For or a long time, the term 'nationalism' has been a sensitive one in the Mongol lands. In the socialist Mongolian People's Republic, the words 'nationalism' and 'nationalist' carried a connotation of dangerous thoughts, subversive of socialism and of solidarity with the Soviet Union. The Bogdo Khan government tried to establish contacts with the Great Powers including Japan with a view to cementing diplomatic relations. The Japanese government did not recognize the Mongol declaration of independence as an act of independent initiative on the part of the Mongols but viewed it in the light of Russian activities aimed at taking advantage of the confusion following the fall of the Qing empire to extend its influence over Mongolia. Japanese attitudes towards the Mongols differed from region to region and from time to time. Until the late 1920s, Outer Mongolia was considered to be a Russian, later Soviet, sphere of influence.