What if the Japanese had decided against attacking Pearl Harbour when they started the Pacific War? In retrospect they didn't really need to as the U.S. Navy was no longer planning to adopt War Plan Orange to relieve the Philippines. The Japanese didn't know that but if the U.S. Navy had tried to relieve the Philippines it would have provided the IJN with the opportunity for their "decisive battle" which their doctrine called for anyway. Using the benefit of hindsight the Japanese might have done better without attacking Hawaii as it truly did outrage the American public and the U.S. Navy. Here's what they could have done differently to their benefit. Conduct all the other initial operations against the Allies the same as our time. No doubt other uses could have been found for the Kido Butai and its supporting ships too. The Southern Resource area is swept up same as OTL if not a little sooner. The Philippines, DEI, Burma, Malaya and Singapore, Guam, everything the same as OTL. But with a couple of key differences. There is not the same level of anger among the American public. The U.S. Navy command is not as outraged. This matters politically. Perhaps the Navy blames the Army for not better protecting the Asiatic Fleet in P.I. from air attack. The fall of the Philippines is regarded as a faraway battle by the American public. What the Japanese need are a General or two with a more wider "worldly" outlook. The American POWs in the Philippines should have been well treated and protected from abuse. Put into camps in Luzon and fed, guarded but otherwise left alone. Invite 3rd party diplomats from the embassies in Manila to verify that. So, now it's time for Japan to negotiate with the fait accompli of the Southern Resource area grab. And more then 20,000 U.S. POWs as bargaining chips. Offer a few concessions like promising to leave Australia alone. Give back Wake island. Offer to resume some commerce between the P.I. and the U.S. The war with Germany is starting out badly with the heavy shipping losses due to the U-boats conducting Operation Drumbeat. The American public is mostly not emotionally tied to the Philippines, a colony that was going to be divested soon anyway. There is a somewhat less pissed off U.S. Navy. And FDR is seeing, correctly, that Nazi Germany was the main threat. The Japanese might have been able to negotiate a peace treaty with the U.S. in early 1942. Possibly if the Japanese are also not abusing the British and Commonwealth POWs from Singapore but using them a bargaining chips and with the Americans signing a peace treaty with Japan the British would agree to a peace treaty. If the Americans insist that no lendlease items can be used against Japan. And if the Japanese promise to not to attack Australia. And if some limited trade deals are offered to allow trade between Malaya and the U.K. The British might agree. Winston Churchill might agree. They have their hands full with the Germans and the Americans are not going to support them in any operations against Japan. What might also push for concluding a peace treaty with Japan for the British would be the shock of the loss of the Prince of Wales and the Repulse. If the U.S. Navy also suffered some costly losses in early 1942 in operations against Rabaul or Lae with little to show for it this would also push the Americans to accept a negotiated peace. What would happen a few years later after the defeat of Germany and Italy is anybodys guess. Would a war weary Allied public support another war to liberate colonies they don't care about? The British, maybe. The Americans, no. And the Japanese have had 3 years to further arm up. Maybe by then they've come to some kind of agreement with the Chinese. What do you all think?