Victory in the Pacific Day 15 August

Victory in the Pacific Day marks Japan's unconditional surrender to the Allies after more than 3 years of war. It's a special time for us to reflect on the important role that Australians played to end the war in the Pacific region.

A large crowd of young people hug each other and wave at the camera, as one holds a large chalkboard reading 'WAR IS OVER'.
Service men and civilians celebrate in the streets of Sydney at the news of the Japanese surrender, August 1945. SLV an012975

Significance of the date

Victory in the Pacific Day - or 'VP Day' - is commemorated across Australia and the world. As the anniversary of the day World War II ended, it's a date that we'll never forget.

On 15 August 1945, Japan accepted the Allied Nations' terms of surrender and Australia's Prime Minister, Ben Chifley, announced that the war was over.

Australia at war

World War II is a significant event in Australia's history. Nearly 1 million Australians served in the armed forces during the war. It was also the first time since European settlement that Australia came under attack.

On VP Day, we remember Australia's war efforts from 1942 to 1945 in the Pacific region, including in Singapore, Borneo, Malaya, Papua, New Guinea and New Britain. It was a time when people worked hard and cooperated to defend the nation.

We commemorate those who served in the war. Some 40,000 Australians didn't return home to their families. Over 17,000 of them lost their lives while fighting in the war against Japan, some 8000 of whom died in Japanese captivity.


Last updated: 4 November 2020

Cite this page

DVA (Department of Veterans' Affairs) (2020), Victory in the Pacific Day 15 August, DVA Anzac Portal, accessed 4 December 2020, http://anzacportal.dva.gov.au/commemoration/commemoration-days/victory-in-the-pacific
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