Japan and the U.S.
Also sponsored by Peace Pins
1920 to 1937: Contesting China
All [page numbers] reference China, Japan, and the Powers by Meribeth E. Cameron, Thomas H. D. Manhoney, and George E. McReynolds. The Ronald Press Company, New York. Copyright 1952
Manchuria as a bone of contention between China, the U.S., and Japan flared up on September 18, 1931 when an explosion along the South Manchurian Railroad was blamed by the Japanese on Chinese troops. Japan seized Mukden [Shenyang] in less than 8 hours. It appeared the Japanese response was made by the Kwantung Army without authorization. Japan was in full control of South Manchuria by the end of 1931. The League of Nations sent a commission of inquiry, but did nothing. The U.S. simply said that whoever controlled Manchuria had to adhere to the open door policy. On February 19, 1932 the state of Manchukuo proclaimed independence from China, with Japanese backing. The last Manchu with a legitimate title to be Emperor of China, Henry Pu-yi, became the head of state. “Japanese policy had gone to great lengths to create the impression that the separatist movement which culminated in independence was both spontaneous and purely local in character.” Japan signed a treaty with Manchukuo on September 15, 1932. [449-453]
The League of Nation’s Lytton Report of October 2, 1932, came out against the Japanese on every point. The full Assembly approved the report on February 24, 1933 and adopted a policy of not recognizing Manchukuo. On March 27, 1933 Japan resigned from the League. On May 31, 1933 the Chinese and Japanese signed the Tangku Truce, recognizing the Great Wall as the boundary for Japanese troops, with a demilitarized zone south of the wall. [453-455]
Japan stated its policy towards China and Asia in the Amau statement published in April 1934. Basically, China was incapable of self-government or fending off foreign non-Asian predators. Japan would take whatever steps were necessary “to fulfill her mission and responsibility in the Far East.” [455-456] Also long quote on age 457 about China being the elder brother that squandered its inheritance and has to be corrected by the competent younger brother, Japan.
The raising of tariff barriers around the world because of the Great Depression made China increasingly important to the Japanese economy. Also Japan was concerned about the spread of Communism in China. 
The U.S. refused to recognize Manchukuo and felt it was a violation of U.S. open door policy. A note dated April 15, 1935 said “… upon the Japanese Government must rest the ultimate responsibility for injury to American interests resulting from the creation and operation of the petroleum monopoly in Manchuria.” U.S. Secretary of State Cordell Hull also opposed “The Japanese effort in late 1935 to turn five northern Chinese provinces—Hopei, Ch’ahar, Suiyuan, Shansi, and Shantung—into an autonomous area.” 
In naval treaties the U.S. and Britain continued to discriminate against Japan. The Washington Naval Treaty of 1922 set ratios for numbers of ships, by class, between the world powers. At the London Naval Conference of 1930 Japan’s allotment was increased, but not equalized. In 1934 the Japanese again sought equality, with overall upper limits. Not receiving concessions, Japan withdrew from the conventions beginning January 1, 1935. President Franklin D. Roosevelt then took a more aggressive stand with the U.S. Navy, holding maneuvers as far west as Midway, its largest war games ever. Roosevelt began a massive build up of the U.S. Navy. Britain also in 1935 abandoned the treaties, want to build more. [474-475]
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