Japan wanted to occupy Manchuria since 1894 A.D. and her eyes were fixed on her as the entire region of Manchuria was very significant for Japan. Before the outbreak of First World War, Japan had to face Russian imperialism in this area very strongly, however Japan was looking towards Manchuria with greedy eyes and was in look out of an opportunity as to when it came and she might establish her control over Manchuria.
Originally Manchuria was a part of Chinese nation. The inhabitants of China used to call it ‘Three Eastern Province’. After death of the Changtsolin, his son Chang-Hue-Liang succeeded him as the commander of Manchuria. He was completely independent in internal administration but his foreign policy was controlled by the Nanking government of China. Japan was dissatisfied with this situation. He warned Liang that he should not accept the influence of Nanking government nor should conclude any pact with her. On the other the nationalist government of China was making constant efforts to establish her supremacy over Manchuria.
Manchuria was a large and significant Kingdom. Its total population in 1930 was 2 crore 90 lac and people of different castes used to live here. The largest number was of the Chinese who were about two crore. Among other castes 2.5 lac Japanese, 8 lac Korean and some Russian, Mangolian, Manchu, etc lived here.
CHINESE-JAPANESE CONFLICT IN MANCHURIA
Besides China, Japan also wanted to establish her supremacy on Manchuria. She posted a large army at Kuangtung for the safety of railways in Manchuria and guarding the interests of the Japanese merchants. The Kuomintang government of China always opposed this act of Japan and disliked her activities in Manchuria. Japan always accepted Manchuria in her area of supremacy and remained prepared for defending the interest of Japan. China was also intended to crush the supremacy of foreign power in Manchuria and establish her own control over Manchuria. Therefore Manchuria was a bone of contention between China and Japan and both were determined to establish their control over Manchuria. When at last the conflict began to increase between the two, Japan decided to make use of power in this matter.
JAPAN’S PREPARATION OF MANCHURIAN ATTACK
On September 18, 1931 some railway track of Southern Manchurian Railways were destroyed by explosion. Japan had supremacy over this railway line. She held China responsible for this incident which was denied by China. In order to increase her supremacy Japan launched a campaign against Mukden, the capital of Manchuria and established her control on it. Gradually by the end of 1831 A.D., Japan captured the entire Manchuria and in 1832 A.D. Japan declared the establishment of Manchu Kuao, an independent and separate state from China. In this state three states Manchuria and Jehole were also incorporated later on and Fu-Chi was made the new ruler of this state. He belonged to Manchu dynasty. He was removed from authority at the time of revolution of 1917 A.D. Since then he had been residing in the Japanese Ambassy under the patron ship of the government of Japan. On September 15, 1932 the government of Japan recognized the newly established independent state Manchukuao but China did not recognize it as, in fact, the supremacy of Japan existed in Manchukuao which was intolerable to China. The presence of Japanese officers and advisors and their military supremacy always offended China, therefore strain was natural between the two rival countries.