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Relationship Between Japan And Manchukuo (Essay Sample)


For this paper, you will read excerpts from the autobiography of Puyi, who was the nominal ruler of the country of “Manchukuo” during the 1930s and early 1940s. The excerpts are available on Blackboard.


Far Eastern History II
Paper #2
[Your Name]
“On my honor, I have neither received nor given any unauthorized assistance on this assignment.”
The Japanese emperor and officials portrayed the relationship between Japan and Manchukuo in different ways. Firstly, they portrayed the relationship as friendly, depicting Japan as an ally and a friendly state whose intention was not to occupy Manchukuo, but whose sole aim was to develop and protect Manchukuo from the Soviet aggression. Even though this was far from the truth, Japanese officials attempted to repeatedly paint this image in their rhetoric. This is evident in the conversations that Pu Yi held with the Emperor of Japan, contents of the successive rescripts and communiqués from the Kwantung Army Commander. To conceal their real motive, the Japanese officials often referred to Pu Yi as ‘Your Majesty' while referring to the Kwantung Army Commander as “His Imperial Majesty”. The title used for the Army commander is proof that Manchukuo was a Japanese colony, and that Pu Yi's position of Chief Executive was immaterial. The rhetoric used by the Japanese officials was that, “We are carrying out responsible cabinet government,…..and the affairs of the state must first be decided at the meetings of the state council” (Pu Yi, 2010, p.259). The term responsible cabinet government meant that it was the Japanese vice-ministers who actually comprised the true cabinet that was responsible for the running of Manchukuo government affairs. The second part implies that the government affairs were decided by the vice-ministers and Kwantung Army.
Secondly, Manchukuo was portrayed as an extension of the Japanese territory. Subsequently, Manchukuo was subject to the leadership of the Japanese Emperor who was directly represented by the Kwantung army Commander and the Japanese head of general affairs Office of the States Council who ruled Manchukuo with the help of Japanese vice-ministers. Pu Yi's cabinet was simply a puppet administration as the Japanese Emperor reignedsupreme, while his orders through the Kwantung Army Commander were final. The rhetoric that Japanese Officials used suggested that Manchukuo was a Japanese protectorate. For instance, when Pu Yi, the Chief Executive inquired about different decisions made without his involvement, the Japanese officials answer was, “the vice-minister is looking after that” (Pu Yi, 2010, p.258). This shows that it was the Japanese vice ministers who were in charge rather than the Manchurian puppet ministers. Another common rhetoric was that, “I must ask the vice-minister about it” (Pu Yi, 2010, p.258). The vice-ministers took orders directly from the General affairs office of the state council and the Kwantung Army Commander. The role of the Chief executive and the puppet ministers was that of rubber stamping decisions and policies made by The Kwantung Army Commander. This is evident from one of the statements that, “General Honjo has recommended that your servant become prime minister and organize a cabinet,” (Pu Yi, 2010, p.256). This goes to portray Japan's strong hand in the administration and direct appointment of state officials and the running of state affairs.
Another common rhetoric is where He says that, “This is a list of special appointments and ministers. Will Your Majesty please sign it.” (Pu Yi, 2010, p.256) This clearly shows that Japan was running a parallel cabinet to that of the Chief Executive, which was directly running the state affairs. The true power structure played out during salary discussions when Komai indicated that his decision on the ministers' sala...

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