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Japan wanted to spread to all the major seas and continents. The Japanese needed to take China first. With this country, most of their supplies would be taken care of. The first place in China to take would be Manchuria. This was a half million square miles of land that was very valuable to the Japanese. It was filled with a lot of minerals included iron, coal, oil, and gold. Also, with Manchuria, the Japanese could possibly take Russia.

In 1931, a small Chinese bomb exploded on the Japanese-controlled South Manchurian Railway. The damage was very small, but the Japanese took it as a revolt. On September 18, 1931, the Japanese army struck and took Mukden along with 10,000 Chinese prisoners. The Chinese consulted the League of Nations, which said it would review their case. But Japan decided to take all of Manchuria. They took it in January of 1932. The Japanese then turned south into deep China, where they met their opposition, the Chinese Nineteenth Route Army. They fought heavily, and in the end, 20,000 Chinese lives were lost. The Japanese only lost 3,000.

The Japanese then killed prisoners, raped woman and killed children. On March 9, 1932, Manchuria was transformed into the State of Manchu by the Japanese. The Chinese reacted by cutting Japanese exports by 94 percent. The Chinese finally set out on an agreement. On May 31, 1932, the Japanese agreed to take the Great Wall to a line from Tienstin to Peiping. Japan also later withdrew from the League of Nations in mid October. The U.S. was very much opposed to Japan's aggression.

The Manchuria Incident was the first incident that led to the chain reactions of World War II.




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