Shanghai International Settlement: Hongkew/Hongkou

World War II Shanghai Hongkew Hongkou
Figure 1.--Here we see what looks like a naval infantry force in Shasnghai. Notice the civilians are Japanese. We think this photograph was taken in Hongkew, we think in the mid-1930s.

Japan's rapid industrialization faced major difficulties. Japan hadc few of the natural resources needed by its expanding industry. China located near to Japan across the Yellow Sea offered a solution to Japan's industrial mproblems. China not only had natural resources, but its huge population was a potential market for the expsnding output of Japanese fsctories. Thus Japan participated in the European effort to establish treaty ports in China. Japan acquired the German Treaty port of Tsingtao during World War I. Shanghai was, however, the most important port and business center. Large numbers of Japanese compaznies were doing business ikn China and had offices in Sganghasi. Japan during the 1920s becamne the most importasnt foreign group in Shanghai. The SIS with the influx of Japanese came to represent an estimzted 80 percent of all the extraterritorial foreigners in China. The Japanese gravitated to the Hongkew district of Shaznghai. It beczame the the unofficial Japanese area of Shabghai, often referred to as Little Tokyo. After the Japabnese seizure of Manchuria (1931) and the outburst od anti-Japanese sentiment in China, protection of Hongkew became a major Japanese concern. After the Japanese seiozed Manchuria (1931), attacks on Japanese citizens in China were used to justify a Japanese attack on Sganghai--the Shanghai Incident (1932), After this the protection of Hongkew ceased to be the responsibility of the SMC and taken over by the Japanese military and the Japanese Consular Police.


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Created: 1:47 AM 9/3/2010
Last updated: 1:47 AM 9/3/2010