Banknotes from the Japanese puppet states in China
Already from the start of the 20th century, the Japanese Empire was focused on expanding its territory to the Asian mainland. Following unrest between the various factions in the Republic of China, Japan invaded Manchuria in 1931 and established a state called Manchukuo in 1936. Puyi, the last Emperor of the Chinese Qing Dynasty, was invited to rule this puppet state. From 1936 the Second Sino-Japanese War broke out, a conflict that became part of the Second World War. Japan invaded Inner Mongolia, establishing a puppet state called Mengjiang. Large parts of coastal China were conquered from 1937, establishing more puppet states: Hopei or Hebei (1935-38), Provisional Government of China (1938-40, capital in Beijing), Reformed Government of China (1938-40, capital in Nanjing) and Reorganized National Government (1940-45, a merger of the 2 previous states).