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The surrender of Japan on September 2, 1945, brought the hostilities of World War II to a close. Together with the British Empire and China, the United States called for the unconditional surrender of the Japanese armed forces in the Potsdam Declaration on July 26, 1945. Japan's leaders privately made entreaties to the publicly neutral Soviet Union to mediate more favorable peace terms. On August 6, the United States detonated an atomic bomb over Hiroshima. On August 8, the Soviet Union invaded the Japanese puppet state of Manchukuo. Hours later, the United States dropped a second atomic bomb, on Nagasaki. Emperor Hirohito intervened and ordered that the Allies' terms for ending the war be accepted. Hirohito gave a recorded radio address transmitted across the Empire on August 15, announcing the surrender of Japan. The surrender ceremony was held aboard the battleship USS Missouri, at which officials from the Japanese government signed the Japanese Instrument of Surrender (pictured). (Full article...)
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