Following Japan’s conquest of Manchuria in 1931, politics carried both china and Japan ever closer to a broader conflict. The Chinese nationalism, often unorganized in coherent, even leaderless had become vehement against foreign encroachment. In Japan also the militarist, flushed with success influenced the politicians to find solutions of their hostilities on a grand scale and the final merge of this conflict with the world conflagration when Japan attacked Pearl Harbor in 1941.Actually it was an undeclared war called lightly by Japanese as affair or incident.
THE CAUSES OF THE WAR
- The weakness and the internal strife of china induce Japan to make further encroachment in Chinese soil.
- The attitude of chiang Kai-shek was also favourable to the Japanese. He considered Japanese aggression was a mound on the skin while the communist menace was a disease in the heart. So he sighed the truce of tongku with the Japanese. This was an indirect recognition of Japanese occupation of Manchuria.
- Japan was also emboldened by her successful aggression upon Manchuria. The Japanese militarist party, flushed with this success, induced the politicians to commit further aggression upon china. The lack of powerful international sanction also encouraged them.
- Japanese link with the Axis powers of Europe infused an aggressive mentality. Moreover as the signatory of the anti comintern party he was bond to fight against the spread of communism.
- The growing anti-Japanese sentiment also worried the Japanese government. Red Army’s propaganda and its guerilla activities irritated them. Finally the formation of national united front against Japan alarmed her and decided to destroy it before it became too powerful.
- Some of the provocative activities on the part of china was also responsible for the outbreak of hostilities. A Japanese druggist was killed in Kwangtung province. A consular police man was killed at hankow. Bombs were discovered in a Japanese consulate. Japanese sailors were shot dead at shanghai by a Chinese in the international settlement.
IMMEDIATE CAUSE- LU- KOU –CHIAO INCIDENT:
The young Japanese officers of Kwangtung army manufactured an incident at lu- kow- chiao about ten miles west to Peking on July 1937 precipitating a clash with the Chinese garrison. Invoking the boker protocol of 1901, which permitted foreign signatories to station troops July 1937 held a field exercise outside Peking , near the marc polo bridge. On the pretext that a soldier was missing, the Japanese demanded to enter the nearby city to conduct a search when refused by local Chinese garrison, the Japanese army bombarded the city, thus precipitating an undeclared war between the two countries.