The May 15 Incident,Wikimedia Commons.

A cadre of young ultranationalist naval officers and army cadets assassinated Prime Minister Tsuyoshi Inukai in May 1932.

Inukai Tsuyoshi’s last words to his killers were:  If I could speak, you would understand.

Although  sentenced to fifteen years’ imprisonment, the assassins were widely viewed as idealistic patriots. Tsuyoshi’s successor Makoto Saito was a strong proponent of military action in Manchuria.