Today marks the 75th anniversary of Japan’s surrender to the United States, effectively ending the Second World War.
Known as V-Day, short for ‘Victory over Japan Day’, September 2 is remembered as the day of surrender in the United States, but understandably other nations view it as August 15, the day Japan’s Emperor Hirohito publicly announced to its surrender to its people via radio.
The reason for the differing dates is that while the day of surrender is acknowledged by some, the United States recognises September 2, 1945 because it’s the day Japan formally signed its surrender aboard the USS Missouri in Tokyo Bay.
Following the signing, Japan was required to end all military actions and release all prisoners of war. It also led to a seven-year occupation by the US which ended when the San Francisco Peace Treaty took effect in April 1952, allowing the Asian nation to return to the international community.
Japan’s surrender in August came days after the US dropped two atomic bombs, one which devastated Hiroshima on August 6, 1945, and another which hit Nagasaki on August 9.
World War II was fought between the Axis nations – Germany, Italy and Japan , and the Allies – France, Great Britain, the United States, the Soviet Union and China.
The war, which lasted from 1939 to 1945, had between 40 and 50 million deaths, making it the world’s largest war and the bloodiest.