The ultimate sign of the warlords taking control of the Empire of Japan would be founded in the 1931 invasion of Chinese Manchuria. The invasion would begin with a manufactured act of terror to justify the Japanese invasion. Manchuria would be to Japan as Czechoslovakia was to the Nazis. The lack of assistance from the international community only convinced Japan further of their ability to take whatever land they desired. Only peace negotiations tried to stop the Japanese Empire to no avail. However, Japan’s increasing aggression would keep the Pacific nation in the eyes of other Pacific Ocean countries, like the United States.
The imperialistic, aggressive Kwantung Army was a faction of the Japanese
Military who manufactured the Mukden Incident that would lead to Japan’s Invasion of Manchuria.
The sabotage of a Chinese railway with explosives targeting a Japanese train car and attracting Chinese soldiers to the area would provide the Japanese with probable cause to invade Manchuria.
Without the approval of Emperor
Hirohito the Japanese Infantry Division invaded Manchuria effectively taking control of the region in less than a week.
Manchuria, or Manchukuo as the region is titled by the locals, was separated from China to form the puppet state of the “Great Manchurian Empire”.
As a figurehead Japan would install Emperor Puyi, the last emperor of the Qing Dynasty, to rule Manchuria. He would constantly fight the
Japanese military to hold any actual power in the region.
The Chinese in Manchuria resisted
Japanese aggression at first beginning with the Resistance at Nenjiang Bridge under the
leadership of General Ma Zhanshan.
resistance to the
Japanese inspired a national pride in the Chinese people to join the Anti-Japanese
After failed peace talks by the League of Nations Japan continued to invade
further into Manchuria in 1931 with a more heavily armored division.
Southern Manchuria would fall by the end of 1931. The beginning of 1932 marked the invasion of Northern Manchuria. After a Japanese engineered riot in Harbin the city would succumb to a quick occupation.
With failings negotiating the Invasion of Manchuria along with Mussolini and Hitler’s attrocities in Europe the League of Nations slowly became an obsolete, powerless institution leaving a vacuum for other more powerful countries to fill to control world crimes.