Located on the Upper Level
“Fellow citizens, the war is over. The Japanese Government has accepted the terms of surrender imposed by the Allied Nations and hostilities will now cease.”
Australian Prime Minister Ben Chifley
Seventy-five years ago, on 15 August 1945, Emperor Hirohito publicly announced Japan’s acceptance of the Allies’ terms and Japan’s surrender. Nazi Germany had surrendered to the Allies three months earlier. The Second World War was over.
Australian forces were engaged in campaigns across the Pacific – in New Guinea, Bougainville, New Britain, Borneo, and in the Philippines – and Australian prisoners of the Japanese were spread throughout Asia.
While there were many contributors to Japan’s defeat, the dropping of atomic bombs on the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki on 6 and 9 August 1945 brought the conflict to a sudden end. Most had expected the war against Japan to continue into 1946.
In Australia, 15 August 1945 was gazetted as VP Day: “Victory in the Pacific Day”. Spontaneous rejoicing broke out with joyous celebrations in cities across the nation. These scenes of jubilation contrasted with somber reflection and thanksgiving as many experienced conflicting emotions: relief that the war was finally over, grief for those who were lost, and apprehension for the future.
These images are a small preview of the Victory in the Pacific! photographic exhibition located in the Entry Corridor, Ground Floor.
You need a ticket to the Galleries and Commemorative Area to see this exhibition. Tickets are free. Register here.