Although swift in execution, the attacks had been slowly brewing for years. The US had once looked upon Japanese ambitions with a level of sympathy, even indulgence. Hit hard by the Great Depression of the early 1930s, however, Japanese disillusion with party government grew and moderates gave way to militants. In 1931 Japan occupied Manchuria in northern China. Over the decade conflict intensified and in July 1937 war was declared. As Japanese aggression increased, its relations with the US deteriorated.


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