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During the Depression, Japan faced a range of problems including overpopulation. A reconstruction of a speech given by Lt Col Hashimoto Kingoro argues the only answer to the issue was expansion of territory. Using the excuse of anarchy in the Chinese region of Manchuria, where Japan had economic interests, the Japanese invaded in 1931 and set up the puppet government of Manchukuo. The League took a year to respond, but did order Japan to withdraw, leading to a Japanese walkout. In the absence from the League of the USA and the USSR, Japan's main trading partners, the only response left was cosmetic.
Curriculum Bites
This clip is from:
Curriculum Bites, International Relations
First broadcast:
26 January 2012

Classroom Ideas

Investigate why the League’s response to the invasion of Manchuria was so slow and ultimately ineffectual. Could anything have been done differently within the existing restrictions? Compare the expansionist policy of Japan with those of Italy and Germany.

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