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VE Day

Last Updated: Friday May 06 2005 16:36 GMT

What was VJ day?

A man stands in a sea of rubble in front of a building that once was a cinema in Hiroshima in 1945
A man stand in front of a ruined cinema in Hiroshima, 1945

VJ Day was celebrated on 15 August 1945, when the allies marked victory over Japan. Since the fighting in Europe was already over, VJ Day was also the end of World War 2.

The war in Europe ended in May 1945 but many soldiers, sailors and airmen from Britain and its supporting countries (the Western Allies) were still fighting the Japanese in the Far East.

Japan surrendered in autumn 1945 after atomic bombs were dropped on two Japanese cities called Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

The Allies had told Japan to surrender on 28 July 1945. The deadline passed and the US then dropped two atomic bombs. The Japanese city of Hiroshima was bombed on 6 August and Nagasaki on 9 August.

Although VJ Day was celebrated on 15 August the Japanese leaders did not officially surrender with a signed document until 2 September, and that date has also been known as VJ Day.