On September 18, 1931, an explosion damaged the Japanese-run South Manchurian Railway. It occurred just north of Mukden, the administrative center of Manchuria, in the northeastern part of China. The TNT induced blast did not cause any injuries nor was it strong enough to seriously deform the railway tracks, but Japan’s media and military immediately blamed and condemned Chinese activists. In reality, the “Manchurian Incident,” as it came to be known, was a staged attack. The perpetrators were officers from Japan’s Kantō Army. Within weeks Japan occupied not only Mukden, but entire Manchuria. The next year, the puppet-state of “Manchukuo” was founded, which confronted the young League of Nations with the first challenge by a Great Power. Sweden, which had become an ardent supporter of multilateralism and the collective security approach of the League slowly emerged as one of the most outspoken critics of Japanese belligerency in the Far East, leading to a noticeable downturn of its previously unburdened relationship with Tokyo. The diplomatic fall-out that culminated in Japan leaving the League of Nations hovered over bilateral relations for years but did not impact trade relations. On the contrary, while diplomats quarreled, journalists polemicized, and politicians debated on both sides, the business communities increased trade from and to Japan.