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March 1931 Incident

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Part of the increasing Japanese ultranationalism and militarization that led to World War Two in the Pacific, the March 1931 Incident was a coup attempt by Army elements with the goal of installing War Minister Kazushige Ugaki, leader of the Control faction, as Prime Minister of Japan. Kingoro Hashimoto, chief of the Russia group of the Army General Staff's 2nd Bureau, had formed the Sakura-kai (Cherry Society)of young officers. Kuniaki Koiso, chief of the ministry's Military Affairs Bureau, also was involved with the planning.[1]

It took place during the Hiragumi government. Foreign Minister Kijuro Shidehara had actually been leading the cabinet while Hiragumi recovered from a November 1930 assassination attempt.[2]

The March Incident followed the Manchurian Incident, in which the Kwangtung Army opened hostilities in China.