Conspiracy at Mukden: The Rise of the Japanese Military

Conspiracy at Mukden: The Rise of the Japanese Military

Conspiracy at Mukden: The Rise of the Japanese Military

Conspiracy at Mukden: The Rise of the Japanese Military

Excerpt

Japan was confronted in the early nineteen thirties with two crucial problems. Her economy had been in a state of chronic malaise for three years when the world-wide depression engulfed the nation and threatened disaster. In China and Manchuria, because of the intense antiforeign sentiment which the "rights recovery" movement aroused, Japan was being prevailed upon to relinquish rights and privileges which in the course of decades she had come to assume were rightfully hers. The growing feeling that the government was impotent to cope with the crises at home and abroad, reinforced by rumors of corruption in high places, discredited the Diet and political parties--that is to say, the civilian government--rather convincingly in the eyes of the people.

Hardly a more opportune time could have presented itself for self-styled patriots--ultranationalists, expansionists, activists, and young officers--to step forward with a dynamic plan of expansion. Politically, economically, and socially Japan was in ferment and ripe for momentous change. On the night of September 18, 1931, a handful of officers of the Kwantung Army, seizing the moment, engineered the Mukden Incident by setting off a bomb . . .

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