Keep Talking

Today I wrote an essay on whether Matsuoka Yosuke, Japan's delegate to the League of Nations in 1933, should have walked out as he did or not. At the time it shocked the world. Today, it still bewilders me.

The entire episode began when the Japanese Kwantong Army in Northeast China exploded a railroad, framed the Chinese, and used the incident to create the puppet state of Manchuria. The League of Nations investigated with the Lytton Commission. The League found both sides in the wrong, but ordered Japan to withdraw from Northeast China. In retaliation, Japan walked out of teh League in 1933, leaving permenantly in 1935 (after the two year waiting period).

So, why did they leave? They didn't have to leave. They could have stayed.

I argue that had they stayed, perhaps they would have maintained a dialogue with the Chinese. Perhaps by creating a dialogue, the nature of the war would have been different. Counterfacts are fun, but I still wonder why they HAD to walk out. We'll see tomorrow in class - but loa, I am leading the discussion!

No comments:

Popular Posts