From The Reports of General Douglas McArthur: Chapter 1 Japan's ultimate aim was complete hegemony [domination] in Asia and unchallenged supremacy in the western Pacific. Her strategic objectives were the subjugation of the Philippines and the capture of the immense natural resources of the Netherlands East Indies and Malaya. The conquest of the Philippines became an immediate military necessity. The Islands represented America's single hope of effective resistance in Southeast Asia He once called the Philippines "the key that unlocks the door to the Pacific." The Japanese understood this completely, for the islands lay directly athwart their path of future aggression. Close to South China and the island stronghold of Formosa, they were not only an obstacle to Japan's international ambitions, but they could be made into a powerful strategic springboard for their drive south and eastward.
The abundant supply of oil, rubber, and other essential products in the Netherlands East Indies and Malaya which Japan needed for her vast war machine was another lucrative prize. The Japanese planned to isolate this region by destroying Allied naval power in the Pacific and Far Eastern waters, thus severing British and American lines of communication with the Orient. The unsupported garrisons of the Far East would then be overwhelmed and the areas marked for conquest quickly seized. Air attacks launched from progressively advanced airfields would prepare the way for amphibious assaults.The first major operations would be directed against the Philippines and Malaya, with the invasion of British Borneo following as soon as possible. In the early stages of these campaigns, other striking forces were to seize objectives in Celebes, Dutch Borneo, and southern Sumatra, enabling the forward concentration of aircraft to support the invasion of Java. After the fall of Singapore, northern Sumatra would be occupied; operations would also be carried out against Burma at an appropriate time to cut the Allied supply routes to China. Singapore, Soerabaja, and Manila were expected to become major bases. The Japanese also planned to capture other strategic areas where they could establish advance posts and raise an outer barrier against an Allied counteroffensive. Their scheme of conquest envisaged control of the Aleutians, Midway, Fiji and Samoa, New Britain, eastern New Guinea, points in the Australian area, and the Andaman Islands in the Bay of Bengal. All these would be seized or neutralized when operational conditions permitted.
If the offensive succeeded, the United States would be forced back to Pearl Harbor, the British to India, and China's life line would be cut. With this eminently favorable strategic situation and control of the raw materials which they required, the Japanese felt they would be in a position to prosecute the war to a successful conclusion and to realize their ambition to dominate the Far East. If the offensive succeeded, the United States would be forced back to Pearl Harbor, the British to India, and China's life line would be cut. With this eminently favorable strategic situation and control of the raw materials which they required, the Japanese felt they would be in a position to prosecute the war to a successful conclusion and to realize their ambition to dominate the Far East.
United States of America. United States Army. Reports of Douglas McArthur. Comp. Douglas McArthur's General Staff. N.p.: n.p., n.d. US Army Center For Military History. 2006. Web. 4 Aug. 2014. <http://www.history.army.mil/books/wwii/MacArthur%20Reports/MacArthur%20V1/ch01.htm>.