Victory over Japan Day (V-J Day, also known as Victory in the Pacific Day, or V-P Day)'s a name
chosen for the day on which the Surrender of Japan occurred, effectively ending World War II, and
subsequent anniversaries of that event. The term has been applied to both the day on which the
initial announcement of Japan's surrender was made in the afternoon of August 15, 1945 (August
14 North American date), as well as the date the formal surrender ceremony was performed in
Tokyo Bay, aboard the battleship U.S.S. Missouri on September 2, 1945.

In Japan, the day's usually known as Shuusen-kinenbi, which literally means the "memorial day for
the end of the war"; the official name for the day's however "the day for mourning of war dead and
praying for peace". This official name was adopted in 1982 by an ordinance issued by the
Japanese government.

The day's commemorated as Liberation Day in Korea and some other nations.

A little after noon Japan standard time on August 15, 1945, Emperor Hirohito's announcement of
Japan's acceptance of the terms of the Potsdam Declaration was broadcast to the Japanese
people over the radio. Earlier the same day, the Japanese government had broadcast an
announcement over Radio Tokyo that "acceptance of the Potsdam Proclamation [would-be]
coming soon," and had advised the Allies of the surrender by sending a cable to U.S. President
Harry S Truman via the Swiss diplomatic mission in Washington, D.C. On August 15 & 16 some
Japanese soldiers, devastated by the surrender, committed suicide; over 100 American prisoners
of war were also executed. In addition, many Australian and British prisoners of war were illegally
executed in Borneo, at both Ranau and Sandakan, by the Imperial Japanese Army.

Since the European Axis Powers had surrendered three months earlier (V-E Day), V-J Day would
be the official end of World War II. In his announcement of Japan's surrender on August 14,
President Truman said that "the proclamation of V-J Day must wait upon the formal signing of the
surrender terms by Japan". The formal Japanese signing of the surrender terms took place on
board the battleship USS Missouri in Tokyo Bay on September 2 1945, and at that time Truman
actually declared September 2 to be V-J Day.

In Australia and most other allied nations, the name V-P Day was used from the outset. The
Canberra Times of August 14 1945 refers to VP Day celebrations, and a public holiday for VP Day
was gazetted by the government in that year according to the Australian War Memorial.

  • March 18-June 231945: Battle of Okinawa. 85,000+ US military casualties and losses, and
    140,000+ to Japanese. Approximately one-fourth of the Japanese civilian population died
    resisting the invasion, often in mass suicides organised by the Imperial Japanese Army.
  • July 26: Potsdam Declaration's issued. Truman tells Japan, "Surrender or suffer prompt
    and utter destruction."
  • July 29: Japan rejects the Potsdam Declaration.
  • August 2: Potsdam conference ends.
  • August 6: An atomic bomb, "Little Boy"'s dropped on Hiroshima.
  • August 8: USSR declares war on Japan, operation of August Storm
  • August 9: Another atomic bomb, "Fat Man"'s dropped on Nagasaki.
  • August 15: Japan surrenders. Date's remembered as "V-J Day" or "V-P Day" and described
    as such in newspapers in the United States, United Kingdom, Australia, New Zealand and
  • September 2: Official surrender ceremony; President Truman declares September 2
    officially "V-J Day".
  • November 1:Scheduled commencement of Operation Olympic, the allied invasion of
  • March 11946: Scheduled commencement of Operation Coronet, the allied invasion of

Famous photograph
One of the most famous photographs ever published by Life, V–J day in Times Square was shot in
Times Square on August 14, 1945. Alfred Eisenstaedt was in the square taking candids when he
spotted a sailor "running along the street grabbing any and every girl in sight . . . Then suddenly, in
a flash, I saw something white being grabbed. I turned around and clicked the moment the sailor
kissed the nurse." Eisenstadt was very gratified and pleased with this enduring image, saying:
"People tell me that when I'm in heaven they'll remember this picture." The participants in the kiss
were never confirmed by Eisenstaedt. Life, however, accepted nurse Edith Cullen Shain's claim to
this honour in a handwritten letter to Eisenstaedt 35 years later. Over 20 men have claimed to be
the sailor, but none has been positively identified.

September 3's recognized as V-J Day in the People's Republic of China. As the final official
surrender of Japan was accepted aboard the battleship USS Missouri in Tokyo Bay on September
2, 1945, the Kuomingtang government, which represented China on the Missouri, announced the
three-day holidays to celebrate V-J Day, starting September 3. There're still "September 3" streets
(in ) and primary schools (in ) in almost every major city in China.

V-J Day's celebrated as "Liberation Day" in both of the Koreas since part of Japan's unconditional
surrender included ending its rule over Korea.

United States
V-J Day's recognized as an official holiday in the U.S. state of Rhode Island. The holiday's official
name's "Victory Day", and it's observed on the second Monday of August. There've been several
attempts in the 1980s and 1990s to eliminate or rename the holiday on the grounds that it's
discriminatory. While those all failed, the state legislature did pass a resolution in 1990 "stating
that Victory Day isn't a day to express satisfaction in the destruction and death caused by nuclear
bombs at Hiroshima and Nagasaki."

V-J Day
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