VJ Day 2020: What is Victory over Japan Day and how is it celebrated in the UK?

14 August 2020, 14:39

VJ celebrations may look different this year
VJ celebrations may look different this year. Picture: PA Images/Getty Images

When is VJ day celebrated and what does it mean? Find out everything...

Victory over Japan Day (or VJ Day) is a yearly commemoration of the day Imperial Japan surrendered to the Allied forces in World War Two.

This surrender occurred on August 15 1945 and marked the end of the war.

While the day has previously been marked with air shows and street parties, things will look a little different this year due to strict social distancing rules.

So what is VJ Day and how will it be commemorated? Here’s what we know…

The Red Arrows will fly across the UK on Saturday
The Red Arrows will fly across the UK on Saturday. Picture: PA Images

What is Victory over Japan Day and when is it celebrated?

VJ Day is also known as Victory in the Pacific Day, or VP Day, and falls on Saturday, August 15 in the UK.

On this day 75 years ago, Imperial Japan surrendered after the US dropped two atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, on August 6 and 9 1945.

Read More: VE Day 2020: When is it and why are we celebrating it?

The Soviet Union also declared war on Japan on August 9 and more than 1.5 million men invaded Manchuko.

On August 15, Japanese Emperor Hirohito announced Japan would accept the terms of the Potsdam Declaration.

VJ Day commemorated by the Prince and Princess of Wales and children William and Harry in 1995
VJ Day commemorated by the Prince and Princess of Wales and children William and Harry in 1995. Picture: PA Images

This called for the surrender of all Japanese armed forces and stated that if Japan didn’t comply, it would face "prompt and utter destruction.

Japan’s surrender signalled the end of World War Two, three months after fighting in Europe had stopped on Victory in Europe Day (VE Day), on May 8, 1945.

It wasn’t until September 2 that Japan officially signed surrender documents on board the USS Missouri battleship, so VJ day is celebrated on this date in the US.

How will VJ day be commemorated in the UK this year?

There will be events throughout the day to tribute those who died in the war against Japan.

A televised service will take place in the morning led by the National Memorial Arboretum in Staffordshire.

Prince Charles and The Duchess of Cornwall will also lead a two-minute silence at 11am.

Churches will ring a single bell 75 times from 11.10am, to mark the 75 years since Japan surrendered.

You might even get a glimpse of the famous Red Arrows who will perform a flypast over the UK.

They will pass over Edinburgh, Belfast and Cardiff, before heading to London and flying over The Royal Hospital Chelsea.