78th anniversary of Lugou Bridge Incident

World Today

Lugou Bridge Incident

On July 7, 1937, Japanese troops marched across Lugou Bridge at the outskirts of Beijing, and started a massive military aggression against China. The day is now widely considered by Chinese to mark the beginning of the country’s eight-year War of Resistance against Japan.

The war, among the longest and bloodiest in Chinese history, began more than two years ahead of the Nazi invasion of Poland. China became one of the first countries caught up in WWII, and suffered the most losses.

The eight-year-war cost more than 350 million casualties in China, according to official statistics, both of soldiers and civilians. Many were killed by gunfire, bombs, gas and biological weapons. Women were raped and tortured to death in massive numbers.

Lugou Bridge incident marks start of Japan's invasion of Chinaion of China

Lugou Bridge incident marks start of Japan's invasion of Chinaion of China

On July 7, 1937, 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.
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Without China’s effort, Japan’s capacity to confront the U.S. in the Pacific would have been vastly amplified. However, due to post-war ideological differences, China’s contribution in the war tends to be largely downplayed in the West, and is often overshadowed by America’s “victory in Asia.”

In Japan, details of the WWII are largely left out of school textbooks. Some right-wing Japanese officials have attempted to deny wartime atrocities, including the Nanjing Massacre. As a consequence, many Japanese fail to understand why neighboring countries still bear a grudge over “historical issues” that happened more than 70 years ago.

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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)