Political map of East Asia and the Western Pacific 18 February 1932 (Creation of Manchukuo): The Japanese Army (Kwantung Army), moving without orders from the government in Tokyo, used the Mukden Incident (Mukden Incident) as an excuse to invade Manchuria (Japanese invasion of Manchuria). Chiang Kaishek (Chiang Kai-shek) was preoccupied with fighting the Communists (Encirclement Campaigns) and unable to stop them. In February, with the Japanese conquest all but complete, Manchuria was declared independent as the puppet state of Manchukuo (Manchukuo).