Decolonization of the Pacific
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.
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.
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.