On August 15, 1945, the Empire of Japan surrendered to Allied forces, ending World War II. The initial news of surrender actually came a day earlier (August 14), and was not made official until documents were signed on September 2. All three dates are considered “Victory over Japan Day”, or V-J Day.
 
Two weeks earlier, the United States, United Kingdom, and China had issued the Potsdam Declaration, demanding Japan’s immediate, unconditional surrender. “The alternative for Japan is prompt and utter destruction,” the document concludes.
 
Japan ignored the Potsdam Declaration. The Soviet Union promptly invaded Japanese-held territory in Manchuria, China, and the United States utterly destroyed the cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki by deploying the first and only nuclear weapons ever used in wartime.
 
Japan’s surrender resulted in the country’s occupation by the American military until 1952. 
alternative
Noun

choice or decision.

conclude
Verb

to end or finish.

demand
Verb

to ask for in an authoritative way.

deploy
Verb

to make ready for use or put into use.

destruction
Noun

ruin.

empire
Noun

group of nations, territories or other groups of people controlled by a single, more powerful authority.

ignore
Verb

to not notice or recognize.

immediate
Adjective

quickly or right away.

initial
Adjective

first.

invade
Verb

to enter and attack.

issue
Verb

to distribute, give away, or sell.

military
Noun

armed forces.

nuclear weapon
Noun

explosive device that draws power from the splitting and combining of atomic nuclei.

occupy
Verb

to take control of a place, usually by force.

prompt
Adjective

on time or quickly.

surrender
Verb

to give up.

territory
Noun

land an animal, human, or government protects from intruders.

unconditional surrender
Noun

total surrender (giving up), in which no terms or guarantees are offered to the surrendering party.

utter
Adjective

complete or total.

World War II
Noun

(1939-1945) armed conflict between the Allies (represented by the United States, the United Kingdom, and the Soviet Union) and the Axis (represented by Germany, Italy, and Japan.)

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