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Short Chronology

  • 18th September 1931: Manchurian Incident 満州事変 (Japanese) / 九一八事変 (Chinese) - attack on railway lines near Mukden 奉天 (today Shenyang 沈阳), initiated by officers of the Kwantung Army 関東軍.
  • 65th Council Session, Geneva, September 1931 (Source: League of Nations Photo Archive)

  • 19th September 1931: Opening meeting of the 65th Council of the League of Nations which discusses the events in Manchuria.
  • 21st September 1931: China officially calls the League of Nations and the USA for actions to maintain peace.
  • 30th September 1931: Resolution of the 65th Council of the League of Nations about the withdrawal of Japanese troops.
  • 8th October 1931: Bombing of Jinzhou 錦州爆撃 in the Liaoning 辽宁/遼寧 province, Chinese appeal to the League about the continuing Japanese invasion.
  • 15th October 1931: Meeting of the Council of the League of Nations with participation of the USA; debates on the Sino-Japanese conflict.
  • 19th November 1931: Occupation of Tsitsihar (Qiqihar 齐齐哈尔/斉斉哈爾/チチハル) in the Heilongjiang province by Japanese troops.
  • 21st November 1931: During debates within the Council of the League of Nations, Japan proposes an international commission of enquiry.
  • 10th December 1931: Resolution of the 65th Council of the League of Nations to send “a neutral commission” (Lytton Report: 6)
  • 3rd January 1932: Conquest of Chinchow (Jinzhou) by Japanese troops and continuing conquest of the three Northeastern Provinces.
  • 7th January 1932: Stimson-Doctrine: US Secretary of State Henry L. Stimson declares the non-recognition of territorial changes carried out by use of military force.
  • 28th January - 3 March 1932: Shanghai Incident 上海事変 (Japanese) / 一・二八事変 (Chinese): the Japanese army attacks the city of Shanghai, leading to the Shanghai Ceasefire Agreement (5th May 1932).
  • 29th January - 20th February 1932: China modifies its politics towards the League of Nations: hitherto handled as a case related to article 11 of the Covenant, the question is now discussed under article 15. This transfers the Sino-Japanese question from the close circle of the League’s Council to the public platform of the Assembly.
  • 3rd February 1932: Members of the League of Nations Commission of Inquiry, constituted in January and named after its chairman Lord Lytton, leave Europe for their first destination, New York.
  • 18th February 1932: Proclamation of the new state of Manchukuo 満洲国
  • Special Session of the Assembly Convened in Virtue of Article 15 of the Covenant at the Request of the Chinese Government. Geneva, 1932 (Source: League of Nations Photo Archive)

  • 3rd March - 9th December 1932: The League Assembly takes over the question of the Far Eastern Conflict (Special Session in Virtue of Article 15 of the Covenant), deciding to establish a special commission (the Committee of 19).
  • 20th April 1932: The Lytton Commission travels to Dairen 大連/大连.
  • 4th September 1932: The Lytton Report is signed in Beijing 北京; the commission members travel to Geneva via the Trans-Siberian railway.
  • 1st October 1932: Publication and distribution of the Lytton Report in several languages.
  • 6th - 8th December 1932: Debates on the Lytton Report in the League Special Session of the Assembly. Based on the Lytton Report, the Special Committee (Committee of 19) elaborates a statement on the Sino-Japanese question.
  • 24th February 1933: The League Assembly adopts the statement of the special committee, confirming the violation of the League of Nations Covenant by Japan and the non-recognition of the state of Manchukuo.
  • 27th March 1933: Japan declares to leave the League of Nations.
  • 26th March 1935: Japan officially withdraws from the League of Nations (two years after the announcement in accordance with Article 1 of the League Covenant)