Fukuda, who attended the ceremony for the first time as prime minister, apologized in his address for Japan’s responsibility for atrocities in Asian countries and pledged that Japan will contribute to lasting peace in the world.

Source: Fukuda apologizes as Japan marks 63rd anniversary of end of war (Mainichi)

What happened on Aug. 15, 1945, and why is it remembered as the day of surrender?

At noon, a radio recording of Emperor Hirohito (known posthumously as Showa) was aired nationwide announcing the surrender. Prompted by an advance notice of an important message from the Emperor, a vast number of people listened closely to their radios. Many were shocked and started to cry as the man worshipped as a living god uttered those fateful words. Because many people still believed Japan would win the war, they were overwhelmed by a deep sense of emptiness and only gradually came to the realization they had been fooled by government propaganda.

But others felt liberated, free at last from fear of the war and the massive U.S. air raids that laid waste to the major cities.

“(The war) has ended, ended! I’m alive, and I have survived!” cartoonist Osamu Tezuka shouted on the night of Aug. 15, 1945, as he watched the city lights of Osaka in “Kamino Toride” (“Paper Fortress”), his autobiographical “manga” comic book.

Source: Aug. 15 — Japan’s longest day — still resonates (Japan Times)

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