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The Lights that FailedEuropean International History 1919-1933$
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Zara Steiner

Print publication date: 2005

Print ISBN-13: 9780198221142

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198221142.001.0001

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The Manchurian Crisis: The European Powers and the Far East

The Manchurian Crisis: The European Powers and the Far East

(p.707) 13 The Manchurian Crisis: The European Powers and the Far East
The Lights that Failed

Lord Bullock

William Deakin

Oxford University Press

At 10:20 a.m. on 18 September 1931, in the suburb of Mukden, a bomb exploded on the Southern Manchurian railway. The damage was minimal but a Japanese patrol claimed they had been fired upon by Chinese soldiers and were forced to retaliate. By the following morning the Japanese had breached the walls of Mukden and occupied the city. Japan's successful action in Manchuria has come to be seen as part of a nationalist upsurge against a western-created form of internationalism. The origins of the crisis can be traced to post-war nationalist movements in China and Japan, intent on change at home and the assertion of the full independence of their respective countries. Japan was condemned at Geneva for its actions in Manchuria but was not subjected to sanctions. It was far from clear in 1933 how far she would retreat into isolation. These events, nonetheless, marked a change in Japan's policy and in western perceptions of her intentions. They revealed, too, weaknesses in the international structure that had been created during the 1920s that called into question some of the fundamental principles on which it was based.

Keywords:   Japan, China, international relations, internationalism, Mukden, Manchuria

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