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The Hon Darren Chester MP
Minister for Veterans and Defence Personnel

MEDIA RELEASE

15 August 2019

Victory in the Pacific Day - remembering the end of the second world war

TODAY marks 74 years since the Second World War was officially declared over by then Prime Minister Ben Chifley, with Japan accepting the Allied Nations’ terms of surrender.

Minister for Veterans and Defence Personnel Darren Chester has encouraged all Australians to remember the nearly one million Australians who served during the Second World War.

“On what we now know as Victory in the Pacific Day, or VP Day, we remember and commemorate our efforts in the Pacific including in Papua New Guinea, Malaya, Bougainville and New Britain,” Mr Chester said.

“We also commemorate all those who served in the war, in particular the some 40,000 Australians who did not return home to their families, including more than 17,000 who lost their lives as a result of fighting in the war against Japan.”

The Second World War was also a significant occasion for Australia as it marked the first time that it experienced attacks on its own soil.

“Australia joined together with our allies in conflict overseas, throughout Europe and particularly in the Pacific. It was a time when people worked hard and pulled together to defend the nation,” Mr Chester said.

“VP Day is commemorated across Australia and the world tomorrow as the second of the World Wars came to an end, a moment in time that will never be forgotten.”

The Australian Government will support a service at the Sandakan Memorial Park in Malaysia to commemorate the occasion. In Malaysia, VP Day is commonly known as Sandakan Day and remembers the liberation in Borneo and the release of prisoners of war.

On 3 September this year Australia will also mark the 80th anniversary of the start of the Second World War and Australia’s involvement, particularly throughout the Pacific.

For more information about the Allied victory in the Second World War visit the Anzac Portal.

ENDS

MEDIA CONTACTS:

Rachel Tharratt: 02 6277 7820
DVA Media: 02 6289 6466

Office of the Hon Darren Chester, Canberra ACT

Open Arms — Veterans and Families Counselling provides support for current and ex-serving ADF personnel and their families. Free and confidential help is available 24/7. Phone 1800 011 046 (international: +61 1800 011 046 or +61 8 8241 4546) or visit www.OpenArms.gov.au