TOKYO, July 7 (Xinhua) -- Japanese civil groups called upon the nation to learn from the history and never let war tragedies happen again here on Friday on the occasion of the 80th anniversary of the Lugou Bridge Incident, which marked the beginning of Japan's full-scale invasion of China.
Over 100 citizens rallied in front of the House of Councilors building in Tokyo Friday evening, holding banners written with slogans such as "Face up to the past wrongdoings," "Never let the July 7 Incident happen again", "No more wars."
"We shall commemorate the day the invasive war started, just as we commemorate every year the day the war ended on August 15, and vow never to start wars again," said Seiji Uematsu, one of the organizers of the rally.
"Historical revisionism is expanding in Japan now. Although many of us have not participated in the war ourselves, we and our younger generations are still obligated to make Japan shoulder the responsibility of making up for the past mistakes and prevent Japan from making those mistakes again," he added.
Atsushi Koketsu, professor emeritus at Yamaguchi University, said at the rally that the current Japanese administration is occupied by historical revisionists who deny the true history and refuse to learn from the past.
"It's a common understanding in the world that invasive wars are the worst crimes. Peace could only be achieved and preserved based on such a common understanding. If Japan makes mistakes on this issue, it could go back to its old road (of militarism)," he warned.
Tetsukazu Suzuki, a citizen of Tokyo in his 70s, said that he learned on social network sites about the rally and the fact that July 7 was the day when Japan launched the full-scale invasion of China 80 years ago.
"Unlike other war anniversaries, July 7 was often ignored in Japan. Japanese people shall learn more about the history," he said.
Earlier in the day, a number of commemorative events were held by civil groups including the Association for Inheriting and Propagating the Murayama Statement, among others, with representatives from the groups urging the Japanese government to face up to the history and reflect upon and apologize for the past war.
Nobuo Okinatsu, a member of the Japan-China Friendship August 15 Association, said at a gathering that true friendship between Japan and China could not be achieved if Japan refuses to acknowledge the history.
"Japan's younger generations shall have a correct knowledge of historical events such as the 1937 Lugou Bridge Incident," he said.
Tokushi Kasahara, professor emeritus at Tsuru University, said that many Japanese people nowadays have insufficient knowledge of the past as a result of the government's whitewashing of the history and revising of school textbooks.
"It's dangerous for Japan to deny the true history and whitewash its war crimes. It would bring another disaster to the world," he warned.