chapter  9
22 Pages

THE UCHIDA PERIOD, 1931-3

There is an advantage in approaching from an unaccustomed angle what was in Japanese domestic terms and in international affairs a central crisis in the inter-war period. It is usual - and creditable to Japan from an international standpoint - to approach the Manchurian problem by giving an account of the actions of Foreign Minister Shidehara, of Ambassador Debuchi" in Washington, of Ambassador Matsudaira in London and the various Japanese officials at the League of Nations. But their line - the line of the diplomats - did not necessarily reflect the mood of the country at the time. They were in a worthy way trying to prevent, or at least to restrain, the military from faits accomplis in China. But this was a minority line because voices which urge restraint out of consideration for international opinion are hardly ever popular at a time when national aspirations are seen to be fulfilled before the eyes of the people.