Minoru Genda

Minoru Genda American History Social Studies World War II Famous People World History

Minoru Genda was the Japanese officer who planned the Pearl Harbor attack. After the war, he gave several interviews about his role, including an affidavit which details his objectives and approach to the mission. 

In 1962, on behalf of the United States, President Kennedy awarded Genda the Legion of Merit—the highest honor America gives to a foreigner. 

According to the New York Times, which reported Genda's death (at age 84), in 1989:

Addressing American officers and midshipmen at the United States Naval Academy [in 1969], he said the idea for the concentrated strike from a task force of aircraft carriers came to him in 1940 while he was watching an American newsreel.

His 1969 tour of the United States drew protests from some veterans' groups, but his appearances were generally politely received. Seven years earlier, he received the highest United States honor given to foreigners, the Legion of Merit, for his role in rebuilding the Japanese air force and cooperating closely with the United States.

Not everyone agreed that Genda deserved the highest American honor given to foreigners, and the issue is still subject to debate.

People question the very idea that Genda's actions, post-war, could ever be sufficient to gloss-over (or ignore) his role in the attack which killed so many Americans, grossly damaged or destroyed so many American ships and directly caused the United States to join World War II.

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Author: Carole D. Bos, J.D. 5183stories and lessons created

Original Release: Oct 07, 2013

Updated Last Revision: Nov 12, 2019

Media Credits

Photo of Minoru Genda, online courtesy U.S. National Archives.


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"Minoru Genda" AwesomeStories.com. Oct 07, 2013. Nov 12, 2019.
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