VJ Day

On this day in 1945, representatives from the Empire of Japan and several Allied Powers signed the Japanese Instrument of Surrender aboard the deck of the USS Missouri in Tokyo Bay, formally ending the Second World War (the conflict had ended in Europe just four months before, between May 7-9). This was just one day after the European theater of the war began with the Nazi Invasion of Poland on September 1, 1939.

In addition to Japan and the U.S., the agreement was signed by military officials from the Republic of China, the United Kingdom, the Soviet Union, Australia, Canada, France, the Netherlands, and New Zealand. U.S. General of the Army Douglas MacArthur, the Commander in the Southwest Pacific and Supreme Commander for the Allied Powers, accepted the surrender on behalf of the Allied Powers and signed in his capacity as Supreme Commander.

The end of the war was finalized following the Paris Peace Conference, held from July to October 1946, which culminated with the signing of the Paris Peace Treaties on February 10, 1947.

Pictured is Japanese Foreign Minister Mamoru Shigemitsu signing the Instrument of Surrender before U.S. Army Lieutenant General Richard K. Sutherland. Photo courtesy of Wikimedia.

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