Bloody 1938 Japan-Soviet battle re-enacted in Russian Far East

Kyodo

The 1938 clash between Imperial Japanese and Soviet forces at what was then the boundary between Manchuria and the Soviet Union was re-enacted Saturday at a memorial event near the battle site.

To commemorate the 75th anniversary of what is known as the Battle of Lake Khasan, or the Changkufeng Incident, Japanese and Russian nationals in soldiers’ uniforms re-enacted the bloody struggle and offered prayers for the roughly 750 hundred fatalities.

Participants fired blanks in the mock battle at a hill in Kraskino, in Russia’s Far East. The event was organized by a Vladivostok-based group that excavates old battle sites.

Three Japanese with close ties to the group and an interest in the history of warfare traveled to Russia to take part.

In July 1938, Soviet troops fortified the summit of Changkufeng Heights, a mountain whose jurisdiction was disputed near Lake Khasan, triggering the clash with the Imperial Japanese Army. The hostilities ended with the signing of a truce the following month.