The warring and expanding Empire of Japan provided the violent political backdrop to the murder of Pamela Werner and its investigation.
Throughout the 1930s, the Japanese militarist regime contrived one flash-point after another in its efforts to force conflict with its larger but weaker neighbour, China. Japan lacked the coal and mineral resources China possessed.
A few weeks later Japanese troops paraded in triumph through the streets of Peking. The Imperial regime was extremely anti-British, seeing the UK as a fading colonial power that it intended to replace. The occupation effectively ended any further investigation of the Werner case by British police. Dennis and Botham were no longer free to operate there.
Left. Things got worse for the British in June 1939 when Japan blockaded the British concession in Tientsin - over their refusal to hand over four Chinese suspects accused of the assassination of a Japanese national.
Japanese soldiers humiliated British subjects by strip-searching them at the entrance - with people stood naked in the street.
Eventually the British backed down and handed over the four Chinese, who were later publicly executed by the Japanese.