Militarized Streets (武装せる市街 Buso seru shigai) is a 1930 novel by Japanese Marxist writer Kuroshima Denji (1898–1943). Researched in China, the novel focuses on the so-called Jinan Incident, one of the early armed clashes that would eventually lead to a full-scale war between Japan and China. The incident took place in the spring of 1928 in Jinan, the capital of Shandong province, during a northward advance by Chinese nationalist troops attempting to reunify the country. Possessing considerable commercial and industrial investments in Jinan, and faced with a collapse of its favored warlord in the area, Japan rushed in its own troops, ostensibly to safeguard the Japanese residents of the city. After a tense standoff, Japanese units clashed with their Chinese counterparts. The Japanese army, needing reinforcements, claimed that hundreds of Japanese residents had been massacred by the Chinese troops. Although the dead actually numbered no more than thirteen or fourteen suspected opium smugglers, Japanese newspapers reacted to their deaths with outrage and demanded armed intervention. Japan’s prime minister dispatched an additional division to the region, and the troops launched an attack against Jinan, killing and wounding thousands of Chinese civilians.
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