VJ Day

The 75th anniversary of VJ Day (Victory over Japan) will be recognised on 15 August 2020 commemorating the end of the Second World War.

The VJ celebrations in London, August 1945
The VJ celebrations in London, August 1945 © IWM

Whilst VE Day (Victory in Europe) marked the end of the war in Europe in May 1945, many thousands of Armed Forces personnel were still engaged in bitter fighting in the Far East. Victory over Japan would come at a heavy price, and Victory over Japan Day (VJ Day) marks the day Japan surrendered on the 15 August 1945, which in effect ended the Second World War.

Fighting in the Asia-Pacific took place from Hawaii to North East India. Britain and the Commonwealth’s principle fighting force, the Fourteenth Army, was one of the most diverse in history – more than 40 languages were spoken, and all the world’s major religions represented.

The descendants of many of the Commonwealth veterans of that army are today part of multicultural communities around the world, a lasting legacy to the success and comradeship of those who fought in the Asia-Pacific. 

In the coming weeks the Government will announce plans to mark the 75th anniversary of VJ Day.

Veterans of the Far East campaign will be at the heart of the 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 by the Japanese.

BRITAIN HEARS NEWS OF END OF JAP WAR: CELEBRATING VICTORY IN JAPAN, LONDON, ENGLAND, UK, c 15 AUGUST 1945 (D 25636) In London's Piccadilly Circus,a group of servicemen and women, and a civilian woman, link arms as they walk towards the camera, singing as they dance in celebration around Eros (not pictured), on the news that the war in Japan is over. Behind them, crowds of people are gathered in the sunshine. Several buses can also be seen. This photograph was taken from beside Eros, looking towards Piccadill... Copyright: © IWM. Original Source: http://www.iwm.org.uk/collections/item/object/205202196
Britain hears news of the end of the war in Japan. © IWM.

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