Graduate Student Forum

Self-portrait of the Imperial Japanese Army: Focusing on the response to the Lytton Commission

Tuesday, 10 January 2023 | 9:00 - 9:45 (JST)
Zoom Meeting
  • Yuta Okubo Graduate School of Humanitites and Sociology, the Uiversity of Tokyo
  • Sawako Shirahase TCJS Director

When the Manchurian Incident occurred in September 1931, the League of Nations dispatched the Litton Commission to East Asia in 1932 to deal with the situation. Although the significance and influence of the reports prepared by the Litton Commission have been extensively examined, the response of the Imperial Japanese Army, the mastermind of the Incident, to the Litton Commission has not necessarily been fully examined. This presentation views the dispatch of the Lytton Commission as an occasion when the Imperial Japanese Army needed to portray its international self-image, and clarifies its significance in diplomatic history, focusing on the activities of the Army leaders in Tokyo, Mukden, and Geneva (Sadao Araki, Shigeru Honjo, and Iwane Matsui). To do so, this presentation will introduce historical documents from the League of Nations Archives and examine them in combination with Japanese diplomatic documents.


Yuta Okubo is a Ph.D. candidate in the Graduate School of Humanities and Sociology in the Faculty of Letters, the University of Tokyo, whose research focuses on the Japanese army in the interwar period. He is the author of ‘The Japanese Army and its policy towards the League of Nations’ Shigaku Zasshi [Journal of Historical Studies], Vol. 130, No.10, 2021.