Jinan Incident

Jinan Incident

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The Jinan Incident or May 3rd Tragedy , was an armed conflict between the Japanese Army
Imperial Japanese Army
-Foundation:During the Meiji Restoration, the military forces loyal to the Emperor were samurai drawn primarily from the loyalist feudal domains of Satsuma and Chōshū...

 allied with Northern Chinese warlords against the Kuomintang
Kuomintang
The Kuomintang of China , sometimes romanized as Guomindang via the Pinyin transcription system or GMD for short, and translated as the Chinese Nationalist Party is a founding and ruling political party of the Republic of China . Its guiding ideology is the Three Principles of the People, espoused...

's southern army in Jinan
Jinan
Jinan is the capital of Shandong province in Eastern China. The area of present-day Jinan has played an important role in the history of the region from the earliest beginnings of civilisation and has evolved into a major national administrative, economic, and transportation hub...

, the capital of Shandong
Shandong
' is a Province located on the eastern coast of the People's Republic of China. Shandong has played a major role in Chinese history from the beginning of Chinese civilization along the lower reaches of the Yellow River and served as a pivotal cultural and religious site for Taoism, Chinese...

 in 1928 during the Kuomintang's Northern Expedition.

Background


During the Northern Expedition, troops of the Chinese National Revolutionary Army
National Revolutionary Army
The National Revolutionary Army , pre-1928 sometimes shortened to 革命軍 or Revolutionary Army and between 1928-1947 as 國軍 or National Army was the Military Arm of the Kuomintang from 1925 until 1947, as well as the national army of the Republic of China during the KMT's period of party rule...

 attacked several foreign consulates in a fervor of anti-imperialism
Imperialism
Imperialism, as defined by Dictionary of Human Geography, is "the creation and/or maintenance of an unequal economic, cultural, and territorial relationships, usually between states and often in the form of an empire, based on domination and subordination." The imperialism of the last 500 years,...

 in what became known as the Nanjing Incident
Nanjing Incident
The Nanjing Incident, or Nanking Incident, , occurred in March of 1927 during the capture of the city by Communistforces from the Nationalists. Warships bombarded Nanjing in defense of the foreign citizens within the city. Several ships were involved in the engagement, including vessels from Great...

 of March 1927. Chiang Kai-shek
Chiang Kai-shek
Chiang Kai-shek was a political and military leader of 20th century China. He is known as Jiǎng Jièshí or Jiǎng Zhōngzhèng in Mandarin....

 sought to avoid repetition of such incidents, and in November 1927 he met with Tanaka Giichi
Tanaka Giichi
Baron was a general in the Imperial Japanese Army, politician, and the 26th Prime Minister of Japan from 20 April 1927 to 2 July 1929.-Early life and military career:...

, who had become Japan's premier in April of that year (and also held the portfolio of Foreign Minister)in part, on the strength of promises to take more active and aggressive measures than his predecessor toward protection of Japanese lives, property, and economic interests in China. Chiang had only a tenuous hold on power in China and relied in large measure on the promise to end foreign domination and re-unify the country to buttress his legitimacy.

Tanaka realized that the use of force was not necessarily the best way to protect Japanese interests, and Chiang both wanted to keep his troops away from Jinan
Jinan
Jinan is the capital of Shandong province in Eastern China. The area of present-day Jinan has played an important role in the history of the region from the earliest beginnings of civilisation and has evolved into a major national administrative, economic, and transportation hub...

 and the risks of a costly but useless clash. With no guarantee that Chinese National Revolutionary Army would bypass Jinan, prior political commitments and Imperial Japanese Army
Imperial Japanese Army
-Foundation:During the Meiji Restoration, the military forces loyal to the Emperor were samurai drawn primarily from the loyalist feudal domains of Satsuma and Chōshū...

 insistence forced Tanaka to reinforce Japanese forces in the Shandong leased territory. Between May and September 1927, some 4000 troops were deployed to Qingdao
Qingdao
' also known in the West by its postal map spelling Tsingtao, is a major city with a population of over 8.715 million in eastern Shandong province, Eastern China. Its built up area, made of 7 urban districts plus Jimo city, is home to about 4,346,000 inhabitants in 2010.It borders Yantai to the...

 and Jinan
Jinan
Jinan is the capital of Shandong province in Eastern China. The area of present-day Jinan has played an important role in the history of the region from the earliest beginnings of civilisation and has evolved into a major national administrative, economic, and transportation hub...

 in what was known in Japan as the . Both the northern warlord coalition government
Beiyang Government
The Beiyang government or warlord government collectively refers to a series of military regimes that ruled from Beijing from 1912 to 1928 at Zhongnanhai. It was internationally recognized as the legitimate Government of the Republic of China. The name comes from the Beiyang Army which dominated...

 in Beijing
Beijing
Beijing , also known as Peking , is the capital of the People's Republic of China and one of the most populous cities in the world, with a population of 19,612,368 as of 2010. The city is the country's political, cultural, and educational center, and home to the headquarters for most of China's...

 (Peking) and the Kuomintang
Kuomintang
The Kuomintang of China , sometimes romanized as Guomindang via the Pinyin transcription system or GMD for short, and translated as the Chinese Nationalist Party is a founding and ruling political party of the Republic of China . Its guiding ideology is the Three Principles of the People, espoused...

 government in Nanjing
Nanjing
' is the capital of Jiangsu province in China and has a prominent place in Chinese history and culture, having been the capital of China on several occasions...

 (Nanking) protested vigorously that this was a violation of China's sovereignty, and the Japanese forces were withdrawn when Chiang temporarily halted his northern advance.

Hostilities



When the Northern Expedition resumed on 27 April 1928, contrary to his standing orders from Tokyo
Tokyo
, ; officially , is one of the 47 prefectures of Japan. Tokyo is the capital of Japan, the center of the Greater Tokyo Area, and the largest metropolitan area of Japan. It is the seat of the Japanese government and the Imperial Palace, and the home of the Japanese Imperial Family...

, the Japanese commander General Fukuda Hikosuke, moved troops from Tianjin
Tianjin
' is a metropolis in northern China and one of the five national central cities of the People's Republic of China. It is governed as a direct-controlled municipality, one of four such designations, and is, thus, under direct administration of the central government...

 into Ji'nan and Qingtao along the Jiaoji Railway
Jiaoji railway
The Jiaozhou–Jinan Railway or Jiaoji Railway is railway in Shandong Province, China. The railway is 440.7km in length and connects Qingdao, on the Jiaozhou Bay, and Jinan, the provincial capital of Shandong...

. This was known in Japanese as the . Northern Chinese troops under Zhang Zongchang
Zhang Zongchang
Zhang Zongchang , nicknamed the "Dogmeat General" and "72-Cannon Chang" , was a Chinese warlord in Shandong in the early 20th century...

 withdrew from the city on 30 April 1928 and Kuomintang troops, also acting contrary to Chiang Kai-shek’s orders, moved in. Matters remained tense as the Japanese took up positions at the Japanese consulate and various Japanese-controlled businesses and schools, but reasonably quiet and amicable until a minor clash occurred near the home of a Japanese family on 3 May 1928 resulting the deaths of 12 Japanese. The British Acting Consul-General reported that he had seen the bodies of Japanese males who had been castrated. Japanese reports blamed the shooting on troops under General He Yaozu (賀耀祖) reputed to have been responsible for the Nanjing Incident, while the Chinese reports held that Chinese soldiers had been attacked by Japanese. Leaders on both sides agreed on a truce and a cease-fire, and the Japanese consul general in the city pushed for peace. General Fukuda and his fellow generals, however, perhaps motivated by the desire for action, felt that they could not let the "insult" to Japanese honor go unpunished, but did not take action until they had built up stocks of food and ammunition.

Chiang Kai-shek judged it more important for his troops to move on to Peking than to fight in Ji'nan and sent a team of officers to negotiate. On May 7, General Fukuda issued a five point set of demands so onerous that the Chinese would have no choice but to refuse, with a twelve hour deadline. He refused to release the negotiators, including Cai Gongshi
Cai Gongshi
thumb|200px|right|Cai Gongshi Cai Gongshi was a Kuomintang emissary killed by Japanese soldiers during the Jinan Incident. According to Chinese sources, the Japanese soldiers broke his leg, smashed his teeth, cut his tongue, and shot him...

 (蔡公時) and 16 others in his team. When Cai asked that the demands be officially stated, in order to take them to his superiors and release them to the public, his leg was broken, his teeth smashed, his tongue cut, and he was shot. Having received reinforcements and supplies, the Japanese by 11 May, after fierce fighting, pushed the Chinese troops from the area and inflicted thousands of casualties.

Publicly, Chiang apologized to the Japanese and removed the Chinese commander; in his diary he expressed his new feeling that Japan was China's greatest enemy. But "before one can settle scores," he wrote, "one must be strong."

Aftermath


If the incident had been an isolated example of Japanese assertion and Chinese resistance, a general understanding might have been reached. However, Chiang's troops expanded their control in North China and the Japanese Army continued to distrust the forces of Chinese nationalism. Japanese Army leaders feared that Chiang would respond to patriotic agitation and threaten their interests in South Manchuria. On 4 June, Zhang Zuolin
Zhang Zuolin
Zhang Zuolin was the warlord of Manchuria from 1916 to 1928 . He successfully invaded China proper in October 1924 in the Second Zhili-Fengtian War. He gained control of Peking, including China's internationally recognized government, in April 1926...

, the military leader of Manchuria who had been talking about joining forces with Chiang, was blown up as he rode in special train by officers of the Japanese Army, setting off a chain of events leading to the seizure of Manchuria and the establishment of Manchukuo
Manchukuo
Manchukuo or Manshū-koku was a puppet state in Manchuria and eastern Inner Mongolia, governed under a form of constitutional monarchy. The region was the historical homeland of the Manchus, who founded the Qing Empire in China...

. When Chiang lectured a group of Chinese army cadets, he urged them to turn their energies to washing away the shame of Jinan, but to conceal their hatred until the last moment. The Kuomintang government later decreed that May 3rd be designated a "National Humiliation Memorial Day."