Manchukuo (Script error) was a puppet state in northeast China and Inner Mongolia, which was governed under a form of constitutional monarchy. The area, collectively known as Manchuria, was designated by China's erstwhile Qing Dynasty as the "homeland" of the ruling family's ethnic group, the Manchus. In 1931, Japan seized the region following the Mukden Incident and installed a pro-Japanese government one year later with Puyi, the last Qing emperor, as the nominal regent and emperor. Manchukuo's government was abolished in 1945 after the defeat of Imperial Japan at the end of World War II. The territories formally claimed by the puppet state were first seized in the Soviet invasion of Manchuria in August 1945, and then formally transferred to Chinese administration in the following year.Script error[unreliable source?]
Manchus formed a minority in Manchukuo, whose largest ethnic group were Han Chinese. The population of Koreans increased during the Manchukuo period, and there were also Japanese, Mongols, White Russians and other minorities. The Mongol regions of western Manchukuo were ruled under a slightly different system in acknowledgement of the Mongolian traditions there. The southern part of the Liaodong Peninsula was ruled by Japan as the Kwantung Leased Territory.
The Qing Dynasty, which replaced the Shun and Ming dynasties in China, was founded by Manchus from Manchuria (modern Northeastern China). However, the Manchu emperors did not fully integrate their homeland into China. This legal and, to a degree, ethnic division continued until the Qing dynasty began to fall apart in the 19th century.
During its reign the Qing Dynasty became highly integrated with Chinese culture. The dynasty reached its height in the 18th century, during which both territory and population were increased. However, its military power weakened thereafter and, faced with massive rebellions and defeat in wars, the Qing Dynasty declined after the mid-19th century.
As the power of the court in Beijing weakened, many outlying areas either broke free (like Kashgar) or fell under the control of Imperialist powers. In the 19th century, Imperial Russia was most interested in the northern lands of the Qing Empire. In 1858, Russia gained control over a huge tract of land called Outer Manchuria thanks to the Supplementary Treaty of Beijing that ended the Second Opium War. But Russia was not satisfied and, as the Qing Dynasty continued to weaken, they made further efforts to take control of the rest of Manchuria. Inner Manchuria came under strong Russian influence in the 1890s with the building of the Chinese Eastern Railway through Harbin to Vladivostok.
As a direct result of the Russo-Japanese War (1904/05) Japanese influence replaced Russia's in Inner Manchuria. In 1906, Japan laid the South Manchurian Railway to Port Arthur (Japanese: Ryojun). Between World War I and World War II Manchuria became a political and military battleground between Russia, Japan, and China. Japan moved into Outer Manchuria as a result of the chaos following the Russian Revolution of 1917. A combination of Soviet military successes and American economic pressure forced the Japanese to withdraw from the area, however, and Outer Manchuria returned to Soviet control by 1925.
During the warlord period in China, the warlord Zhang Zuolin established himself in Inner Manchuria with Japanese backing. Later, the Japanese Kwantung Army found him too independent, so he was assassinated in 1928.
After the Japanese invasion of Manchuria in 1931, Japanese militarists moved forward to separate the region from Chinese control and to create a Japanese-aligned puppet state. To create an air of legitimacy, the last Emperor of China, Puyi, was invited to come with his followers and act as the head of state for Manchuria. One of his faithful companions was Zheng Xiaoxu, a Qing reformist and loyalist.
On 18 February 1932 the Manchu State (Manchukuo, Pinyin: Mǎnzhōuguó) was proclaimed and recognized by Japan on 15 September 1932 through the Japan-Manchukuo Protocol. The city of Changchun, renamed Hsinking (Pinyin: Xinjing) (新京, literally "New Capital"), became the [[Capital capital of the new entity. Chinese in Manchuria organized volunteer armies to oppose the Japanese and the new state required a war lasting several years to appease the country.
The Japanese initially installed Puyi as Head of State in 1932, and two years later he was declared Emperor of Manchukuo with the era name of Kangde ("Tranquility and Virtue"; Wade-Giles: Kangte). Manchukuo thus became the Great Manchurian Empire, sometimes termed Manchutikuo (Pinyin: Mǎnzhōu Dìguó). Zheng Xiaoxu served as Manchukuo's first prime minister until 1935, when Zhang Jinghui succeeded him. Puyi was nothing more than a figurehead and real authority rested in the hands of the Japanese military officials. An imperial palace was particularly built for the emperor. All of the Manchu ministers served as front-men for their Japanese vice-ministers, who made all decisions.
In this manner, Japan formally detached Manchukuo from China in the course of the 1930s. With Japanese investment and rich natural resources, the area became an industrial powerhouse.
In 1935, Manchukuo bought the Chinese Eastern Railway from the Soviet Union.
China did not recognize Manchukuo but the two countries established official ties for trade, communications and transportation. In 1933, the League of Nations adopted the Lytton Report, declaring that Manchuria remained rightfully part of China, leading Japan to resign its membership. The Manchukuo case persuaded the United States to articulate the so-called Stimson Doctrine, under which international recognition was withheld from changes in the international system created by force of arms.
In spite of the League of Nations' approach, the new state was diplomatically recognised by El Salvador (3 March 1934) and the Dominican Republic (1934), the Soviet Union (de facto 23 March 1935; de jure 13 April 1941), Italy (29 November 1937), Spain (2 December 1937), Germany (12 May 1938) and Hungary (9 January 1939).
It is commonly believed that the Holy See established diplomatic relations with Manchukuo in 1934. In fact, the Holy See never did so. This is partly due to the erroneous reference in Bernardo Bertolucci's 1987 film The Last Emperor, that the Holy See diplomatically recognised Manchukuo. Bishop Auguste Ernest Pierre Gaspais was appointed as "representative ad tempus of the Holy See and of the Catholic missions of Manchukuo to the government of Manchukuo" by the Congregation De Propaganda Fide [a purely religious body responsible for missions] and not by the Secretariat of State responsible for diplomatic relations with states.
After the outbreak of World War II, the state was recognised by Slovakia (1 June 1940), Vichy France (12 July 1940), Romania (1 December 1940), Bulgaria (10 May 1941), Finland (18 July 1941), Denmark (August 1941), Croatia (2 August 1941)—all controlled or influenced by Japan's ally Germany — as well as by the China's Wang Jingwei government (30 November 1940), Thailand (5 August 1941) and the Philippines (1943)—all under Japanese control.
World War II and aftermathEdit
Before World War II, the Japanese colonized Manchukuo and used it as a base from which to invade China. In the summer of 1939 a border dispute between Manchukuo and the Mongolian People's Republic resulted in the Battle of Khalkhin Gol. During this battle, a combined Soviet-Mongolian force defeated the Japanese Kwantung Army (Kantōgun) supported by limited Manchukuoan forces.
On 8 August 1945, the Soviet Union declared war on Japan, in accordance with the agreement at the Yalta Conference, and invaded Manchukuo from outer Manchuria and Outer Mongolia. This was called Manchurian Strategic Offensive Operation. During the Soviet offensive the Army of Manchukuo, on paper a 200,000-man force, performed poorly and whole units surrendered to the Soviets without firing a single shot; there were even cases of armed riots and mutinies against the Japanese forces. Emperor Kangde (known by reign title Xuantong during the Qing Dynasty; his childhood name was Puyi) had hoped to escape to Japan to surrender to the Americans, but the Soviets captured him and eventually extradited him to the communist government in China, where the authorities had him imprisoned as a war criminal along with all other captured Manchukuo officials.
From 1945 to 1948, Manchuria (Inner Manchuria) served as a base area for the People's Liberation Army in the Chinese Civil War against the Kuomintang (KMT). The Chinese Communists used Manchuria as a staging ground until the final Nationalist retreat to Taiwan in 1949. Many Manchukuo army and Japanese Kantogun personnel served with the communist troops during the Chinese Civil War against the Nationalist forces. Most of the 1.5 million Japanese who had been left in Manchukuo at the end of World War II were sent back to their homeland in 1946-1948 by U.S. Navy ships in the operation now known as the Japanese repatriation from Huludao.
Historians generally consider Manchukuo a puppet state of Imperial Japan because of the Japanese military's strong presence and strict control of the government administration. Chinese historians generally refer to the state as 'Wei Manzhouguo' ('false state of Manchuria'). Some historians see Manchukuo as an effort at building a glorified Japanese state in mainland Asia that deteriorated due to the pressures of war.
The independence of Manchuria was proclaimed on 18 February 1932, and renamed to Manchukuo. The Japanese military commander appointed Puyi as regent (reign name Datong) for the time being, stating that he would become Emperor of Manchukuo but could not reign using the title of Emperor of the Great Qing Empire as he once held. Manchukuo was proclaimed a monarchy on 1 March 1934, with Puyi assuming the throne under the reign name of Emperor Kang-de. Puyi was assisted in his executive duties by a Privy Council (Chinese language: 參議府Script error), and a General Affairs State Council (Chinese language: 國務院Script error). This State Council was the center of political power, and consisted of several cabinet ministers, each assisted by a Japanese vice-minister.
The commanding officer of the Kwantung Army in Manchukuo was additionally the Japanese ambassador to Manchukuo. He functioned in a manner similar to that of a British resident officer in British overseas protectorates, with the power to veto decisions by the emperor. The Kwangtung Army leadership placed Japanese vice ministers in his cabinet, while all Chinese advisors gradually resigned or were dismissed.
The Legislative Council (Chinese language: 立法院Script error) was largely a ceremonial body, existing to rubber-stamp decisions issued by the State Council. The only authorized political party was the government-sponsored Concordia Association, although various émigré groups were permitted their own political associations.
|Personal Names||Period of Reigns||Era names (年號) and their corresponding range of years|
|All given names in bold.|
|Aisin-Gioro Puyi 愛新覺羅溥儀 Àixīnjuéluó Pǔyì||March 1932 – August 1945|| Datong (大同 Dàtóng) 1932–1934|
Kangde (康德 Kāngdé) 1934–1945
Administrative division of ManchukuoEdit
- See List of administrative divisions of Manchukuo for a complete list of prefecture-level divisions.
During its short-lived existence, Manchukuo was divided into between five (in 1932) and 19 (in 1941) provinces, one special ward of Peiman (Chinese language: 北滿特別區Script error) and two Special cities which were Hsinking (Chinese language: 新京特別市Script error) and Harbin (Chinese language: 哈爾濱特別市Script error). Each province was divided into between four (Hsingan-tung) and 24 (Fengtien) prefectures. Peiman lasted less than 3 years (1 July 1933 – 1 January 1936) and Harbin was later incorporated into Binkiang province. Lungkiang also existed as a province in the 1932 before being divided into Heiho, Lungkiang and Sankiang in 1934. Antung and Chinchow provinces separated themselves from Fengtien while Binkiang and Chientao from Kirin separated themselves in the same year.
In 1908, the number of residents was 15,834,000, which rose to 30,000,000 in 1931 and 43,000,000 for the Manchukuo state. The population balance remained 123 men to 100 women and the total number in 1941 was 50,000,000. Other statistics indicate that in Manchukuo the population rose by 18,000,000.
In early 1934, the total population of Manchukuo was estimated as 30,880,000, with 6.1 persons the average family, and 122 men for each 100 women. These numbers included 29,510,000 Chinese(96%, which should have included Manchurian population), 590,760 Japanese (2%), 680,000 Koreans (2%), and 98,431 (<1%) of other nationality: White Russians, Mongols, etc.Script errorScript error Around 80% of the population was rural. During the existence of Manchukuo, the ethnic balance did not change significantly, except that Japan increased the Korean population in China. The majority of Han Chinese in Manchukuo believed that Manchuria was rightfully part of China, who both passively and violently resisted Japan's propaganda that Manchukuo was a "multinational state".
From Japanese sources come these numbers: in 1940 the total population in Manchukuo of Lungkiang, Jehol, Kirin, Liaoning (Fengtien) and Hsingan provinces at 43,233,954; or an Interior Ministry figure of 31,008,600. Another figure of the period estimated the total population as 36,933,000 residents.
Around the same time the Soviet Union was advocating the Siberian Jewish Autonomous Oblast across the Manchukuo-Soviet border, some Japanese officials investigated a plan (known as the Fugu Plan) to attract Jewish refugees to Manchukuo as part of their colonisation efforts which was never adopted as official policy.
Population of main citiesEdit
- Newchwang (119,000 or 180,871 in 1940) Script errorScript error
- Mukden (339,000 or 1,135,801 in 1940) Script errorScript error
- Hsinking (126,000 or 544,202 in 1940) Script errorScript error
- Harbin (405,000 or 661,948 in 1940) Script errorScript error
- Dairen (400,000 or 555,562 in 1939) Script errorScript error
- Antung (92,000 or 315,242 in 1940) Script errorScript error
- Kirin (119,000 or 173,624 in 1940) Script errorScript error
- Tsitsihar (75,000 in 1940) Script errorScript error
In 1931–2, there were 100,000 Japanese farmers; other sources mention 590,760 Japanese inhabitants. Other figures for Manchukuo speak of a Japanese population 240,000 strong, later growing to 837,000. In Hsinking, they made up 25% of the population. The Japanese government had official plans projecting the emigration of 5 million Japanese to Manchukuo between 1936 and 1956. Between 1938 and 1942 a batch of young farmers of 200,000 arrived in Manchukuo; joining this group after 1936 were 20,000 complete families. When Japan lost sea and air control of the Yellow Sea, this migration stopped.
When the Red Army invaded Manchukuo, they captured 850,000 Japanese settlers. With the exception of some civil servants and soldiers, these were repatriated to Japan in 1946–7. Many Japanese orphans in China were left behind in the confusion by then Japanese government and were adopted by Chinese families. Many, however, integrated well into Chinese society. In the 1980s Japan began to organise a repatriation programme for them but not all chose to go back to Japan.
Manchukuo experienced rapid economic growth and progress in its social systems. Its industrial system was among the most advanced making it one of the industrial powerhouses in the region. Manchukuo's steel production exceeded Japan's in the late 1930s. Many Manchurian cities were modernised during Manchukuo era. However, much of the country's economy was often subordinated to Japanese interests and, during the war, raw material flowed into Japan to support the war effort. Traditional lands were taken and redistributed to Japanese farmers with local farmers relocated and forced into collective farming units over smaller areas of land.
- Central Bank of Manchou
- Manchukuo yuan
- Manshukoku Hikoki Seizo KK
- Manshukoku Koku KK
- Showa Steel Works
- Manchurian Industrial Development Company
- Manchukuo Film Association
The Japanese built an efficient and impressive railway system that still functions well today. Known as the South Manchuria Railway Company or Mantetsu, this large corporation came to own large stakes in many industrial projects throughout the region. Mantetsu personnel were active in the pacification of occupied China during World War II.
Manchukuo Imperial ArmyEdit
The Manchukuo Imperial Army was the armed force of Manchukuo.
Manchukuo Imperial GuardsEdit
The Manchukuo Imperial Guards was the elite unit of the Manchukuo armed forces created in 1933. It was charged with the protection of the Kangde Emperor Puyi, and senior members of the Manchukuo civil government. Its headquarters was in the capital of Hsinking, near the Imperial Palace in the centre of the city.
The Manchukuo Imperial Navy (Manshu Teikoku Kaigun) was the navy of Manchukuo. As Manchukuo was a largely land-locked state, the leadership of the Japanese Kwantung Army regarded the development of a navy to have a very low military priority, although it was politically desirable to create at least a nominal force as a symbol of the legitimacy of the new regime.
Manchukuo Imperial Air ForceEdit
The Manchukuo Imperial Air Force (Dai Manshū Teikoku Kūgun) was established in February 1937, initially with 30 men selected from the Manchukuo Imperial Army and trained at the Japanese Kwantung Army aircraft arsenal in Harbin. The official air force's predecessor was the Manchukuo Air Transport Company (later renamed the Manchukuo National Airways) a paramilitary airline formed in 1931, which undertook transport and reconnaissance missions for the Japanese military.
War crimes in ManchukuoEdit
According to a joint study of historians Zhifen Ju, Mitsuyochi Himeta, Toru Kubo and Mark Peattie, more than 10 million Chinese civilians were mobilized by the Kwangtung Army for slave work in Manchukuo under the supervision of the Kōa-in.
The Chinese slave laborers often suffered illness due to high-intensity manual labor. Some badly ill workers were directly pushed into mass graves in order to avoid the medical expenditure and the world's most serious mine disaster, at Benxihu Colliery, happened in Manchukuo.
Bacteriological weapons were experimented on humans by the infamous unit 731 located near Harbin in Beinyinhe from 1932 to 1936 and to Pingfan until 1945. Victims, mostly Chinese, Russians and Koreans, were subjected to vivisection, sometimes without anesthesia.
In 2007, an article by Reiji Yoshida in the Japan Times argued that the Japanese investments were partly financed by selling drugs. According to the article, a document found by Yoshida shows that the Kōa-in was directly implicated in providing funds to drug dealers in China for the benefit of the puppet governments of Manchukuo, Nanjing and Mongolia. This document corroborates evidence analyzed earlier by the Tokyo tribunal which stated that
Japan's real purpose in engaging drug traffic was far more sinister than even the debauchery of Chinese people. Japan, having signed and ratified the opium conventions, was bound not to engage in drug traffic, but she found in the alleged but false independence of Manchukuo a convenient opportunity to carry on a worldwide drug traffic and cast the guilt upon that puppet state.... In 1937, it was pointed out in the League of Nations that 90% of all illicit white drugs in the world were of Japanese origin...
Manchukuo developed an efficient public education system. The government established many schools and technical colleges, 12,000 primary schools in Manchukuo, 200 middle schools, 140 normal schools (for preparing teachers), and 50 technical and professional schools. In total the system had 600,000 children and young pupils and 25,000 teachers. Local Chinese children and Japanese children usually attended different schools, and the ones who did attend the same school were segregated by ethnicity, with the Japanese students assigned to better-equipped classes.
Confucius's teachings also played an important role in Manchukuo's public school education. In rural areas, students were trained to practice modern agricultural techniques to improve production. Education focused on practical work training for boys and domestic work for girls, all based on obedience to the "Kingly Way" and stressing loyalty to the Emperor. The regime used numerous festivals, sport events, and ceremonies to foster loyalty of citizens. Eventually, Japanese became the official language in addition to the Chinese language taught in Manchukuo schools.
The Photograpic Division, part of the public relations section of the South Manchurian Railway was created in 1928 to produce short documentary films about Manchuria to Japanese audiences. In 1937, the Manchukuo Film Association was established by the government and the South Manchurian Railway in a studio in Jilin province. It was founded by Masahiko Amakasu, who also helped the career of Yoshiko Otaka, also known as Ri Koran. He also tried to ensure that Manchukuo would have its own industry and would be catering mainly to Manchurian audiences. The films for the most part usually promote pro-Manchukuo and pro-Japanese views. After World War II, the archives and the equipment of the association were used by the Changchun Film Studio of the People's Republic of China.
In a meeting with the Concordia Association, the organizers devised what was termed Concordia Costume, or the kyowafuku, in 1936. Even Japanese like Masahiko Amakasu and Kanji Ishiwara adopted it. It was gray and a civilianized version of Imperial Japanese Army uniform. It was similar to the National Clothes (kokumin-fuku) wore by Japanese civilians in World War II as well as the Zhongshan suit. A pin of either a Manchukuo flag or a five-pointed, five colored star with the Manchukuo national colors were worn on the collars. Court dress resembled those of Meiji-era Japan at that time.
The Manchukuo National Physical Education Association was established in 1932 to promote sport.
Manchukuo also had a national football team, and football was considered the country's de-facto national sport, and the Football Association of Manchukuo was formed around it.
Manchukuo hosted and participated in baseball matches with Japanese teams. Some of the games of the Intercity Baseball Tournament were held in the country, and played with local teams.
Manchukuo originally was to join the 1932 Summer Olympic Games, but one of the athletes who were intended to represent Manchukuo, Liu Changchun, refused to join the team and instead joined as the first Chinese representative in the Olympics. There were attempts by Japanese authorities to let Manchukuo join the 1936 games, but the Olympic Committee persisted in the policy of not allowing an unrecognized state to join the Olympics. Manchukuo had a chance to participate in the planned 1940 Tokyo Olympics, but the outset of World War II killed the idea permanently.
Aside from the national flag, the orchid, reportedly Puyi's favorite flower, became the royal flower of the country, similar to the chrysanthemum in Japan. The sorghum flower also became a national flower by decree in April 1933. "Five Races Under One Union (Manchukuo)" was used as a national motto.
Stamps and postal historyEdit
Manchukuo issued postage stamps from 28 July 1932 until its dissolution following the final defeat of the Japanese Empire in August 1945. The last issue of Manchukuo was on 2 May 1945.
In popular cultureEdit
In Masaki Kobayashi's The Human Condition (film series) (1959) Kaji, the main protagonist, is a labor supervisor assigned to a workforce of Chinese prisoners in a large mining operation in Japanese-colonized Manchuria.
Bernardo Bertolucci's 1987 film, The Last Emperor, presented a controversial portrait of Manchukuo through the memories of Emperor Puyi, during his days as political prisoner in the People's Republic of China.
Haruki Murakami's 1995 novel The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle deals greatly with Manchukuo through the character of Lieutenant Mamiya. Mamiya recalls, in person and in correspondence, his time as an officer in the Kwangtung Army in Manchukuo. While the period covered in these recollections extends for many years, the focus is on the final year of the war and the Soviet invasion of Manchuria.
The 2008 South Korean western The Good, the Bad, the Weird is set in the desert wilderness of 1930s Manchuria.
- Battle of Khalkhin Gol
- Battle of Lake Khasan
- Collaborationist Chinese Army
- Evacuation of Manchukuo
- History of the Republic of China
- List of East Asian leaders in the Japanese sphere of influence (1931–1945)
- Marco Polo Bridge Incident
- Northeast Anti-Japanese United Army
- Mukden Incident
- Soviet invasion of Manchuria
- Unit 731
- Manchukuo Temporary Government
- ↑ Prasenjit Duara. "The New Imperialism and the Post-Colonial Developmental State: Manchukuo in comparative perspective". http://www.japanfocus.org/-Prasenjit-Duara/1715. Retrieved 25 July 2010.
- ↑ Ju, Zhifen (2002). "Japan's atrocities of conscripting and abusing north China draftees after the outbreak of the Pacific war". .
- ↑ Municipal Government Information Office (2005). "Repatriation of one million Japanese via Huludao". Beijing: China Intercontinental Press. p. 25. ISBN 7-5085-0735-5. .
- ↑ Japan profited as opium dealer wartime China, https://archive.is/20120604094307/search.japantimes.co.jp/cgi-bin/nn20070830f1.html
- ↑ HyperWar: International Military Tribunal for the Far East [Chapter 5]
- ↑ Japan Focus.
- ↑ Brandt, Kim. Kingdom of Beauty: Mingei and the Politics of Folk Art in Imperial Japan. Durham and London: Duke UP, 2007.
- ↑ http://fukuju3.cocolog-nifty.com/footbook/2010/10/post-bfa7.html
- ↑ http://www.jacar.go.jp/DAS/meta/listPhoto?IS_STYLE=default&REFCODE=B05015686200
- ↑ 千田萬三『満洲事典』満鉄社員会、1939年（昭和14年）
- Clauss, Errol MacGregor. "The Roosevelt Administration and Manchukuo, 1933-1941," Historian (1970), 32#4 pp 595–611.
- Duara, Prasenjit. Sovereignty and Authenticity: Manchukuo and the East Asian Modern (2004)
- Power, Brian. Puppet Emperor: The Life of Pu Yi, Last Emperor of China (1988), 240pp
- Yamamuro, Shin'ichi. Manchuria under Japanese Dominion (U. of Pennsylvania Press, 2006); 335 pages; translation of highly infleuntial Japanese study; excerpt and text search
- review in The Journal of Japanese Studies 34.1 (2007) 109-114 online
- Young, Louise. Japan's Total Empire: Manchuria and the Culture of Wartime Imperialism (1999) 500pp; excerpt and text search; Google books
- Mitter, Rana. The Manchurian Myth: Nationalism, Resistance, and Collaboration in Modern China (2000) 295pp.
- KISHI Toshihiko, MATSUSHIGE Mitsuhiro and MATSUMURA Fuminori eds, 20 Seiki Manshu Rekishi Jiten [Encyclopedia of 20th Century Manchuria History], Tokyo: Yoshikawa Kobunkan, 2012, ISBN 978-4642014694
- Toshihiko Kishi. "Manchuria's Visual Media Empire (Manshukoku no Visual Media): Posters, Pictorial Post Cards, Postal Stamps", Tokyo: Yoshikawa Kobunkan, 10 June 2010. ISBN 978-4-642-08036-1
- Reginald Fleming Johnston. "Twilight in the Forbidden City". Soul Care Publishing, 18 March 2008. ISBN 978-0-9680459-5-4.
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