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10-08-2015, 16:54

THE CRISIS DEEPENS: THE OUTBREAK OF WORLD WAR II

In September 1931, acting on the pretext that Chinese troops had attacked a Japanese railway near the northern Chinese city of Mukden, Japanese military units stationed in the area seized control throughout Manchuria. Although Japanese military authorities in Manchuria announced that China had provoked the action, the “Mukden incident,” as it was called, had actually been carried out by Japanese saboteurs. Eventually, worldwide protests against the Japanese action led the League of Nations to send an investigative commission to Manchuria. When the commission issued a report condemning the seizure, Japan withdrew from the League. Over the next several years, the Japanese consolidated their hold on Manchuria, renaming it Manchukuo and placing it under the titular authority of former Chinese emperor and now Japanese puppet, Pu Yi. Although no one knew it at the time, the Manchurian incident would later be singled out by some observers as the opening shot of World War II. The failure of the League of Nations to take decisive action sent a strong signal to Japan and other potentially aggressive states that they might seek their objectives without the risk of united opposition by the major world powers. Despite its agonizing efforts to build a system of peace and stability that would prevent future wars, the League had failed dismally, and the world was once again about to slide inexorably into a new global conflict.

 

 

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