End of World War II in Asia

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A man in formal clothes bends over a table to write on a paper. A white man in uniform watches him. A Japanese man in formal clothes watches from behind. In the background, lots of white men in uniform observe.
Minister of Foreign Affairs Mamoru Shigemitsu signs the instrument of surrender on USS Missouri in Tokyo Bay on 2 September 1945.

The end of World War II in Asia occurred on 2 September 1945, when armed forces of the Empire of Japan surrendered to the forces of the Allies. The surrender came almost four months after the surrender of the Axis forces in Europe and brought an end to World War II there.


November 28, 1943

Tehran Conference: Soviet Union agrees to invade Japan "after the defeat of Germany" and begins stockpiling resources in the Far East.

February 4, 1945

Yalta Conference: Soviet Union agrees to invade Japan within 3 months of German surrender.

April 5, 1945

Soviet Union denounces the Soviet–Japanese Neutrality Pact that had been signed on April 13, 1941.

April 29, 1945

Italian Fascist Republican troops, under Rodolfo Graziani’s command, surrender in the "Rendition of Caserta".

May 8, 1945

Germany surrenders.

July 16, 1945

Potsdam Conference begins.

July 26, 1945

Potsdam Declaration issued, calling for the surrender of all Japanese armed forces.

Final stages[edit]

August 3, 1945

Soviet General Vasilevskii reported to Stalin that Soviet forces ready for invasion from August 7.

August 6, 1945

A U-235 type atomic bomb, Little Boy, dropped on Hiroshima from a special B-29 Superfortress named Enola Gay, flown by Col. Paul Tibbets. It is the first use of atomic weapons in combat. (Atomic bombing of Hiroshima)

August 8, 1945

The Soviet Union declares war on Japan against the Soviet–Japanese Neutrality Pact.

August 9, 1945

Second, and more powerful plutonium implosion atomic bomb, Fat Man, is dropped on Nagasaki from a different Silverplate B-29 named Bockscar, flown by Maj. Charles Sweeney (Atomic bombing of Nagasaki)

August 9, 1945

Soviet Armies launch the Soviet invasion of Manchuria.

August 10, 1945

The 38th Parallel is set as the delineation between the Soviet and US occupation zones in Korea.

August 14, 1945 (noon JST on August 15, 1945)

Emperor Shōwa's decree to accept the Potsdam Declaration is announced over radio.

August 14, 1945

General Douglas MacArthur is appointed to head the occupation forces in Japan.

August 16, 1945

Gen. Jonathan Wainwright, a POW since May 6, 1942 following the surrender of U.S. forces in the Philippines under his command, is released from a POW camp in Manchuria.

August 17, 1945

Japanese IGHQ issues formal cease-fire in Manchuria.

August 17, 1945

General MacArthur issues General Order No. 1.

August 18, 1945

Soviet Army invades Karafuto on southern Sakhalin Island.

August 18, 1945

Soviet amphibious landings begin in northern Korea.

August 18, 1945

Japanese pilots attack two Consolidated B-32 Dominators of the 386th Bomb Squadron, 312th Bomb Group, on a photo reconnaissance mission over Japan. Sgt. Anthony Marchione, 19, a photographer's assistant on the B-32 Hobo Queen II, was fatally wounded in the attack. Marchione would be the last American killed in air combat in the Second World War.[1]

August 18, 1945

Soviet invasion of the Kuril Islands begins with amphibious landings on Shumshu.[2]

August 19, 1945

Kwantung Army HQ transmit capitulation order to Japanese troops in Manchuria.

August 23, 1945

Last Japanese troops on Shumshu surrender to Soviet forces.[3]

August 25, 1945

Japanese surrender in Karafuto (south Sakhalin Island).

August 27, 1945

B-29s drop supplies to Allied POWs in China.

August 29, 1945

The Soviets shoot down a B-29 Superfortress dropping supplies to POWs in Korea

August 29, 1945

U.S. troops land near Tokyo to begin the occupation of Japan by the Supreme Commander for the Allied Powers.

August 30, 1945

The United Kingdom reoccupies Hong Kong.

September 2, 1945

Formal Japanese surrender ceremony aboard USS Missouri in Tokyo Bay; U.S. President Harry S. Truman declares VJ Day.


September 2, 1945

Japanese garrison in Penang surrenders, while the British retake Penang under Operation Jurist.

September 3, 1945

Japanese commander in the Philippines, Gen. Yamashita, surrenders to Gen. Wainwright at Baguio.

September 4, 1945

Japanese troops on Wake Island surrender.

September 5, 1945

The British land in Singapore.

September 5, 1945

The Soviets complete their occupation of the Kuril Islands.[4]

September 6, 1945

Japanese forces in Rabaul surrender.

September 8, 1945

MacArthur enters Tokyo.

September 8, 1945

U.S. forces land at Incheon to occupy Korea south of the 38th Parallel

September 9, 1945

Japanese forces in China surrender.

September 9, 1945

Japanese forces on the Korean Peninsula surrender.

September 9, 1945

Japanese forces in Borneo surrender.

September 10, 1945

Japanese in Labuan surrender.

September 11, 1945

Japanese in Sarawak surrender.

September 12, 1945

Japanese in Singapore formally surrender.

September 13, 1945

Japanese in Burma formally surrender.

September 14, 1945

Japanese in Sulawesi surrender.

September 16, 1945

Japanese in Hong Kong formally surrender.

October 25, 1945

Japanese in Taiwan surrender to Generalissimo Chiang Kai-shek as part of General Order No. 1, which later led to the ambiguous and unresolved political status of Taiwan.

Thailand (Siam)[edit]

After Japan's defeat in 1945, with the help of Seri Thai, Thailand was treated as a defeated country by the British and French, although American support mitigated the Allied terms. Thailand was not occupied by the Allies, but it was forced to return the territory it had regained to the British and the French. In the postwar period Thailand had relations with the United States, which it saw as a protector from the communist revolutions in neighbouring countries.[5]

Occupation of Japan[edit]

At the end of World War II, Japan was occupied by the Allies, led by the United States with contributions also from Australia, India, New Zealand and the United Kingdom. This foreign presence marked the first time in its history that the island nation had been occupied by a foreign power.[6] The San Francisco Peace Treaty, signed on September 8, 1951, marked the end of the Allied occupation, and after it came into force on April 28, 1952, Japan was once again an independent country.

International Military Tribunal for the Far East[edit]

During the occupation, leading Japanese war crime charges were reserved for those who participated in a joint conspiracy to start and wage war, termed "Class A" (crimes against peace), and were brought against those in the highest decision-making bodies; "Class B" crimes were reserved for those who committed "conventional" atrocities or crimes against humanity; "Class C" crimes were reserved for those in "the planning, ordering, authorization, or failure to prevent such transgressions at higher levels in the command structure."

Twenty-eight Japanese military and political leaders were charged with Class A crimes, and more than 5,700 Japanese nationals were charged with Class B and C crimes, mostly entailing prisoner abuse. China held 13 tribunals of its own, resulting in 504 convictions and 149 executions.

The Japanese Emperor Hirohito and all members of the imperial family such as Prince Asaka, were not prosecuted for involvement in any the three categories of crimes. Herbert Bix explains that "the Truman administration and General MacArthur both believed the occupation reforms would be implemented smoothly if they used Hirohito to legitimise their changes."[7] As many as 50 suspects, such as Nobusuke Kishi, who later became Prime Minister, and Yoshisuke Aikawa, head of the zaibatsu Nissan Group, and future leader of the Chuseiren (a body representing small and medium-sized Japanese companies) were charged but released without ever being brought to trial in 1947 and 1948. Shiro Ishii received immunity in exchange for data gathered from his experiments on live prisoners. The lone dissenting judge to exonerate all indictees was Indian jurist Radhabinod Pal.

The tribunal was adjourned on 12 November 1948.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Roblin, Sébastien (February 10, 2018). "The B-32 Waged America's Last Air Battle in World War II (After the War Ended)". The National Interest. Retrieved February 11, 2018 – via Yahoo.com.
  2. ^ Russell, Richard A., Project Hula: Secret Soviet-American Cooperation in the War Against Japan, Washington, D.C.: Naval Historical Center, 1997, ISBN 0-945274-35-1, pp. 30-31.
  3. ^ Russell, Richard A., Project Hula: Secret Soviet-American Cooperation in the War Against Japan, Washington, D.C.: Naval Historical Center, 1997, ISBN 0-945274-35-1, p. 31.
  4. ^ Russell, Richard A., Project Hula: Secret Soviet-American Cooperation in the War Against Japan, Washington, D.C.: Naval Historical Center, 1997, ISBN 0-945274-35-1, pp. 33, 34.
  5. ^ "The lost territories: Franco-Thai relations after WWII". 27 August 2015.
  6. ^ The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Heilbrunn Timeline of Art History: Japan, 1900 a.d.–present". Retrieved 2009-02-01.
  7. ^ "Herbert P. Bix". HarperCollins US.