Japanese Surrender

Decolonization of the Pacific

Australasia 1946.0107

Japanese Surrender

Decolonization of the Pacific (7 January 1946)

Historical Map of Australia, New Zealand & the Southwest Pacific

Japan surrendered on August 15, 1945, ending the War in the Pacific. However it would take months for the Allies to accept the surrender of the 4 million Japanese troops still stationed abroad, with a few isolated soldiers even holding out into the 1970s.

Main Events

Jewel Voice Broadcast

Japanese Emperor Hirohito reads out the Imperial Rescript on the Termination of the War in a radio broadcast, announcing to the people of Japan that their government has accepted the Potsdam Declaration and agreed to unconditional surrender. The speech is the first time the Emperor has spoken to the common people.

Indonesian Independence

Sukarno and Mohammed Hatta read the newly-drafted Proclamation of Indonesian Independence at 10am, 17 August, at the house of Japanese Rear-Admiral Tadashi Maeda in Djakarta. The declaration marks the start of the Indonesian National Revolution against the Netherlands. The following day Sukarno is appointed president, and Hatta vice-president, of the new Republic of Indonesia.

Allied occupation of Indonesia

About a month after the formal surrender of the Japanese Empire, British and Australian forces begin the process of accepting the surrender of the Japanese in the Dutch East Indies, providing an occupation force to secure the region as they await the arrival of troops from the Netherlands. While the Australian occupation of eastern Indonesia is largely uneventful, the British forces in the west soon come into conflict with the Indonesian nationalists.

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