5 things to know about Japan’s surrender in WWII 75 years ago
TOKYO (AP) – World War II ended 75 years ago, but not all countries commemorate it on the same day. Wednesday is the anniversary of Japan’s official surrender on September 2, 1945, to the United States, when documents were signed officially ending years of bloody fighting in a ceremony aboard Battleship Missouri in the Bay from Tokyo. It is known as VJ Day in some countries. But some nations mark August 15 as the end of the war, the day the Emperor of Japan gave a speech announcing the surrender.
Five questions and answers on the Japanese surrender:
Q: WHAT IS VJ DAY?
A: An abbreviation for Victory Over Japan Day, marked by the United States and its allies in the war and the Asian victims of Japan who won their liberation after years of atrocities and oppression. Some countries, including Britain, Australia, the Netherlands and the Koreas, mark Japan’s surrender on August 15. Others, including the United States, mark the day on September 2, while the Philippines, China and Russia observe September 3. Japan mourns its war dead on August 15 in a solemn ceremony attended by the emperor, political leaders and veteran families.
Q: WHY ARE THERE DIFFERENT DATES?
A: Countries that observe August 15 mark the public announcement of Japan’s surrender. Others commemorate September 2, when Japan officially signed its surrender, ending a conflict that has lasted, to varying degrees, for nearly half a century in parts of Asia. Then-US President Harry Truman said the VJ Day proclamation had to wait for Japan to formally sign the terms of the surrender.
Countries also mark different dates for political and historical reasons. In 2014, China set September 3 as a new historic day to mark the Victory Day of the Chinese People’s War of Resistance against Japanese Aggression each year. The country celebrates with a military march. The Philippines also observes September 3, the 1945 day Japanese General Tomoyuki Yamashita visited that country. Russia, which declared war on Japan on August 9, carried out military action against Japan until early September.
Q: WHAT HAPPENED ON AUGUST? 15, 1945?
A: At noon on August 15, days after the US atomic bombings of Hiroshima on August 6 and Nagasaki on August 9, Japanese Emperor Hirohito broadcast a message of surrender to his people on the radio. The broadcast took place a day after Japan announced to the United States and its allies that it was surrendering, and Hirohito and Japanese ministers signed the Imperial Rescript of Surrender.
The Emperor’s radio statement was pre-recorded on August 14 in secret. Palace officials protected the files of army officials who stormed the palace to steal them. The Emperor’s voice, which most Japanese heard at the time, was muffled and almost inaudible due to the poor sound quality.
Q: WHAT HAPPENED IN SEPTEMBER. 2, 1945?
A: An official signing of the Japanese surrender took place aboard the battleship Missouri in Tokyo Bay, where in 1854 Navy Commodore Matthew Perry signed a treaty with Japan to open the feudal nation to trade. with the United States. On board the USS Missouri, Japanese Foreign Minister Mamoru Shigemitsu and General Yoshijiro Umezu signed the instrument of surrender. The two men were later convicted of war crimes.
General Douglas MacArthur, also Supreme Allied Commander, signed for the United Nations, with Fleet Adm. Chester Nimitz signing for US delegates from other allied nations, including Britain, France, Australia, Canada, the Netherlands, New Zealand and China and the Soviet Union, attended the half-hour ceremony.
Q: WHAT HAPPENED NEXT?
A: The official signing of Japan’s surrender ordered the country to cease all military action, release prisoners of war and others in captivity, and meet other conditions. He also initiated a seven-year American occupation that lasted until the San Francisco Peace Treaty came into effect in April 1952, allowing Japan to return to the international community. Japan has since become a major ally of the United States in defense and other areas.
Since 1954, Japan has spent tens of billions of dollars in development assistance, initially intended to compensate for war, for the region. But it took more than two decades for Japan to normalize diplomatic relations with some of its wartime Asian enemies. He reestablished ties with South Korea in 1965 and with China in 1972, although disputes over the history of the war continue to affect Japan’s relations with its neighbors. Japan has yet to sign a peace treaty with Russia due to territorial disputes and has not established diplomatic relations with North Korea.