China’s top leaders gathered in Beijing on Wednesday to participate in China’s first national observance of the “victory” against Japan, a day of remembrance added to the national calendar earlier this year as part of a campaign to castigate Japan and increase national unity by raising awareness of wartime history.

Chinese President Xi Jinping, Premier Li Keqiang and other top leaders presided over the brief ceremony, which was held at the site of the 1937 Marco Polo Bridge Incident, a skirmish between Japanese and Chinese troops commonly considered the start of Japan’s second war with China.

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