Japanese Forces Occupy Manila, 1942Since the turn of the century, Japanese-American relations had been strained by Japanese expansionism in the Asia-Pacific region. Diplomatic efforts to ease tensions were still going on when the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor in Hawaii, on 7 December 1941. The pre-emptive strike paralyzed the U.S. forces in the Pacific. A few hours later, the Japanese bombed the Philippines.Because of this, the United States president Franklin Delano Roosevelt declared war on Japan.On the afternoon of 24 December, President Quezon was evacuated to Corregidor on board the S.S. Mayon, while bombs fell on Manila’s Port Area. General Douglas MacArthur, realizing that Manila was defenseless, declared at “Open City” on 25 December 1941. The intention was to prevent fighting in the city and save Manila’s historic buildings from destruction by evacuating all military defenses from the city. Despite the declaration of an open city, the Japanese continued to bomb Manila.On 2 January 1942, truckloads of Japanese soldiers rolled into unprotected Manila. Manila was an occupied city once again.