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V-J Day, or Victory over Japan Day, marks the end of World War II, one of the deadliest and most destructive wars in history. When President Harry S. Truman announced on Aug. 14, 1945, that Japan had surrendered unconditionally, war-weary citizens around the world erupted in celebration.
President Harry S. Truman
At 7 p.m. on Aug. 14, 1945, President Harry S. Truman announced the unconditional surrender of Japan to reporters gathered at the White House.
Sailors at Naval Air Station Beaufort, S.C., listen to a radio broadcast announcing the news.Read the Transcript
Australia, the Netherlands, New Zealand, South Korea and the United Kingdom celebrate Aug. 15 as V-J Day. On that date in 1945, Japanese Emperor Hirohito broadcast the surrender to the Japanese people on Radio Tokyo.
Navy Seabees listen to the news of the day's events.
Allied prisoners of war cheer as the Navy arrives to liberate the Aomori prison camp near Yokohama, Japan, Aug. 29, 1945.
Navy Adm. William F. Halsey, right, commander of the U.S. 3rd Fleet, welcomes Adm. Chester W. Nimitz aboard the USS South Dakota in Tokyo Bay, Aug. 29, 1945. Both officers attended the Japanese surrender ceremonies on the USS Missouri a few days later.
Aboard the Missouri, Supreme Commander of Allied Forces Army Gen. Douglas MacArthur signed the Instrument of Surrender for the United Nations, and Fleet Adm. Chester Nimitz signed for the United States. Halsey, MacArthur and Nimitz were five-star officers.
Japanese representatives signed the official Instrument of Surrender, prepared by the War Department and approved by President Truman.
Officials participate in the surrender ceremony aboard the battleship USS Missouri in Tokyo Bay.
The ceremony itself was brief, lasting 30 minutes. A Navy chaplain gave an invocation, and a recording of the national anthem was played. The event also included singing and featured hundreds of American carrier- and land-based airplanes flying over the Missouri as the sun broke through the clouds.
Delegates from other Allied nations, including China, the United Kingdom, the Soviet Union, France, Australia, Canada, the Netherlands and New Zealand, witnessed the ceremony.Learn More
A crowd gathers in New York’s Times Square to celebrate Japan’s surrender, marking the end of World War II, Sept. 2, 1945.
While China and Taiwan recognize Sept. 2 as V-J Day, the Philippines mark Sept. 3 as V-J Day, because on that date, Japanese Gen. Tomoyuki Yamashita, military governor of Japan to the Philippines, surrendered.
Army Col. Bernard Thielen presents the surrender document and a second imperial rescript to President Truman in a White House ceremony.
Ceremonies around the world marked the end of World War II.
Significant Events of World War II
Since the end of World War II, the relationship between both countries has increasingly strengthened.
How much do you know about V-J Day and World War II?
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Instrument of Surrender
Truman's Radio Address to the Armed Forces on V-J Day
Truman's Radio Conference Upon Learning of Japan's Unconditional Surrender
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