Victory over Japan Day

Wed, 08/15/1945 - Wed, 09/12/1945
Japanese officers surrender their swords at Kuala Lumpur watched by soldiers of the Imperial Japanese Army

Following the issue of the Potsdam Declaration by the USA, UK and China on 26 July 1945, and the rejection by Japan of the demand for its unconditional surrender, the United States dropped atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki on 6 and 9 August 1945. On 10 August, the Japanese government offered to accept the terms for surrender of the Potsdam Declaration - but with certain conditions that were not accepted by the Allies. Despite this, the news spread across the world and celebrations began.

At noon local Japanese time on 15 August, a recording of Emperor Hirohito's 'Imperial Rescript on the Termination of the Greater East Asia War' was broadcast to the people of Japan. Avoiding the use of the word 'surrender' he had chosen the expression 'We have ordered the acceptance of the provisions of the joint declaration of the powers'; Japan had surrendered.

It was the end of the Second World War although the official signing of the terms of unconditional surrender was delayed until 2 September and 12 September 1945 when the Japanese government and the Japanese Army in South-East Asia signed documents known as 'Instruments of Surrender'.

VJ Day is remembered in the United Kingdom on 15 August and in the United States on 2 September. To watch the Japanese surrender on the USS Missouri click on The Day Japan Lost Face. You can return to this site by clicking on your back browser.

To read about our forebears actions in the war against Japan, please click on BURMA 1942-43.