FDR in Oval Office 1941; Wikimedia Commons

Viewing the Japanese move into southern Indochina, as an overt and flagrant act of aggression, FDR issued an executive order on July 26,1941 that froze all Japanese assets in the United States. The order, which placed all import and export transactions with Japanese interests under U.S. government control, resulted in the virtual cessation of trade between the United States and Japan.