In an effort to demonstrate peaceful intentions toward Germany, on 13 April 1941, Stalin oversaw the signing of a neutrality pact with the Axis power Japan.  Since Treaty of Portsmouth , Russia had been competing with Japan for spheres of influence in the Far East , where there was a power vacuum with the collapse of Imperial China . Although similar to the Molotov–Ribbentrop Pact with the Third Reich , that Soviet Union signed Soviet–Japanese Neutrality Pact with the Empire of Japan , to maintain the national interest of Soviet's sphere of influence in the European continent as well as the Far East conquest, whilst among the few countries in the world diplomatically recognising Manchukuo , and allowed the rise of German invasion in Europe and Japanese aggression in Asia, but the Japanese defeat of Battles of Khalkhin Gol was the forceful factor to the temporary settlement before Soviet invasion of Manchuria in 1945 as the result of Yalta Conference . While Stalin had little faith in Japan's commitment to neutrality, he felt that the pact was important for its political symbolism, to reinforce a public affection for Germany, before military confrontation when Hitler controlled Western Europe and for Soviet Union to take control Eastern Europe .  Stalin felt that there was a growing split in German circles about whether Germany should initiate a war with the Soviet Union, though Stalin was not aware of Hitler's further military ambition. 
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