Japan’s wartime deeds not easily forgotten in China

CCTV News

A party member arranges a flower basket at Lugou Bridge, July 7, 2013. (Photo/Xinhua) A party member arranges a flower basket at Lugou Bridge, July 7, 2013. (Photo/Xinhua)

World War II may have ended 70 years ago, but in a southwest Beijing suburb where the Lugou bridge is located, residents daily relive battles the Chinese fought with Japanese invaders so long ago.

Photos: 78th anniversary of Lugou bridge (Marco Polo bridge) incident

Seventy-eight years ago, on July 7, 1937, Japanese troops stationed near the bridge (also known as Marco Polo bridge) demanded entry to nearby Wanping County on the pretext of searching for a missing soldier. The Chinese military rejected the order and the Japanese bombed the county seat and bridge. The attack signaled the beginning of Japan’s full-scale invasion of China. View photos of the bridge then and now.

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Photo taken on July 5, 2015 shows the Lugou Bridge, the site of the old photo in the picture, in Beijing, capital of China. A journalist visited the sites of some old photos about the July 7 Incident. The July 7 Incident, or the Lugouqiao Incident, in 1937 marked the beginning of China's War of Resistance Against Japanese Aggression, which lasted eight years.(Xinhua/Liu Jinhai)
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Photo taken on July 5, 2015 shows the Wanping City, the site of the old photo in the picture, near the Lugou Bridge in Beijing, capital of China. A journalist visited the sites of some old photos about the July 7 Incident. The July 7 Incident, or the Lugouqiao Incident, in 1937 marked the beginning of China's War of Resistance Against Japanese Aggression, which lasted eight years.(Xinhua/Liu Jinhai)
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Photo taken on July 5, 2015 shows the Lugou Bridge, the site of the old photo in the picture, in Beijing, capital of China. A journalist visited the sites of some old photos about the July 7 Incident. The July 7 Incident, or the Lugouqiao Incident, in 1937 marked the beginning of China's War of Resistance Against Japanese Aggression, which lasted eight years.(Xinhua/Liu Jinhai)
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Photo taken on July 5, 2015 shows the Wanping City, the site of the old photo in the picture, near the Lugou Bridge in Beijing, capital of China. A journalist visited the sites of some old photos about the July 7 Incident. The July 7 Incident, or the Lugouqiao Incident, in 1937 marked the beginning of China's War of Resistance Against Japanese Aggression, which lasted eight years.(Xinhua/Liu Jinhai)
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Photo taken on July 5, 2015 shows the Lugou Bridge, the site of the old photo in the picture, in Beijing, capital of China. A journalist visited the sites of some old photos about the July 7 Incident. The July 7 Incident, or the Lugouqiao Incident, in 1937 marked the beginning of China's War of Resistance Against Japanese Aggression, which lasted eight years.(Xinhua/Liu Jinhai)
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Photo taken on July 5, 2015 shows the Lugou Bridge, the site of the old photo in the picture, in Beijing, capital of China. A journalist visited the sites of some old photos about the July 7 Incident. The July 7 Incident, or the Lugouqiao Incident, in 1937 marked the beginning of China's War of Resistance Against Japanese Aggression, which lasted eight years.(Xinhua/Liu Jinhai)
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Photo taken on July 5, 2015 shows the Wanping City, the site of the old photo in the picture, near the Lugou Bridge in Beijing, capital of China. A journalist visited the sites of some old photos about the July 7 Incident. The July 7 Incident, or the Lugouqiao Incident, in 1937 marked the beginning of China's War of Resistance Against Japanese Aggression, which lasted eight years.(Xinhua/Liu Jinhai)
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A party member arranges a flower basket at Lugou Bridge, July 7, 2013. (Photo/Xinhua)
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This photo taken on July 1, 2015 shows visitors reading a sign with information about the start of the Sino-Japanese war, in a neighborhood near the Marco Polo Bridge, or Lugouqiao, in west Beijing. The bridge was the scene of the Marco Polo Bridge incident, a skirmish between Chinese and Japanese troops on July 7, 1937 that served as a pretext for Tokyo's forces to seize Beijing, triggering the Sino-Japanese war. China will mark the 78th anniversary of the start of the war with Japan on July 7. AFP PHOTO / GREG BAKER
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This photo taken on July 1, 2015 shows visitors walking across the Marco Polo Bridge, or Lugouqiao in west Beijing. The bridge was the scene of the Marco Polo Bridge incident, a skirmish between Chinese and Japanese troops on July 7, 1937 that served as a pretext for Tokyo's forces to seize Beijing, triggering the Sino-Japanese war. China will mark the 78th anniversary of the start of the war with Japan on July 7. AFP PHOTO / GREG BAKER
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People visit Lugou Bridge, July 5, 2015. (Photo/Imagine China)
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Students from No 1 and No 2 Lugou Bridge Primary School honor anti-Japanese heroics at the memorial sculpture garden of the War of Resistance against Japanese Aggression in Beijing’s Fengtai district, Sept 1, 2014. (Photo/Xinhua)
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This photo taken on July 1, 2015 shows a man walking across the Marco Polo Bridge, or Lugouqiao, in west Beijing. The bridge was the scene of the Marco Polo Bridge incident, a skirmish between Chinese and Japanese troops on July 7, 1937 that served as a pretext for Tokyo's forces to seize Beijing, triggering the Sino-Japanese war. China will mark the 78th anniversary of the start of the war with Japan on July 7. AFP PHOTO / GREG BAKER
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This photo taken on July 1, 2015 shows a man standing beside the Marco Polo Bridge, or Lugouqiao (R) before a rain storm in west Beijing. The bridge was the scene of the Marco Polo Bridge incident, a skirmish between Chinese and Japanese troops on July 7, 1937 that served as a pretext for Tokyo's forces to seize Beijing, triggering the Sino-Japanese war. China will mark the 78th anniversary of the start of the war with Japan on July 7. AFP PHOTO / GREG BAKER
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This photo taken on July 1, 2015 shows a man riding across the Marco Polo Bridge, or Lugouqiao, after a rain storm in west Beijing. The bridge was the scene of the Marco Polo Bridge incident, a skirmish between Chinese and Japanese troops on July 7, 1937 that served as a pretext for Tokyo's forces to seize Beijing, triggering the Sino-Japanese war. China will mark the 78th anniversary of the start of the war with Japan on July 7. AFP PHOTO / GREG BAKER
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This photo taken on July 1, 2015 shows visitors viewing the Marco Polo Bridge, or Lugouqiao (R), after a rainstorm in west Beijing. The bridge was the scene of the Marco Polo Bridge incident, a skirmish between Chinese and Japanese troops on July 7, 1937 that served as a pretext for Tokyo's forces to seize Beijing, triggering the Sino-Japanese war. China will mark the 78th anniversary of the start of the war with Japan on July 7. AFP PHOTO / GREG BAKER
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This photo taken on July 1, 2015 shows a man riding across the Marco Polo Bridge, or Lugouqiao, after a rain storm in west Beijing. The bridge was the scene of the Marco Polo Bridge incident, a skirmish between Chinese and Japanese troops on July 7, 1937 that served as a pretext for Tokyo's forces to seize Beijing, triggering the Sino-Japanese war. China will mark the 78th anniversary of the start of the war with Japan on July 7. AFP PHOTO / GREG BAKER
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This photo taken on July 1, 2015 shows a man riding across the Marco Polo Bridge, or Lugouqiao, after a rain storm in west Beijing. The bridge was the scene of the Marco Polo Bridge incident, a skirmish between Chinese and Japanese troops on July 7, 1937 that served as a pretext for Tokyo's forces to seize Beijing, triggering the Sino-Japanese war. China will mark the 78th anniversary of the start of the war with Japan on July 7. AFP PHOTO / GREG BAKER
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File photo shows Chinese soldiers’ fight against the Japanese army on July 7, 1937 at Lugou Bridge. (Photo/Xinhua)
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This photo taken on July 1, 2015 shows stone lions on the Marco Polo Bridge, or Lugouqiao in west Beijing. The bridge was the scene of the Marco Polo Bridge incident, a skirmish between Chinese and Japanese troops on July 7, 1937 that served as a pretext for Tokyo's forces to seize Beijing, triggering the Sino-Japanese war. China will mark the 78th anniversary of the start of the war with Japan on July 7. AFP PHOTO / GREG BAKER
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Lugou Bridge in Beijing, June 12, 2015. On the night of July 7, 1937, Japanese troops stationed near Lugou Bridge in the southwest of Beijing demanded entry to nearby Wanping county on the pretext of searching for a missing soldier. The Chinese military rejected the order and the Japanese bombed the county seat and Lugou Bridge. Historians agree that the attack signaled the beginning of Japan's full-scale invasion of China, though Japan had invaded the Northeast in September 1931. Tuesday marks the 78th anniversary of the beginning of China's eight-year War of Resistance against Japanese Aggression. (Photo/Xinhua)

On the night of July 7, 1937, Japanese troops stationed near the bridge (also known as Marco Polo bridge) demanded entry to nearby Wanping County on the pretext of searching for a missing soldier. The Chinese military rejected the order and the Japanese bombed the county seat and bridge.

The attack signaled the beginning of Japan’s full-scale invasion of China, even though Japan had invaded the Northeast in September 1931.

“It gives me great pain to come here,” said student Li Jie, 25, standing in front of pictures of disembowelled women at the nearby Museum of the War of Chinese People’s Resistance Against Japanese Aggression.

“It is very tolerant of Premier Wen to go to Japan, considering our history and how much we suffered,” she added.

Premier Wen Jiabao flies to Tokyo on Wednesday, the first time a leader of China has visited its eastern neighbor and bitter wartime adversary in seven years.

Chinese veteran recalls Lugou Bridge battle

Chinese veteran recalls Lugou Bridge battle

China hold ceremonies this week to mark the 78th anniversary of the beginning of China’s eight-year War of Resistance Against Japan, in 1937. On July 7 that year, Japanese troops marched across Lugou Bridge, and into Beijing. The attack on the crossing, which is also known as Marco Polo Bridge, is seen by historians as signalling the beginning of Japan’s full-scale invasion of China. Some of the Chinese veterans can still recalled the critical moment of the battle. CCTV America’s Wu Guoxiu filed the report from Henan Province.

While the trip marks a turning point in relations, there is still cautious support from some for Wen’s Japan visit.

“The Chinese people hope that Wen’s trip to Japan can help melt the ice, and gradually open up some of the disagreements and contradictions,” museum deputy curator Li Zongyuan told Reuters. But that does not mean the past should be swept under the carpet in the interests of diplomacy, he added.

“We must not forget history,” Li said. “These are questions that cannot be avoided.”

Story by Reuters and Xinhua.