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Mongolia’s Riches: Japanese Explorers, Entrepreneurs And Military Opportunists, 1922–31

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Chapter Summary

Between 1922 and 1931, the dominant Japanese attitudes to Mongolia were woven from a number of disparate strands. Direct military ambitions remained a crucial factor, but certain Japanese political, business and, more surprisingly, religious figures also apparently came to feel that Mongolia was a valuable, exploitable resource, and one that should accordingly be brought under Japanese control. Of all of them, economic considerations were particularly prominent in this period. Economic expansionism dominated Japanese activity in Mongolia as well throughout the 1920s, as Japanese business and religious figures explored the potential of the region, while back in Japan, certain bureaucrats and politicians promoted Mongolia's supposed wealth and importance to Japan. The Red Army's defeat of Ungern-Sternberg in July 1921, and the subsequent Soviet occupation of Outer Mongolia, effectively ended Japanese plans to install a puppet regime there during the 1918 -22 Siberian Intervention.

Keywords: economic expansionism; Japanese control; military ambitions; Mongolia; Red Army's defeat; Siberian Intervention; Soviet occupation



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