Midst minimal dissension (soon vigorously suppressed by the government) the average Japanese may have had these thoughts on the matter:

1. In an economic depression, with inadequate resources for a growing population, we need more land.

2. Manchuria is a backward region, ruled by warlords, that has already benefitted greatly by Japanese investment.

3. Our noble intention is to help our Asian brothers with enlightened rule.

4. Given the extent of their Asian colonialism, condemnation by Western  powers is hypocritical.