Why did the Japanese attack the US?Watch
The Imperial Empire was as vehemently anti-Communist as the Americans and British and they had already went to war with Imperial Russia in 1905 over territory disputes, the modernization period saw Japan a country respected by the West and they learned from its ways. The Japanese and Germans had very little in common. I suppose the most obvious reason is that the British and French still had colonies in Asia that forced their desired conquest of China, but they ignored this already (in 1936) and the US did not enter the war against them. The Japanese could have acted as a buffer against the Soviets in the Far East.
Given that they have already defeated the Russians in the Russo-Japanese War and modernized rather quickly, like the Germans, I think the Japanese wanted to assert their dominance within Asia. If you look at the end of the 20th century, Taiwan was already annexed to Japan and so was Korea later on. After the Mukden incident, the Japanese continued its expansion towards the Far East and continued onto southeast Asia.
In order to demonstrate their power, they decided to attack the US. Note that the Philippines was colonized by the US at that time and it was occupied by Japan during the Second World War. I believe they had no intentions to attack the Soviets at the time, since they have already occupied half of the present-day island of Sakhalin after the Russo-Japanese War.
1] They'd already been warned by them because they were killing American citizens and destroying their interests
2] They were allied to the Nazis [**** knows why as by rights they should both have utterly despised each other] So war with the U.S. was inevitable really
3] The attack they imagined was to deal a crippling blow to the Americans by sinking their fleet and then suing for peace later if I remember rightly.
The main issues with this though were they forgot the U.S. was an economic behemoth and rebuilt its fleet incredibly quickly and a hell of a lot quicker than the Nips expected plus they missed every key target... the carriers which were all out on manoeuvrers so they just sunk old battle ships which was even worse since they got replaced by squeaky new upgraded ones all in all the biggest back fire in history which they paid dearly for.
Oh also its likely America would have eventually attacked Japan anyway oweing to what they were doing to the people in Asia namely the Europeans and Americans but also the locals which was thoroughly repugnant. Read up on what happened in Nanking no one would ever have known if it wasn't for a few Americans and Nazis who stayed and tried to help the locals.