Mukden Incident

The Mukden Incident (September 18, 1931), also called Manchurian Incident, occurred in northern Manchuria when a section of railroad, owned by Japan's South Manchuria Railway, near Mukden (盛京) (today's Shenyang) was blown up. Japan's military accused Chinese dissidents of the act, thus providing an excuse for the Japanese annexation of Manchuria. It has sometimes been compared with the burning of the Reichstag in Germany. In Chinese, this incident is referred to as the "9.18 Incident."

After the Russo-Japanese War (1904–1905), Japan had replaced Russia as the dominant foreign power in Southern Manchuria.

Missing image
Col. Seishiro Itagaki

Allegedly, Colonel Seishiro Itagaki and Lieutenant Colonel Kanji Ishiwara planned the incident in which officers of the Shimamoto Regiment, which guarded the South Manchuria Railway, arranged for sappers to place explosives beneath the tracks. After the explosion, the Japanese immediately framed the Chinese soldiers garrisoned nearby and attacked those troops under the justification that Japanese property must be protected from assaults by the Chinese.

Even though the Japanese cabinet opposed the move and the leaders pledged to the League of Nations they would pull out, the army subsequently established the puppet state of Manchukuo in February 1932. Japan subsequently pulled out of the League of Nations.

The Government of the People's Republic of China opened the 9.18 Incident Exhibition Museum at Shenyang (present-day name of Mukden) on September 18, 1991. Then Japanese Prime Minister Ryutaro Hashimoto was one of the notable visitors of the museum in 1997.

The Mukden Incident is depicted in the Tintin book The Blue Lotus.


Different opinions still exist as to who blew up the Japanese railroad at Mukden. One view is that it was Chinese dissidents, another that it was the Japanese military and there is also the view that this cannot be known due to a lack of historical evidence.

The 9.18 Incident Exhibition Museum at Shenyang, opened by the People's Republic of China, take the position that the explosives were planted by Japan. Yasukuni Shrine Yushukan Museum, which neighbors Yasukuni Shrine in Japan, place the blame on Chinese terrorists. Columbia Encyclopedia states that the bomb's origin is unknown.

However, strong evidence actually points to Japan's Kwantung Army as conspiring to cause the blast. While most members of the Japanese military have denied planting the bomb, Major Hanaya (花谷正) of the army has confessed that the bomb was planted and the incident staged by them.

See also

External link

it:Incidente di Mukden ja:満州事変 zh-tw:九一八事變


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