When Victory in the Pacific ended the Second World War

Monday, 15 August 2022

The Hon Matt Keogh MP
Minister for Veterans’ Affairs
Minister for Defence Personnel

Seventy seven years ago today war ended in the Pacific, with Japan giving their unconditional surrender to the Allies, officially bringing an end to the Second World War. 

Minister for Veterans’ Affairs and Defence Personnel Matt Keogh said nearly one million Australians served during the war and around 40,000 did not return home to their families.

“On Victory in the Pacific Day, we pause to commemorate the more than 17,000 Australians who lost their lives in the war against Japan,” Minister Keogh said.

“We remember our valiant efforts on the Australian home front, in Malaya, Singapore, Papua and New Guinea, Borneo and elsewhere in the south west Pacific across those three years of war.” 

The war in Europe had ended three months earlier, but Japan fought on until the USA dropped atomic bombs on the cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, and the Soviet Union declared war on Japan.

“The threat of invasion seemed very real,” Minister Keogh said. “It was a time when Australians worked hard and pulled together to defend our country.” 

“On this day, I encourage all Australians to remember the courage and sacrifice of those who served during the Second World War.”

For more information about VP Day and the Second World War visit the Department of Veterans’ Affairs Anzac Portal.  

Media contact:

Stephanie Mathews (Minister Keogh’s Office): 0407 034 485
DVA Media: media.team@dva.gov.au  

Authorised by The Hon Matt Keogh MP.

Editor’s note: The Minister for Veterans’ Affairs will be attending commemorations in Malaysia recognising Sandakan Memorial Day on 15 August. The Australian Government is supporting the Malaysian-led service at the Sandakan Memorial Park in Malaysia to commemorate this date. In Malaysia, Sandakan Memorial Day is acknowledged on the same date as VP Day, commemorating the prisoners of war and local civilians who died during the Japanese occupation of Borneo.

Open Arms – Veterans & Families Counselling provides 24/7 free confidential crisis support for current and ex-serving ADF personnel and their families on 1800 011 046 or the Open Arms website. Safe Zone Support provides anonymous counselling on 1800 142 072. Defence All-Hours Support Line provides support for ADF personnel on 1800 628 036 or the Defence Health Portal. Defence Member and Family Helpline provides support for Defence families on 1800 624 608