The Timeline for the First Battle of Shanghai  
  Saturday, January 9, 1932  
  Lee Bong-chang, a member of the Korean Patriotic Legion, attempted to assassinate Emperor Hirohito as he was departing the Imperial Palace via the Sakuradamon Gate on his way to reviewing a military parade by throwing a hand grenade at the emperor's horse carriage. The hand grenade missed and exploded near the carriage of Imperial Household Minister Baron Ichiki Kitokuro killing two horses. Lee was quickly apprehended by the Imperial Guard.  
   
  Sunday, January 10, 1932  
  The Min Kuo newspapers, which were semi-official organs of the Chinese Nationalist Party, printed an editorial that insulted Japanese Emperor Hirohito. The editorial commented that it was unfortunate that the assassination attempt on Hirohito the previous day by a Korean nationalist had failed. The editorial caused Japanese vigilantes to riot against Min Kuo newspaper offices in treaty ports throughout China from Tientsin to Fuchou.  
   
  Monday, January 18, 1932  
  Five Buddhist monks of an ardently nationalist sect were attacked by agitated Chinese civilians as they exited the International settlement in Shanghai near the Sanyou towel factory. Two of the monks were seriously injured and one died. Riots ensued and over the next few hours, the factory was burned down (sources dispute whether it was down by the Japanese or Chinese.) One policeman was killed and several more hurt while trying to quell the disorder. The factory was prospering while similar Japanese factories were suffering because of the anti-Japanese boycott. Many of the workers at the Sun Yu towel factory were known to be Anti-Japanese National Salvation Association activists. The incident caused an upsurge of anti-Japanese and anti-imperialist protests in the city and its concessions, with Chinese residents of Shanghai marching onto the streets and calling for a boycott of Japanese-made goods. It is widely held that Major Tanaka Ryukichi of the Kwangtung Army orchestrated the event by paying some of the Chinese to instigate the attack.  
   
  Tuesday, January 19, 1932  
  The Japanese consulate in Shanghai issued a press release concerning the attack of five Buddhist monks as they exited the International settlement in Shanghai. Two of the monks were seriously injured and one died. The Japanese in Shanghai and in the Home Islands were enraged by these accounts.  
   
  Wednesday, January 20, 1932  
  In response to the attack on a party of five Japanese monks on January 18, the Japanese Consul-General in Shanghai, Murai Urumatsu, presented Shanghai’s Mayor Wu T'ieh-ch'eng a set of five demands. The Japanese demanded that the Chinese apologize for the January 18 incident involving the beating of 5 Japanese Buddhist monks, arrest those involved, dissolve all anti-Japanese organizations, pay compensation, and end anti-Japanese agitation. Rear Admiral Shiozawa Koichi, in command of Imperial Japanese Naval forces in the area including the Shanghai Special Naval Landing Force of approximately 2,500 troops, 2 light cruisers, 5 destroyers, and several auxiliary vessels, backed Murai’s demands.  
   
  Several thousand Japanese held a mass meeting and subsequently paraded through the International Settlement in Shanghai and assaulted several Chinese civilians and smashed the windows of Chinese shops.  
   
  Thursday, January 21, 1932  
  Japanese Rear Admiral Shiozawa Kiochi threatened the Chinese in Shanghai to the Japanese would "take the necessary steps" unless the Chinese fulfilled the demands presented to them the previous day without delay.  
   
  Friday, January 22, 1932  
  Rear Admiral Shiozawa Koichi published a statement that unless Shanghai’s Mayor Wu T'ieh-ch'eng complied with the demands presented by Japanese Consul-General in Shanghai, Murai Urumatsu with regards to all five demands presented by the Japanese on January 20 then the Admiral would take “appropriate steps to protect the rights and interests of Japan.” The Japanese demanded that the Chinese apologize for the January 18 incident involving the beating of 5 Japanese Buddhist monks, arrest those involved, dissolve all anti-Japanese organizations, pay compensation, and end anti-Japanese agitation. Rear Admiral Shiozawa also presented to Mayor Wu, independent of the Japanese consulate, a list of demands which included the suppression of anti-Japanese societies.  
   
  Rear Admiral Koichi presented to Shanghai’s Mayor Wu T'ieh-ch'eng, independent of the Japanese consulate, a list of demands which included the suppression of anti-Japanese societies.  
   
  Saturday, January 23, 1932  
  General Ts’ai T’ing-k’ai and his fellow officers of the Chinese 19th Route Army held an emergency meeting and vowed to resist any Japanese marine at Shanghai.  
   
  Sunday, January 24, 1932  
  General Ts’ai T’ing-k’ai sent a telegram to Nanking informing authorities there that the Chinese 19th Route Army was preparing to resist the Japanese and declared that “even if in such action we sacrifice our army.” The 19th Route Army then began preparing defensive positions.  
   
  Shanghai’s Japanese Spinner’s Association threatened Shanghai’s city officials that 300,000 Chinese workers would be shut out of Japanese mills if the anti-Japanese movement wasn’t suppressed.  
   
  Monday, January 25, 1932  
  A list of the most serious Japanese complaints was voiced by Mitsui Bank manager Fukushima Kimiji to the Municipal Council of the International Settlement in Shanghai.  
   
  In Geneva at the League of Nations the Japanese delegate went on record with Japanese demands regarding the incident where 5 Buddhist monks were attacked in Shanghai on January 18.  
   
  The Japanese Cabinet approved an immediate localized naval response in Shanghai if conditions there worsened.  
   
  Tuesday, January 26, 1932  
  The Japanese marine commandant in Shanghai threatened to march his troops through the International Settlement to close the Min Kuo Jih Pao (the Chinese Republican daily newspaper). The Executive Committee of the International Settlement persuaded the newspaper to close on its own and issue an apology for any disrespect of Japan’s national honor. This action was taken in the hopes of averting hostilities between the Japanese and Chinese.  
   
  High level meetings were held in Tokyo by Japanese naval officers who decided that should Rear Admiral Shiozawa Koichi be forced into action then the Navy would send additional warships to back him up. Similarly Minister to China Shigemitsu Mamoru conferred with Imperial Prince Kan’in Kotohito, the Chief of the Army General Staff, and the cabinet. The Army assured the cabinet that if trouble spread from Shanghai into the interior the army would reinforce the Navy. Shigemitsu was advised to return to Shanghai and persuade the Chinese to reach a “fundamental solution” before military action became necessary.  
   
  The Navy council advised Rear Admiral Shiozawa “to take prompt action at his discretion according to need’” Orders were sent to the navy base at Sasebo to deploy twelve destroyers from the First Destroyer Flotilla with the light cruiser IJN Yubari as flagship to reinforce Shiozawa’s forces. Shiozawa forces had been just recently bolstered by the Fifteenth Destroyer Squadron, the light cruiser Oi, the aircraft carrier Notoro, the First Torpedo Squadron, and the Second Special Marine Regiment.  
   
  Wednesday, January 27, 1932  
  The International Settlement Defense Committee in Shanghai met in the morning. Captain Samejima Tomoshige, Japanese commander of the Japanese marine contingent, (described) the growing level of danger to Japanese and other foreign nationals. The commanders agreed to institute a defense protocol that included curfews and martial law. Each national military force was given defensive sectors. The British and Japanese sectors extended beyond the boundaries of the International Settlement so as to protect sewage and power lines. The commanders agreed to institute the protocol at 4 p.m. the next day. The Japanese assumed that because of the special hostility towards their nationals, the substantial Japanese interests outside of the International Settlement, and the deployment of their troops outside of the settlement that they had been given a free hand by the other national military forces to enter Chapei to rescue Japanese nationals. The commanders agreed to meet the next morning and then declare the state of emergency.  
   
  The Japanese owned Nikka No. 8 cotton mill was closed and its Chinese workers sent home. The Japanese mill owner’s association met with Rear Admiral Shiozawa Koichi and Japanese Consul-General in Shanghai, Murai Urumatsu who assured them that Japanese mills would be protected by Japanese marines. When the marines attemptedaround noon to secure the Nikka No. 8 mill they had a 2 hour confrontation with Chinese police who ultimately persuaded the marines that the mill was safe under Chinese protection.  
   
  The Japanese Consul-General in Shanghai, Murai Urumatsu, told Shanghai’s Mayor Wu T'ieh-ch'eng that he must have a satisfactory reply by 6 p.m. the next day with regards to the five demands presented the Japanese on January 20.  
   
  The Nippon Dempo news service passed along a press release from the Shanghai consulate. The press release claimed that the Chinese 19th Route Army was rushing in reinforcement and planned on sending in plain clothed troops to attack Japanese residents in Chapei. This press release contradicted observations by Westerners and It is believed that Major Tanaka Ryukichi of the Kwangtung Army was the source of this misinformation in order to derail peace negotiations.  
   
  The Anti Japanese Boycott Association was closed by Shanghai’s Mayor Wu T'ieh-ch'eng and their various offices sealed by Chinese police.  
   
  The Executive Committee of the International Settlement in Shanghai caused the Min Kuo Jih Pao (the Chinese Republican daily newspaper) to be closed. This action was taken in the hopes of reducing tensions between the Japanese and Chinese.  
     
  At 7 p.m. the Japanese Consul-General in Shanghai, Murai Urumatsu, sent Shanghai’s Mayor Wu T'ieh-ch'eng a 22-hour ultimatum requiring unqualified agreement with regards to all five demands presented by the Japanese on January 20. The ultimatum was to expire at 6 p.m. January 28. The Japanese demanded that the Chinese apologize for the January 18 incident involving the beating of 5 Japanese Buddhist monks on January 18, arrest those involved, dissolve all anti-Japanese organizations, pay compensation, and end anti-Japanese agitation.  
   
  An hour after Consul Murai’s ultimatum, Mayor Wu received a similar ultimatum from Rear Admiral Shiozawa Koichi.  
   
  Simultaneously the Naval Ministry in Tokyo released a statement to the world press that the anti-Japanese boycott was growing intolerable and that by severing economic relations was tantamount to declaring war.  
   
  Mayor Wu received instructions from the Nationalist government in Nanking to accede to Japanese demands and lock-up the anti-Japanese headquarters and offices and to open up boycott warehouses. At 11 p.m. Wu ordered his police to be ready to move the next day. In addition, Nanking was sending an additional 1,500 police to aid Wu’s force in dealing with what was anticipated to be hostile local Chinese reaction.  
   
  By this date, the Japanese military had concentrated some thirty ships, forty airplanes, and nearly seven thousand troops around the shoreline of Shanghai, in order to put down any resistance in the event that violence broke out. The military's justification was that it had to defend its concession and citizens.  
   
  U.S. Secretary of State Henry L. Stimson telegraphed Ambassador W. Cameron Forbes at Tokyo to make representations to the Japanese Government regarding the situation at Shanghai. After reciting the events of the preceding week the instructions said: (paraphrase} "While this account may not be altogether complete or precise in all details, it is a sufficient indication that the action of Japanese subjects, both officials and private citizens, is contributing to the aggravation of what is already a serious situation at Shanghai, and that the consular and naval officers of the Japanese Government on the spot are seriously considering the use of force near to or in the International Settlement as an instrument of Japanese policy."  
   
  Thursday, January 28, 1932  
  British Brigadier General Fleming, head of the International Settlement Defense Committee in Shanghai, was informed by Mr. Toda (Japanese liaison officer) at 7:30 AM,  that the Japanese had decided to take the necessary action on January 29 if the Chinese did not meet their demands. General Fleming called a meeting of the Defense Committee at 9:30 AM. The Japanese members did not attend. The Committee decided to declare a State of Emergency to go into effect at 4:00 PM, 28 January, at which time all troops would man their defense sectors. The Japanese had placed a deadline of 6 p.m. to their demands that the Chinese apologize for the January 18 incident involving the beating of 5 Japanese Buddhist monks on January 18, arrest those involved, dissolve all anti-Japanese organizations, pay compensation, and end anti-Japanese agitation.  
   
  Chiang Kai-Shek and Wang Ching-wei sent several messages to the 19th Route Army containing instructions to avoid responding to provocations that the Japanese could use as a pretext for military action.  
   
  The Japanese notified Shanghai’s mayor at 11:15 p.m. to evacuate Chinese troops from Chapei within a half hour.  
   
  The Shanghai Municipal Council agreed in the afternoon to the Japanese demands. At 2 p.m. the Japanese Consul-General in Shanghai, Murai Urumatsu, received the Chinese reply to his ultimatum and at 3 p.m. he informed the Shanghai consular body that the reply was satisfactory and that if the Chinese promises were kept a clash would be avoided.  
   
  As all the other foreign troops were now occupying their defense sectors, while the Japanese stood fast, it gave the appearance of a premature move by the Defense Committee. But once having placed the onus on others, the Japanese stated that they would comply with the Defense Scheme and occupy their own area.  
   
  Under cover of darkness a landing force of 2,000 Japanese naval personnel, with armored cars, trucks, and light artillery formed in the streets of Shanghai. At 11:15 p.m. the Japanese Naval Commander, Rear Admiral Shiozawa Koichi, notified Shanghai’s Mayor Wu T'ieh-ch'eng that he intended to occupy the Chapei sector of the city and demanded that the Chinese troops there be withdrawn.  
   
  At 11:45 Japanese forces entered the Chapei sector of the city. Light resistance was met but as the Japanese felt that the Chinese were sniping at them the Japanese Navy ordered carrier aircraft to dropping incendiary bombs which began falling at 12:15 a.m. Japanese carrier aircraft bombed Shanghai. The air strikes were the first major aircraft carrier action in the Far East.  
   
  While the bombing was going on, the Japanese attempted to push west from the Szechuen Road and came into contact with units of the 19th Route Army and the Japanese advance was halted.  
   
  By daylight on the 29th, the Japanese had succeeded in only occupying the defensive sector assigned to them the previous day by the International Settlement Defense Committee. They had succeeded, mostly by aerial bombing, in setting fire to the cotton mills and most of Chapei, even destroying The Commercial Press, the largest of its kind in China, with 600,000 volumes in its Oriental Library.  
   
  The 19th Route Army surprised the Japanese and most observers by putting up a fierce resistance. The 19th Route Army had been massing outside of Shanghai and was seen as little more than a warlord force of equal danger to Shanghai than the Japanese military. Shanghai had donated a substantial bribe to the 19th Route Army with the hope that they would leave and not incite a Japanese attack.  
   
  Friday, January 29, 1932  
  At 12:15 a.m. Japanese carrier aircraft bombed Shanghai. The air strikes were the first major aircraft carrier action in the Far East.  
   
  In concert with the air strikes three thousand Japanese troops proceeded to attack various targets held by the Chinese 19th Route Army around the city including the northern train station, and began an invasion of the Japanese settlement in Hongkew and other areas north of Suzhou Creek. The 19th Route Army surprised the Japanese and most observers by putting up a fierce resistance. The 19th Route Army had been massing outside of Shanghai and was seen as little more than a warlord force of equal danger to Shanghai than the Japanese military. Shanghai had donated a substantial bribe to the 19th Route Army with the hope that they would leave and not incite a Japanese attack.  
   
  China invoked Articles 10 and 15 of the League of Nations Covenant stating that "A dispute between . . . China and Japan–arising from the aggression of the latter against "the territorial and administrative integrity and political independence of the former in violation of the provisions of the Covenant of the League of Nations, exists. This dispute has not been submitted to arbitration or to judicial settlement in accordance with any of the articles of the Covenant. The said dispute has now reached a state when it is likely to lead to an immediate rupture between China and Japan. . . ."  
   
  Saturday, January 30, 1932  
  The Chinese Government in Nanking Government publicly announced its commitment to a policy of resisting Japanese demands with military force and that it stood behind the 19th Route Army in the Shanghai struggle. The Chinese also announced the temporary transference of the capitol from Nanking to Loyang in Honan Province. This action was taken because of the accessibility of Nanking to the Japanese battleships.  
   
  The Chinese protested the Japanese withdrawing into the International Settlement and further using it as a base for military operations. Both sides used the Settlement as a base for their wounded, although on the whole, it might be assumed as barred to the Chinese Army, but not to the Japanese.  
   
  Sunday, January 31, 1932  
  A meeting was held between Japanese Consul-General in Shanghai, Murai Urumatsu, Japanese Rear Admiral Shiozawa Koichi, Shanghai’s Mayor Wu T'ieh-ch'eng, a division commander of the 19th Route Army, the British and American Consul-Generals, and the commanders of the Settlement Defense forces. Both sides agreed not to fire unless fired upon until peace proposals could be presented to their Governments.  
     
   
     
   
 

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