Victory over Japan Day

Victory over Japan Day

Victory over Japan Day (V-J Day, also known as Victory in the Pacific Day, or V-P Day) is a name chosen for the day on which the Surrender of Japan occurred, 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 on September 2, 1945.

In Japan, the day is usually known as "Shuusen-kinenbi" [終戦記念日] , which literally means the "memorial day for the end of the war"; the official name for the day is however "the day for mourning of war dead and praying for peace". [] 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 English prisoners of war were illegally executed in Borneo, at both Ranau and Sandakan, by the Imperial Japanese Army.Fact|This is a serious allegation and requires reference(s) to support it.| ()|date=August 2008

Since Japan was the last Axis Power to surrender and V-J Day followed V-E Day by three months, V-J Day marked the official end of World War II.

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. [ [ Truman Library - Public Papers ] ]

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. [ [ Canberra Times] , [ Australian War Memorial] ]


*March 18-June 231945: Battle of Okinawa. 12,000 US military dead, & 100,000+ Japanese military dead. 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 is 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" is dropped on Hiroshima.
*August 8: USSR declares war on Japan.
*August 9: Another atomic bomb, "Fat Man" is dropped on Nagasaki.
*August 15: Japan surrenders. Date is 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 Canada.
*September 2: Official surrender ceremony; President Truman declares September 2nd officially "V-J Day".

*November 1:"Scheduled commencement of Operation Olympic, the allied invasion of Kyushu."
*March 11946: "Scheduled commencement of Operation Coronet, the allied invasion of Honshu."

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," he later explained. "Whether she was a grandmother, stout, thin, old, didn't make any difference. I was running ahead of him with my Leica looking back over my shoulder... 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 am in heaven they will remember this picture."

The participants in the kiss were never confirmed by Eisenstaedt, whose notes on the photo were not found after his death in 1995. "Life", however, accepted nurse Edith Cullen Shain's claim to this honor in a handwritten letter to Eisenstaedt 35 years later. Shain was 27 on V-J Day. Over 20 men have claimed to be the sailor, but none has been positively identified. The sailor was identified by a team of volunteers at the Naval War College in August 2005 as George Mendonça, of Newport, Rhode Island, although many other men have claimed the honor. [] Shain once said she believed the man to be former New York City police detective Carl Muscarello, but recanted that statement in 2005. Houston Police biometrics expert Lois Gibson identified the sailor in the picture as Glenn McDuffie after conducting a thorough forensic analysis in which she conclusively identified McDuffie, while also conclusively excluding Mendonça and Muscarello. []


United States

"V-J Day" is recognized as an official holiday in the U.S. state of Rhode Island. The holiday's official name is "Victory Day", [cite web |url= |title=Know Rhode Island: History And Facts About The Ocean State |publisher=Rhode Island Office of the Secretary of State] and it is observed on the second Monday of August.

Republic of Korea (South Korea)

"V-J Day" is celebrated as "Independence Day" in The Republic of Korea since part of Japan's unconditional surrender included ending its rule over Korea.

See also

* End of World War II in Asia
* Japanese Instrument of Surrender
* Gwangbokjeol, celebrating the end of Japanese rule in Korea
* Victory in Europe Day


External links

* [ The U.S. Army in Post WWII Japan]
* [
* [ Japanese Sign Final Surrender Video]
* Life magazine: [ V-J Day Kiss]
* [ V-J Day Proclamation, 1945] — from the State Library and Archives of Florida.
* [ VJ Day in New Zealand]

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