Victory in the Pacific Day – Japan surrenders, in effect ending WWII

August 15, 2018

On 15 August 1945, just after noon Japan time, the Japanese Empire (or Imperial Japan) formally announced its surrender to the Allies in WWII via a cable to then US President, Harry Truman. This in effect brought the war to an end and sparked celebrations (and relief) across the globe.

As a consequence, this day is typically known as Victory in the Pacific (VP) Day in Australia and Victory over Japan Day (V-J Day) in the US and Europe, consistent with the nomenclature used for Victory in Europe Day (V-E Day) or simply V Day – 8 May 1945, which marked the end of the war against the Axis powers in Europe.

This formal announcement of surrender came five days after the Japanese government (on 10 August 1945) communicated an offer or intention to surrender to the Allies under the terms of the Potsdam Declaration – a document drawn up and issued by the then leaders of the US, UK and China on 26 July 1945 defining the terms for Japanese surrender, to avoid its “prompt and utter destruction.”

This offer to surrender came only four days after the US dropped atomic bombs on the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki (6 August 1945) and a day after the Soviet Union opportunistically then declared war on Japan (9 August 1945).

The formal signing of the surrender document by the Japanese took place nearly three weeks later on 2 September 1945 which officially brought WWII to an end. This was almost six years to the day since the official start of the war in Europe (3 September 1939) and nearly four years since the Japanese bombing of Pearl Harbour, the US naval base in Hawaii (7 December 1941).

Commemorate this Victory in the Pacific (VP) Day by:

  • if you are in/near Canberra, visiting the Australian War Memorial there and checking out its absorbing and informative WWII display
  • viewing film footage of WWII from the Australian War Memorial
  • downloading and watching your favourite WWII movie or movies
  • reading the terms and context of the Potsdam Declaration
  • having a meal and/or a drink down at your local Returned and Services League of Australia (RSL) Club and paying respects to the men and women who have served our country and are doing so now
  • following the Royal Australian Army, Air Force and/or Navy on Facebook to show your support for our land, air and sea defences (but without painting the nail of your pinky (finger) pink), and/or
  • sharing this Action Plan post on social media with family, friends, veterans, anti-nihilists, fellow proud Aussie patriots and those that still think our borders, national interests, values, freedoms, culture and way of life are worth fighting for.

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