The Japanese Occupation of Manchuria and the Effects of the Incident.

Essay by KeirHigh School, 10th grade January 2006

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A particular chain of events resulted in catastrophe. China was in a weakened state as it had no centralized government and the country was divided into parts; each ruled by a different warlord. Both Japanese and Russian forces were taking advantage of China's weakness to seize land. In 1904 Russian occupational forces were attacked by the Japanese army in Manchuria. A major battle ensued for the next 18 months. In the end the Japanese and Russians signed Manchuria over to China through the treaty of Portsmouth in 1905. However, both invading nations were allocated a railway line they could retain in Manchuria. The Russians kept the Chinese East railway and the Japanese kept the South Manchuria railway. In 1916-17 the Japanese flourished in Manchuria aided by the withdrawal of the Russians (due to the revolution) and the continually weakened Chinese government. On September 18th 1931, Officers of the Japanese army blew up a section of the South Manchuria railway, although their actions were unauthorized by the government.

Japanese politicians decided it was a critical move that was decisive in securing Japans future in China and blamed the destruction on Chinese saboteurs. Following this incident an act of "fair retribution" was played out by the Japanese; several key Southern Manchurian cities were occupied by their forces. Manchuria was theirs within 5 months. Soon a puppet state was constructed and it was decided that it would remain as an independent state of Japan. The name was changed to "Manchukuo", and Henry Pu Yi (the former emperor of China) was appointed as the ruler of the state (1932). But Henry was weak and inevitably the real power lay in the hands of Japanese officials. Many members of The League of Nations were appalled by this blatant violation of the Kellogg-Briand pact (to which...