America React to the Japanese Term Paper

Pages: 8 (3106 words)  ·  Bibliography Sources: ≈ 22  ·  File: .docx  ·  Level: College Senior  ·  Topic: History - Asian

"Stimson now believed that Japan was "in the hands of virtually mad dogs," with its army "running amok." ( Lafeber, W. The Clash: U.S.-Japanese Relations Throughout History p. 176).

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American reaction was fast. The same day, September 22, Secretary of State Henry Stimson informed Debuchi (Japanese Ambassador in Washington D.C.) that "This situation is of concern, morally, legally and politically to a considerable number of nations. It is not exclusively a matter of concern to Japan and China. It brings into question at once the meaning of certain provisions of agreements, such as the Nine-Powers Treaty of February 6, 1922, and the Kellogg-Briand Pact."(Memorandum Handed by the Secretary of State to the Japanese Ambassador (Debuchi) Washington, September 22, 1931 available on WEB-resource At the same time Stimson convinced Japanese Ambassador that the United States of America would not be hasty in formulating any conclusions and he announced that American Government hoped that Japanese and Chinese troops would not participate in conflict and Japanese and Chinese Governments would succeed crystallizing the conflict. This advice sounds too similar to the League of Nation's resolution. So this fact explains a lot and we have to pay attention to the difference between these two documents. Johnson reported about aggression and illegal actions of Japanese Government. Stimson acknowledged that occupation threatened international treaties but he didn't name it as an act of aggression. That means that United States of America didn't want to worsen U.S.-Japanese relations because of Manchurian events but at the same time it blamed Japan for occupation and wanted "crystallization" of the conflict as Stimson said.

Term Paper on America React to the Japanese Assignment

After that American efforts were directed on regulating the conflict using international authority and pressure of the League of Nations because that organization was the main regulator of international relations in the world. Secretary Stimson ordered U.S. Consul at Geneva to convince Secretary General of that organization to use League of Nation's right to protect ratified international treaties broken by Japan. After that identical notes were sent to China and Japan in which Stimson announced that American Government hoped that Japan and China "will refrain from any measures which might lead to war and that they will find it possible in the near future to agree upon a method for resolving by peaceful means, in accordance with their promises and in keeping with the confident expectations of public opinion throughout the world, the issues over which they are at present in controversy."

Japanese reaction was the following: government announced that it had no interest in Manchuria and proclaimed it was interested in continuing friendly relations with China. However, Kwantung Army continued its military operations in Manchuria and ultimately by the end of 1931 Japanese forces eliminated Chinese administration in South Manchuria. United States got very anxious about that and insisted on authorizing neutral commission of League of Nations to solve the problem but unfortunately League of Nations was too busy with European affairs and didn't pay enough attention to the Pacific region. France and Britain were not interested in interfering in that conflict, so in fact, United States and Soviet Union became the only states which national interests were threatened by Japanese occupation. "In any case, the League was no more than an instrument to serve the self- interest of the large nations - despite the fact that it proved to be the smaller member nations which put the most pressure on Japan"

March 9, 1932 puppet regime was established and Manchurian leader began forming new local administrations. Two days later "puppet administration was ordered to proclaim sovereignty of Manchurian state and informed 17 countries (Great Britain, United States, France, Germany, USSR, Austria, Belgium, Estonia, Denmark, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Holland, Poland, Portugal, Czechoslovakia and even Japan) about that fact."

After that Japan recognized the new state. Moreover, Japans signed an agreement according to which Kwantung Army was dislocated in Manchuria. United States realized that Japans would not leave Manchuria; any negotiations would not change the situation but war was not the way out because the U.S. Army and Navy were not strong enough to wage it in that region. So American Government provided non-recognition policy which meant that United States would never recognize "independent Manchukuo" which was created by foreign military force and was still occupied by Kwantung Army. The League of Nations decided to provide similar politics as its commission found out that Chinese troops didn't threat Japanese interests in the region and occupation was a real aggressive act. Moreover, commission found out that creating an independent state was not an idea of local population but was provided by Japanese military administration. That's why the League of Nations proclaimed that it would provide non-recognition policy toward Manchukuo puppet state. The situation was very complicated and compromise was necessary. " ... The United States made a proposal on February 2 containing the following points: cessation of all acts of violence on both sides; no further preparation for hostilities; withdrawal of both Chinese and Japanese combatants in the Shanghai area; protection of the International Settlement at Shanghai by the establishment of neutral ones"

. China had accepted this proposition but Japan refused several points. The problem was still unsolved and nobody in the world knew how to avoid the war and protect China.

Now we know that Japan was left unpunished after Manchurian offensive the same as Germany after annexing Austria and capturing Czechoslovakia. Very soon (in 1933) the U.S. Ambassador to Japan J. Grew reported about anti-American propaganda in Japan, he set many examples which proved military preparations of Japanese military machine which was "built for war" and Japanese nation would "welcome war" as he said. Japanese Army was preparing for new military campaign.

Military spirit of this Asian country perished only after Soviet General G. Zhukov defeated land forces of Kwantung Army invaded Mongolia. Red Army stopped Japanese aggression in Asian region for a few years and Hirohito understood that Soviet Union was strong enough to wage a modern war.

I am convinced that international community did practically nothing to punish the aggressor in 1931 and this passive role leaded to Pearl Harbor tragedy. Unfortunately United States was not supported by European leaders who ignored Asian events and sure, F.D. Roosevelt could not declare war on Japan because of Manchurian adventure since he was still sure that problems could be solved without military force. But League of Nations was an extremely ineffective and irresponsible organization which was not able to prevent humanity from war (Japanese seizure of Manchuria, German conquests in Europe, Soviet war against Finland and WWI as a result).

Some historians say that international reaction was too irresolute but I can say that non-recognition policy was maybe the only chance to resist Japanese aggression because unfortunately there was no unity among major world countries, such as USA, Britain, France and USSR. Misunderstandings between them were too serious to help their cooperation; maybe that's why European states didn't worry about the situation in the Pacific region located so far from Europe thinking that was U.S. Or USSR problems. In fact United States and Soviet Union were the only states which tried to stop Japanese ambitions but they didn't realize necessity of cooperation and continued acting separately. Who knows, maybe we wouldn't know Pacific region as war theater of WWII if USA and USSR united and fought common threat together ... We have to remember past mistakes not to make them in future. Humanity must remember that global evil could be defeated only under the condition of real cooperation of all nations to gain the main goal -- prosperity and peace all over the world.


1. 1. Lafeber, W. The Clash: U.S.-Japanese Relations Throughout History Norton & Company; 1998

2. Rosenfeld, Michael Japanese aggression Chesterfield publishing, 1972

3. Tomine, T. Manchurian Crisis JTR, 1967.

4. Rana, M. The Manchurian Myth: Nationalism, Resistance, and Collaboration in Modern China by University of California Press2000p.

5. Williams, T., Hirose, O. Japan and China in 20th Century BritPr. London 1979

6. Wilson, S. The Manchurian Crisis and Japanese Society, 1931-33 Routledge 2001 p.25

7. Telegram The Minister in China (Johnson) to the Secretary of State Peiping, September 22, 1931 available on WEB-resource

8. Memorandum Handed by the Secretary of State to the Japanese Ambassador (Debuchi) Washington, September 22, 1931 available on WEB-resource

9. Telegram The Secretary of State to the Charge in Japan (Neville) Washington D.C., October 20, 1931-2p.m. available on web-resource

10. Peace and War: United States Foreign Policy 1931-1941 available on web-resource

Rosenfeld, M Japanese Aggression, p.21 field-author=Walter%20Lafeber/103-1863855-0418254

Wilson, S. The Manchurian Crisis and Japanese Society, 1931-33 p.125

Tomine, T. Manchurian Crisis, p.76 field-author=Rana%20Mitter/103-1863855-0418254

Williams, T., Hirose, O. Japan and China in 20th Century p.245

Wilson, S. The Manchurian Crisis and Japanese Society, 1931-33 p.25

Telegram The Minister in China (Johnson) to the Secretary of State Peiping, September 22, 1931 available on WEB-resource

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