Army: Imperial Japanese Army vs. National Revolutionary Army
Men: Japan (30,000 – 60,450) vs. China (160,000)
Japan had emerged as one of the important trading enterprises after the World War One as it excelled in modern industrial economy with giant companies. Manchuria was a perfect target for Japan; it was rich in minerals, forestry and agricultural land. Japan started pouring money in to Manchuria’s economy and was able to effectively control the by the South Manchuria Railway company
In 1931, the Japanese Kwangtung Army attacked Chinese troops in Manchuria in the event now known as Manchurian Incident. This was an attempt by the Japanese empire to gain control over the whole province, hoping it will eventually lead in to the invasion of all of East Asia.
Japanese government set up a “puppet state of Manchukuo” after they took over Manchuria. By the end of 1931 Japan had destroyed the last remaining administrative authority of the Government of the Chinese Republic in South Manchiria.
The League of Nation tried intervention by introducing sanctioning. However the 1929 depression caused the other European nations to fear losing its trading place with the most powerful nation of the Far East. Countries such as Britain were also scared of her colonies in the Far East, such as Hong Kong and Singapore. She thought if Britain sided with Japan, Japan would attack them.
“The United States Ambassador to Japan, Joseph C. Grew, reported to Secretary Stimson on August 13, 1932 the growing dangers in the existing situation. Ambassador Grew said that in Japan the deliberate building up of public animosity against foreign nations in general and the United States in particular was doubtless for the purpose of strengthening the hand of the military in its Manchuria venture in the face of foreign opposition. He stated that the Japanese military machine had been "built for war", felt prepared for war, and would "welcome war"; that it had never yet been beaten and possessed unlimited self-confidence.”
In 1933 it was accepted in approved in the League of nation that, Japan should leave Manchuria but that Manchuria itself should be run as a semi-independent country instead of returning to Chinese rule. To this, Japan responded by resigning from the League.
Japan wanted to compete in a geopolitical struggle for domination against United States, the Soviet Union, and many other European countries that had ambition to have colonies in Asia. Japan wanted to compete with the “world powers”