Victory Over Japan
75 years ago in the Summer of 1945, the war in the Pacific and Far East raged on. Offensive Japanese capability had all but been neutralised; an invasion of Japan was being planned. At Yalta the Allies discussed bringing the war to swiftly to an end. On 8 August, the Soviet Union declared war on Imperial Japan, and soon after midnight on August 9, the Soviet Union invaded the Japanese puppet state of Manchukuo. Soon after on the same day, the United States dropped a second atomic bomb, this time on the Japanese city of Nagasaki. These events pushed Emperor Hirohito to intervene; he ordered the Supreme Council for the Direction of the War to accept the terms of surrender the Allies had offered in the Potsdam Declaration for ending the war. On 10 August, Japan made an offer of surrender; the only condition being that the emperor be allowed to remain the nominal head of State. When news of this initial offer broke, cities, towns, and villages around the world took to the streets to celebrate.
It took several days for the exact terms of the surrender to be agreed.After several more days of negotiations and a failed coup d’état, Emperor Hirohito gave a recorded radio address across the Empire on 15 August announcing the surrender of Imperial Japan; this day has since been commemorated as VJ Day. The Imperial War Museum footage in this showreel includes scenes from London’s celebrations, a parade through the streets of Hong Kong, and celebrations in Toronto, Canada.
The formal surrender took place on 2 September, when representatives from the Empire of Japan signed the Japanese Instrument of Surrender in Tokyo Bay aboard USS Missouri.