VJ Day takes place every year on 14th August, or on 15th August, or even on 2nd September. You may have heard that the celebration of the end of World War II takes place on any or all of these dates, and there is a reason behind this apparent confusion.
August 14th marks the anniversary of the day that Japan surrendered, with the announcement of the surrender being made to the world one day later on the 15th of August. September 2nd was the date on which the formal signing and ceremony of the surrender actually took place. Whichever date you prefer, VJ Day marks the close of World War II and the end of fighting against Japan. It is also known as Victory Over Japan Day and Victory in Japan Day.
The war in the Pacific was extremely bloody and hard-fought, with the US encountering fierce resistance as it headed towards Japan, causing many casualties on both sides. It was the development of the atomic bomb by the United States that brought the war to a devastating close. On August 6th, 1945 an atomic bomb was dropped by the United States military over the Japanese city of Hiroshima.
Rather than immediately surrendering, the government of Japan continued to debate a course of action until the dropping of a further atomic bomb on Nagasaki onAugust 9th led to the declaration of surrender by Emperor Hirohito onAugust 14th.