The Lugouqiao (Marco Polo Bridge) Incident, which marked the start of Japan's all-out invasion of China, boiled down to be the inevitable consequence of Japan's aggressive policy, a Japanese historian noted in a recent interview with Xinhua.
It was an event breaking out when Japan was implementing an invasive plot against China, said Hisashi Inoue, a professor with the Surugadai University.
Japan's ambition to annex the whole Chinese territory dates back to the 1930s. Prior to the Marco Polo Bridge Incident on July 7, 1937, the Japanese army had put northeast China under its control and created a puppet regime there, he said.
With voracious appetite, the Japanese army then moved southward in a bid to take Beijing and the neighboring regions to seek more resources and markets as well as strike the anti-Japan insurgence there. The incident broke out against that very backdrop, said the historian.
Inoue said that following the victory in the war with Russia from 1904 to 1905, Japan was able to implement its colonial rule on the Korean Peninsula before proceeding to invade northeast China, which was regarded as a springboard for its rule of the whole China, then the US, and ultimately the world.
The Japanese militarists were encouraged to stage an all-out war on China after a series of aggressive maneuvers encountered little opposition at home.
Japan accused China of firing the first shot when its troops were conducting exercise near the bridge. Inoue pointed out what mattered is that it was provocative for the Japanese army to hold a military exercise there, rather than who opened fire first.
The incident happened in China instead of Japan. It was a demonstration of imperialism that Japan kept a military presence in China and exercised a rule in Northeast China through a puppet government, he said.
Japanese right-wing politicians and scholars blame the war on China's anti-Japan movement at that time, depicting the Japanese as victims.
Inoue dismissed the saying as distortion of history, arguing that it was Japan's aggression that resulted in the rebellions.
Japan chose to launch an invasion, which was the worst policy among so many options it had at that time. Had the nation adopted a friendly diplomatic policy, the tragedy could have been avoided, he said.
Inoue stressed what Japan needs to do is treating history issue properly and conducting a sincere soul-searching.
(Xinhua News Agency July 8, 2005)