The Japanese placed the last Chinese emperor Pu Yi (who had previously been deposed in China) at the head of the state of Manchukuo. At its peak, Manchukuo had up to 50 million inhabitants.
On this day in 1932, the founding of the Japanese vassal state of Manchukuo on the territory of Manchuria was officially proclaimed. The formal ruler of the new state was the last Chinese emperor, Pu Yi, who was then in his twenties. He even received the title “Emperor of Manchukuo”, but his power was only nominal.
Manchukuo was one of the largest collaborator states in World War II. It is estimated that its population was around 50 million at its peak, making it much larger than, say, Vichy France. Manchukuo was recognized by the Axis states, but also some countries in Latin America.
The Imperial Japanese Army had a great influence on Manchukuo, especially the powerful Kwantung Army, whose commander-in-chief was also the Japanese ambassador in Manchukuo (the position of the commander-in-chief of the Kwantung Army was considered one of the most prestigious in the entire Imperial Japanese Army). Manchukuo was, of course, abolished after the Allied victory over Japan in World War II.