimed to prevent an attack from Britain and the US. In the same year, for two months (June and July) Japan had occupied southern Indochina, and two days past the invasion, Netherlands, USA and Britain sanctioned the assets of Japan hence preventing the purchase of oil from Japan, which would in return cripple the army as oil, fuel, and gas were used in the navy and air force. Without it, the military would not be able to fight.
At the end of the year, the Soviets were at the peak of defeat by the power of the Axis. This helped Tojo to guide the Japanese to take the opportunity of the event and capture the oil resources from Southeast Asia. The US government wanted to stop the Japanese from expanding, but the Americans were not reluctant to go to war for that sake. Nevertheless, the US demanded that Japan should withdraw from both Indochina and China.
This also led Tojo to decide secretly on a date, which was November 29 when Japan would accept to settle, without a war. However, Tojo had asked the army to devise a war plan.
Post Pearl Harbor attack
After this act from the Japanese end, Douglas MacArthur issued the arrest of top officials, including Tojo. It was in 1945 that media and photographers captured Tojo’s house.
On September 11th a loud gunshot was heard from Tojo’s house. This led the American military officials who surrounded his house, to burst open the door. It was discovered that Tojo had shot himself. The now disarmed Tojo, with blood gushing over the place, murmured some words, as recorded by the people surrounding him:
“I am very sorry it is taking me so long to die. The Greater East Asia War was justified and righteous. I am very sorry for the nation and all the races of the Greater Asiatic powers. I wait for the righteous judgment of history. I wished to commit suicide but sometimes that fails.”
However, Tojo did not die. He was taken into emergency at a US Army hospital and moved to the Sugamo prison as soon as he recovered from his injuries.
On 12th November 1948, Tojo was hanged to death on 23rd December, a week just before his 64th birthday. Before dying, he had taken full responsibility for the attack on Pearl Harbor and was proclaimed guilty by the court. Moreso, he even apologized for all the atrocities carried out under his command.
Today, the ashes of Tojo are found at the Yasukuni Shrine, where it is honored and still considered controversial.