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Analysing Key Themes of the Film

The film Investigation of the Lord Lytton Mission into the Manchurian Incident gives the appearance of simply documenting the travels of the so called “Lytton Commission”. However, the Japanese filmmakers used this form of an allegedly objective documentary for propagandistic purposes – first and foremost to underline the rightfulness of Japanese actions in Manchuria and to promote the idea of a legitimate "new-born state of Manchukuo". This section presents and analyses selected key themes represented in the film and serving of Japanese propagandistic intentions to convince a global public of their position. Firstly, we will examine the portrayal of the League of Nation’s Commission and how this depiction was instrumentalised to fit into the Japanese picture. Secondly, we will investigate several issues which were aimed at producing legitimacy for the newly proclaimed state of Manchukuo. With these themes we examine the question of how far the Lytton Commission was instrumentalised to tie in with the founding myth of Manchukuo.