On the evening of September 18, 1931, an explosion occurred on the tracks of the South Manchurian Railroad north of the Chinese city of Mukden (today Shen-yang). The railroad was owned and operated by an arm of the Japanese government and its tracks were patrolled by Japanese soldiers. Military leaders immediately blamed Chinese nationalists for the incident and began an occupation of the area; no authorization for this offensive had been given by the government in Tokyo.
Japanese soldiers, dispatched from the neighboring colony of Korea, were teamed with railroad security forces, then rapidly and methodically extended their control ever deeper into Manchuria. Mukden and Changchun fell quickly; all of Jilin was in Japanese hands by September 21. The Japanese moved with such precision that it was clear that the offensive had been carefully planned in advance and was not a spur-of-the-moment reaction to a provocative act.
The Chinese government at Nanking under Chiang Kai-shek, occupied with confronting recalcitrant warlords and a revitalized Communist rival, could offer little assistance to its countrymen in Manchuria. However, an effective statement was made by a Chinese boycott that proved to be especially strong in Shanghai.
The driving force behind the offensive was a rogue Japanese military leadership that feared Chinese unification efforts under Chiangu0092s Kuomintang. Indeed, a threat to Japanese economic primacy was underway as Chinese groups attempted to build harbor and railroad facilities that would compete directly with the Japanese.
In the United States, Secretary of State Henry L. Stimson initially pinned his hopes on the government of Wakatsuki Reijiro, believing that the prime minister would be able to rein in the Japanese military adventurers and bring an end to the crisis. However, Wakatsukiu0092s party was forced from office in December 1931, in the wake of the publicu0092s overwhelming approval of the Manchurian occupation.
The Mukden incident touched off a crisis between Japan and China that would not ease until the following year when the Japanese installed a puppet regime in Manchuria to safeguard their interests.
See map of Far East.
See other foreign affairs issues during the Hoover administration.
Off-site search results for "Mukden Incident"...
... the 1st Marine Battalion brought aboard HARVARD after the incident General: An incident occurred aboard the transport HARVARD. During this event six Spanish prisoners of war were killed, and thirteen were injured. This article addresses the ...
the Creole Incident
... A History WARS - the Creole Incident 1841-1842 What came to be called the Creole incident began when the U.S. brig Creole sailed from Hampton Roads, Virginia. At sea its cargo of slaves mutinied and took over the vessel, then made for the ...
Gulf of Tonkin Incident
... RiotKent State UniversityOhio National GuardVietnam War u00a0 The Gulf of Tonkin Incident occurred in August 1964. North Vietnamese warships purportedly attacked United States warships, the U.S.S. Maddox and the U.S.S. C. Turner Joy, on two ...