“Surely, Nippon, This Cannot Be Your Answer?” (February 24, 1933)
by Vernon Van Atta Greene (1904-1965)
12 x 16 in., ink on board
Greene started his cartoon career drawing sports cartoons for Oregon’s Portland Telegram (1927–29), the Toledo Blade (1930–32) and the New York Mirror (1934–37). He was a freelancer, and began working for King Features Syndicate in 1935, eventually drawing The Shadow daily strip (1940) for the Ledger Syndicate. After the war, he ghosted on a few strips, and eventually was the one who took over “Bringing Up Father” after George McManus’s death in 1954.
GENEVA, Feb. 24, 1933 (UP) – The Japanese delegation, defying world opinion, withdrew from the League of Nations Assembly today after the assembly had adopted a report blaming Japan for events in Manchuria.
The stunned international conclave, representing almost every nation on earth, sat in silence while the delegation, led by the dapper Yosuke Matsuoka, clad in black, walked from the hall. The crowded galleries broke into mingled hisses and applause.
Japan’s formal resignation from the league is expected to be filed later.
“We are not coming back,” Matsuoka said simply as he left the hall. The assembly’s report, recommending that Japan withdraw her troops occupying Manchuria and restore the country to Chinese sovereignty, was adopted, 52 to 1, Japan voting against it.
The session, which made history, signifying the final break between the league and one of the world’s major powers, was fairly brief and simple.
Matsuoka, usually typifying the placid oriental diplomat, was nervous before he began his speech, and abandoned the text before he finished. He shouted from the rostrum:
“Japan will oppose any attempt at international control of Manchuria. It does not mean that we defy you, because Manchuria belongs to us by right. Read your history. We recovered Manchuria from Russia. We made it what it is today.”
He referred to Russia, as well as China, as a cause for “deep and anxious concern” for Japan.
“We look into the gloom of the future and can see no certain gleam of light before us,” Matsuoka declared. He reiterated that Manchuria was a matter of life and death for Japan, and than no concession or compromise was possible, saying: “Japan has been and will always be the mainstay of peace, order and progress in the Far East.”