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Reporting Japan In China, 1927–1937

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Chapter Summary

For many Japanese, events in China raised the issues that most stirred the nation from early Showa until the conflict broadened in 1941. Chinese exigencies hastened the rise of military influence, the retreat of party politics and the concomitant inhibition of critical comment in the public sphere. The Japan Times accepted the Kwantung Army's version of events from the start. In the post- war critique of Japan's modern history, the events in the years covered in this chapter have been referred to as the 'dark valley' period, not only because of their sombre associations but also, on occasion, because such a description inhibits further discussion. A debate over whether these years represented an exception or a continuation of previous trends has made the 'dark valley' epithet itself the subject of controversy, but in terms of the news and information available at the time it seems perfectly apt.

Keywords: China; dark valley; Japan Times; Kwantung Army; military influence; Shōwa



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