Today, 15 August 2020 is the date selected to mark the Allies' Victory over Japan, known as VJ Day. This day is also known as VP Day or Victory in the Pacific Day. While VE day marked the end of World War II in Europe, VJ Day signalled the end of the war entirely, when Japan finally surrendered.

In the UK and the US, VJ Day is celebrated on different dates. The initial announcement of Japan's surrender was made in 15 August 1945, which is why the UK marks VJ Day on 15 August each year. However, the surrender documents were officially signed on the USS Missouri battleship on 2 September 1945, which is why America celebrates on 2 September instead.

Japan surrendered following the fallout of the atomic bombs that America dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki on 6 and 9 August respectively. In Japan, the day is usually known as the 'memorial day for the end of the war'. The official name for the day is 'the day for mourning of war dead and praying for peace'.

It is estimated that there were 71,000 British and Commonwealth casualties of the war against Japan, including more than 12,000 prisoners of war who died in Japanese captivity. More than 2.5 million Japanese military personnel and civilians are believed to have died over the course of the conflict.

Today we remember those who served many thousands of miles from home and thank them for their service and sacrifice.