Victory Over Japan Day 2020 - Victory Over Japan Day History, Events and everything you need to know about Victory Over Japan Day

Victory Over Japan Day 2020 is marked on the 15th of August each year to signal the end of World War II in its entirety when Japan finally surrendered to the British and in Japan, this day is known as “memorial day for the end of the war”. Read on to know all details about Victory Over Japan Day

Monika | Updated Jul 17, 2020 07:52 AM

Victory Over Japan Day 2020 - Victory Over Japan Day History, Events and everything you need to know about Victory Over Japan Day

Victory Over Japan Day 2020

Victory Over Japan Day 2020 is celebrated on the 15th of August every year in the UK to mark the end of World War II in which Japan surrendered to the British. On the 14th of August, 1945, it was announced that Japan had surrendered unconditionally to the Allies, which resulted in the end of World War II. Since then, both the 14th of August and the 15th of August have been known as “Victory over Japan Day,” or just “V-J Day.” The term was also used for the 2nd of September, 1945, when Japan’s formal surrender took place aboard the USS Missouri, anchored in Tokyo Bay. Coming several months after the resignation of Nazi Germany, Japan’s capitulation in the Pacific brought six years of enmity to a final and highly anticipated close. 

What is Victory Over Japan Day and When is it?

Victory Over Japan Day marks the day on which Imperial Japan surrendered in World War II, which in effect, brought the war to an end. In the UK and the US, Victory Over Japan Day is celebrated on different dates.

The initial announcement of Japan’s surrender was made on 15 August 1945, which is why the UK marks VJ Day on 15 August each year. However, the surrender documents were officially signed on the USS Missouri battleship on 2 September 1945, which is why America celebrates on 2 September instead.

In Japan, the day is known as the “memorial day for the end of the war”, and is observed on 15 August.

What is Victory Over Japan Day and When is it?

Victory Over Japan Day marks the day Imperial Japan surrendered in World War II, which brought the war to an end. In the UK and the US, Victory Over Japan Day is celebrated on different dates.

The first announcement of Japan's surrender was made on August 15, 1945, which is why the UK marks VJ Day on August 15 each year. However, the surrender documents were officially signed during the USS Missouri battleship on September 2, 1945, which is why America celebrates on September 2 instead.

In Japan, this day is known as the "memorial day for the end of the war", and is observed on August 15.

What led to Victory Over Japan Day?

The fight in Europe ended in May 1945, but many soldiers, sailors and airmen from the Allies continued fighting the Japanese in the Far East.

Around 71,000 soldiers from Britain and the Commonwealth died in the war against Japan, including more than 12,000 prisoners of war who died in Japanese captivity. Japan mistreated prisoners of war, including American and British soldiers who had surrendered.

Following the end of the fight in Europe, the Allies had told Japan to surrender on July 28, 1945, but the deadline passed without them.

So the US dropped two atomic bombs on Japan, which hoped would put an end to the conflict once and for all.

The Japanese city of Hiroshima was bombed on August 6, and the city of Nagasaki was targeted three days later, on August 9.

What happened on Victory Over Japan Day?

In 1945, on August 6th and 9th, the US dropped atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, and the Soviet Union also declared war on Japan.

As a result, on August 15th, Emperor Hirohito announced Japan's acceptance of the terms of the Potsdam Declaration - which outlined the nation's surrender.

At a White House press conference, the US President Harry S Truman declared the day as Victory over Japan Day.

British Prime Minister Clement Atlee confirmed the news in a broadcast: "The last of our enemies is laid low."

The following day King George VI spoke to the country, saying: "Our hearts are full to overflowing, as is your own. Yet, there is not one of us who has experienced this terrible war who does not realize that we shall feel its inevitable consequences long after we have all forgotten our rejoicings today."

How does the UK celebrate Victory Over Japan Day?

The UK similarly celebrates VJ Day to VE Day, with commemorations for those who fought.

The 75th anniversary of Victory Over Japan Day would usually be celebrated with parades, remembrance events, and other celebrations.

The Victory Over Japan Day government website says: "Veterans of the Far East campaign will be at the heart of commemorations as the nation thanks them for their service and sacrifice.

"Events will also pay tribute to the tens of thousands of service personnel from across the UK and the Commonwealth who fought and died in the war against Japan, including all those who were held as prisoners of war."

However, during this ongoing coronavirus pandemic, it might be likely that Victory Over Japan Day 75 celebrations might be put on hold just like VE Day celebrations.

The government will announce its plans to mark the 75th anniversary of Victory Over Japan Day in the coming weeks

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Victory Over Japan Day - FAQs

1. Who declared the Victory Over Japan Day?

At a White House press conference, the US President Harry S Truman declared the day as Victory over Japan Day.

2. How is Victory Over Japan Day observed in Japan?

In Japan, the day is known as the “memorial day for the end of the war”, and is observed on 15 August.