Japan actually started it by invading Korea in 1910 and China in the '30s. We antagonized them by not selling them war materials such as steel, not by being politically mean to them. They sh** our scrap metal back at us.
Not to stir the puddin' or anything but just because we don't start it by physically throwing the first punch doesn't mean the US did not start it. History shows us that we start a lot of this political decisions. Japan in WWII is an excellent example.