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The Royal Family and Boris Johnson will join WWII veterans 75 years after VJ day


Ceremonies will be held around the world to mark the 75th anniversary of the Victory in Japan before the royal family teams up with British Prime Minister Boris Johnson and veterans for a Red Arrows flight.

Japan celebrated the 75th anniversary of its surrender to World War II on Saturday. Emperor Naruhito expressed "profound remorse" over his country's acts of war at a grim annual ceremony slowed by the coronavirus pandemic.

Naruhito promised to reflect on the events of the war and expressed the hope that the tragedy would never repeat itself. There was not a word of apology from Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, who thanked the victims of the Japanese war dead but had nothing to say about the suffering of the Japanese neighbors.

"As I reflect on our past and reflect upon the feelings of deep regret, I sincerely hope that the ravages of war will never repeat itself," Naruhito said in a brief speech at the Tokyo event marking the 75th anniversary of Japan's surrender on Nov. August 1945.

In New Zealand, Great Britain and Australia, high-ranking government officials laid wreaths on war memorials to commemorate those who died in the brutal conflict in the Pacific.

The Royal Family and Boris Johnson will join WWII veterans today to celebrate 75 years after the war ended.

Prince Philip, 99, will be among those who pay tribute to the heroes who fell during the Far East campaign. The Duke was aboard the Royal Navy destroyer HMS Whelp in Tokyo Bay when the Japanese surrendered in 1945.

Emperor Naruhito and Empress Masako of Japan attend a memorial service marking the 75th anniversary of Japan's surrender in World War II at Nippon Budokan Hall on August 15, 2020 in Tokyo, Japan. 75 years ago today and after the atomic bombing raids on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, the former Emperor Hirohito officially announced Japan's surrender to Allied forces, ending the hostilities of World War II

Japan's Emperor Naruhito (L) and Empress Masako (R) wearing face masks attend a memorial service today marking the 75th anniversary of Japan's surrender in World War II at Nippon Budokan Hall in Tokyo, Japan

Japan's Emperor Naruhito (L) and Empress Masako (R) wearing face masks attend a memorial service today marking the 75th anniversary of Japan's surrender in World War II at Nippon Budokan Hall in Tokyo, Japan

Defense Secretary Ben Wallace lays a wreath at the Centotaph in Whitehall, London, to mark VJ day this morning

Defense Secretary Ben Wallace lays a wreath at the Centotaph in Whitehall, London, to mark VJ day this morning

Governor General Dame Patsy Reddy and husband Sir David Gascoigne lay flowers on the steps of the Pukeahu National War Memorial Park to commemorate the 75th anniversary of the current end of World War II in Wellington, New Zealand

Governor General Dame Patsy Reddy and husband Sir David Gascoigne lay flowers on the steps of the Pukeahu National War Memorial Park to commemorate the 75th anniversary of the current end of World War II in Wellington, New Zealand

Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison lays a wreath marking the 75th anniversary of Victory on the Pacific at the Australian War Memorial in Canberra, Australia, on Aug. 15, 2020 during a service

Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison lays a wreath marking the 75th anniversary of Victory on the Pacific at the Australian War Memorial in Canberra, Australia, on Aug. 15, 2020 during a service

The handout issued yesterday by RAF / MoD shows Color Sergeant Lil Bahadur Gurung playing the pipe in front of the Burma Star Memoriall. He is the sole whistler at the VJ Day 75 memorial services at the National Memorial Arboretum in Alrewas, Staffordshire when the Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall join World War II veterans, their carers and their families to pay tribute to all of these which fell during the Far East Campaign

The handout issued yesterday by RAF / MoD shows Color Sergeant Lil Bahadur Gurung playing the pipe in front of the Burma Star Memoriall. He is the sole whistler at the VJ Day 75 memorial services at the National Memorial Arboretum in Alrewas, Staffordshire when the Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall join World War II veterans, their carers and their families to pay tribute to all of these which fell during the Far East Campaign

Prince Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall will also attend today's service at the National Memorial Arboretum near Lichfield, Staffordshire.

For the first time since the 2012 Olympics, the Red Arrows will operate a flight route over the four capital cities of England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales.

In Japan, amid viral fears and worries about the fading memories of the rapidly aging war generation, around 500 participants, down from 6,200 last year, mourned the dead with a minute's silence. Masks were required and the national anthem & # 39; Kimigayo & # 39; was not sung.

Naruhito has promised to follow in his father's footsteps, who dedicated his 30-year career to redressing a war waged on behalf of Hirohito, the grandfather of the current emperor.

Since taking office in December 2012, Abe has increasingly tried to gloss over Japan's brutal past. He did not acknowledge Japan's wartime hostilities during the August 15 speeches, which were previously a nearly 20-year tradition that began in 1995 with the apology of socialist leader Tomiichi.

In a largely domestic speech, Abe said the peace Japan enjoys today rests on the sacrifices of those who died in war. He promised that Japan would reflect on lessons from history and not repeat the destruction of the war. He listed damage done to Japan and its people, including the US atomic bombings on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, massive incendiary attacks on Tokyo, and the fierce battle of Okinawa.

Abe promised to play a bigger role in tackling global problems. With his goal of making Japan a "beautiful" and "normal" nation, Abe has endeavored steadily to rid Japan of its embarrassing war history and to rebuild its military by expanding the interpretation of Japan's non-war constitution. This includes acquiring greater missile defense capabilities in the face of a growing military threat from North Korea and China.

"I remember those days fondly and firmly believe that we should never wage war," said Shoji Nagaya, 93, who traveled from Hokkaido, northern Japan to commemorate his brother who served in China Disease had died. "But today's politicians seem to have different views than we do, and I really hope they are not going in the wrong direction."

At sunrise (6:00 am) on August 15th, military whistlers will play When the Battle & # 39; s O & # 39; er aboard HMS Belfast in London and at the National Memorial Arboretum in Staffordshire. Playing the Highland Air marks the moment Britain awakened to peace on August 15, 1945

At sunrise (6:00 am) on August 15th, military whistlers will play When the Battle & # 39; s O & # 39; er aboard HMS Belfast in London and at the National Memorial Arboretum in Staffordshire. Playing the Highland Air marks the moment Britain awakened to peace on August 15, 1945

The picture shows Color Sergeant Lil Bahadur Gurung playing the whistle. C Sgt Gurung is the pipe major in the uniform of 1 Royal Gurkha Rifles and the sole piper at the VJ Day 75 memorial services held at the National Memorial Arboretum in Alrewas, Staffordshire on August 15, 2020

The picture shows Color Sergeant Lil Bahadur Gurung playing the whistle. C Sgt Gurung is the pipe major in the uniform of 1 Royal Gurkha Rifles and the sole piper at the VJ Day 75 memorial services held at the National Memorial Arboretum in Alrewas, Staffordshire on August 15, 2020

The picture shows Color Sergeant Lil Bahadur Gurung playing the whistle. C Sgt Gurung is the pipe major in the uniform of 1 Royal Gurkha Rifles and the sole piper at the VJ Day 75 memorial services held at the National Memorial Arboretum in Alrewas, Staffordshire on August 15, 2020

The picture shows Color Sergeant Lil Bahadur Gurung playing the whistle. C Sgt Gurung is the pipe major in the uniform of 1 Royal Gurkha Rifles and the sole piper at the VJ Day 75 memorial services held at the National Memorial Arboretum in Alrewas, Staffordshire on August 15, 2020

Abe stayed away from the shrine that honors convicted war criminals among the war dead. He sent a religious offer through a lawmaker, a gesture to avoid angering China and South Korea, who view the Yasukuni Shrine as a symbol of Japan's militarism. Abe last visited Yasukuni in December 2013.

Four members of his cabinet visited the shrine, the first ministerial visit in four years. Among them was Environment Minister Shinjiro Koizumi, the son of former Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi, who made repeated visits to the shrine, including his last visit as prime minister on August 15, 2006, which sparked criticism from China and South Korea.

“We decide how we want to show respect for the war dead. This shouldn't be a diplomatic problem, ”Interior Minister Sanae Takaichi, an ultra-conservative who shares Abe's historical views, told reporters after praying at the shrine.

Repeated visits to Yasukuni by Japanese government officials "show that Japan has not completely abandoned militarism in terms of history," said Wang Shaopu, professor of Japanese studies at Jiao Tong University and honorary president of the Japan Society of Shanghai.

& # 39; Japan's invasion of China has brought great disaster to the Chinese people. If Japan does not grapple with historical problems in these circumstances, how can we be sure that Japan will follow the path of peace in the future? & # 39;

Kosaburo Tanaka, a manager of the Martial Arts Association, traveled from Osaka to thank Japan for post-war peace. “Japan has not waged a war in the past 75 years and we have been able to live peacefully. I think it's all due to the spirits that rest here in Yasukuni. You protect the peace. & # 39;

Nobuko Bamba, a pensioner whose grandmother, uncle, and aunt died in a U.S. fire in Tokyo on March 10, 1945, believes that both sides of history should be remembered.

"There are many people who don't know about the war, not only the suffering of the Japanese people, but also things that the Japanese people have done, bad things," said Bamba. "If we don't teach these things to future generations, I don't think the war would end."

She prayed for her uncle, whose remains were never found.

During the war against Japan, 71,000 British and Commonwealth troops died, including 12,000 in captivity. Defense Secretary Ben Wallace said yesterday: “VJ Day is sometimes viewed as a forgotten victory, but this year, on its 75th anniversary, our celebrations rightly focus on paying special tribute to the greatest generation and their service and sacrifice in the Far East pay.

"These memorials are specifically designed to involve our veterans and pay as much tribute as possible to the war generation despite these challenging times."

His comments came as a poll for the Armed Forces charity. The SSAFA found that 46 percent of Britons are ignorant of the importance of VJ Day.

World leaders will join Boris Johnson and Prince Philip on the 75th anniversary of VJ Day.

VJ celebrations in London, August 1945. The news of the handover of Japan to the Allies in mid-August 1945, which heralded the end of the war in the Far East, caused even more joy and solemnity in Britain than the announcement of victory in Europe few months earlier.

VJ celebrations in London, August 1945. The news of the handover of Japan to the Allies in mid-August 1945, which heralded the end of the war in the Far East, caused even more joy and solemnity in Britain than the announcement of victory in Europe few months earlier.

In this black and white file photo from August 15, 1945, Japanese prisoners of war in Guam, Mariana Islands, bow their heads when they hear the Japanese Emperor Hirohito announce the unconditional surrender of Japan

In this black and white file photo from August 15, 1945, Japanese prisoners of war in Guam, Mariana Islands, bow their heads when they hear the Japanese Emperor Hirohito announce the unconditional surrender of Japan

In this B / W file photo dated May 9, 1945, American soldiers and Marines verify the identification of their dead on May 9, 1945 in Okinawa, Japan, while American cities went wild after an unconfirmed report of Germany's unconditional surrender

In this B / W file photo dated May 9, 1945, American soldiers and Marines verify the identification of their dead on May 9, 1945 in Okinawa, Japan, while American cities went wild after an unconfirmed report of Germany's unconditional surrender

Prime Minister Boris Johnson, along with nine other global figures, including US President Donald Trump, Nigeria's President Muhammadu Buhari and Canada's Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, recorded a video message thanking staff.

In the Friendship of Nations video due to be released before the commemorations, each leader in turn will say, "We thank all who have served."

During a series of events during VJ day on August 15, the Royal Family and Mr. Johnson will lead the country in honoring those who fought in the Far East and helped bring World War II to an end.

Mr. Johnson said: “On this 75th anniversary of the end of World War II, we pay tribute to the heroes stationed thousands of miles away in the mountains, islands and rainforests of Asia.

“We can't celebrate victory in Europe and we are among the last to return home today. We recognize today the valor and ingenuity of those who have restored peace and prosperity to the world in the face of adversity.

"Your immeasurable sacrifice has changed the course of history and at today's commemorations we are taking the opportunity to say what should be said each day – thank you."

The day begins with a piper playing Battle & # 39; s Over at HMS Belfast at the Imperial War Museum in London at sunrise as part of a tribute entitled Waking Up To Peace.

Boris Johnson and Prince Philip will be among the world's leading figures on the occasion of the anniversary

Boris Johnson and Prince Philip will be among the world's leading figures on the occasion of the anniversary

Boris Johnson letter to veterans on VJ days

Boris Johnson letter to veterans on VJ days

Boris Johnson letter to veterans on VJ days

For the first time since the 2012 Olympics, the Red Arrows will operate a flight route over the four capital cities of England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales.

For the first time since the 2012 Olympics, the Red Arrows will operate a flight route over the four capital cities of England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales.

Military pipers will also play at dawn in India, Australia, New Zealand and Nepal.

The Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall will be in two minutes of silence at 11am during a BBC television event at the National Memorial Arboretum in Staffordshire.

Mr Johnson will read the admonition before the nation falls silent, after which the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight will take part in a flight over the arboretum.

The Duke of Edinburgh, 99, who served as a naval officer during World War II, will be featured along with other veterans on a number of large screens across the UK, including the Piccadilly Curve, in a photomontage showing veterans served today and when.

The Duke of Edinburgh was aboard the Royal Navy destroyer HMS Whelp in Tokyo Bay when the Japanese surrendered on August 15, 1945 during World War II

The Duke of Edinburgh was aboard the Royal Navy destroyer HMS Whelp in Tokyo Bay when the Japanese surrendered on August 15, 1945 during World War II

POLL implies almost half of the UK public. Don't know anything about the VJ day

Almost half of the UK public does not know what Victory Day in Japan (VJ) is, according to a poll conducted just before their 75th anniversary.

On Saturday, the country will pay tribute to the sacrifices made by those who fought in the Far East to end World War II.

The conflict with Japan lasted three months after Victory Day in Europe (VE) on May 8, 1945, and the brutal fighting did not end until Japan surrendered on August 15.

However, a survey of 2,020 Britons over 16 by SSAFA, the armed forces charity, conducted between July 27-29, found that 46% did not know what the acronym VJ stands for.

Of these, only 5% said they would celebrate it every year after finding out what marked the day.

Meanwhile, more than half (52%) of those who weren't aware of the importance of the day said they likely wouldn't do or feel anything about the anniversary after figuring out what it stood for.

The SSAFA suggested that the results suggest that VJ Day is "slowly being removed from British history".

It was emphasized that some veterans returning from the Far East referred to themselves as the "forgotten army" due to the earlier end of the war in Europe.

This year's VJ day commemorations had to be adjusted to take into account the restrictions imposed due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The Royal Family, including the Duke of Edinburgh, the Prince of Wales and the Duke of Cambridge, will have a role to play in the events scheduled for Saturday.

This includes a thanksgiving and memorial service at the National Memorial Arboretum in Staffordshire, a national two-minute silence, and a Red Arrows flying paste.

Sir Gary Coward, Chairman of SSAFA, said: “We should all be aware of our national history, especially when it is associated with a relentless campaign and great sacrifice. VJ Day marks one such event. & # 39;

He added: “Many people celebrate Victory Day in Europe, but very few recognize or know about Victory Day over Japan.

Thousands of Allied soldiers, sailors and airmen remained imprisoned under terrible conditions, and their many colleagues fought bitterly for freedom in the Far East long after VE Day.

“Without their greatest sacrifice, life would be very different from now.

“On this 75th anniversary, we should take a moment to reflect and try to learn the lessons from this key moment in history.

"The enormous losses on all sides must not be forgotten."

It will be a rare appearance for the Duke, who retired from his royal duties in 2017 and has only been seen in public a few times.

In the evening, his grandson, the Duke of Cambridge, will be attending VJ Day 75: The Nation & # 39; s Tribute, a BBC recorded program filmed at Horse Guards Parade, which featured the Duke alongside veteran testimonies and a host of famous faces We will honor and give Thank you to everyone who sacrificed so much in World War II.

Another aerial tribute is also staged. The Red Arrows rush over the cities of Edinburgh, Belfast, Cardiff and London. The flight route also includes the home of the Chelsea Pensioners, which is home to three retired Burma Star recipients.

Other world leaders who participated in the Friendship of Nations video that aired at 10.15 a.m. include Ghana's President Nana Akufo-Addo, Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison, Fiji's Prime Minister Frank Bainimarama and Malawi's President Lazarus Chakwera, Sierra Leone's President Julius Maada and the Prime Minister of Tonga Pohiva Tu & # 39; i & # 39; onetoa.

In a video message marking the 75th anniversary of VJ Day, union leader Sir Keir Starmer said: “On behalf of the Labor Party, I would like to pay tribute to the war generation who, through the horrors of conflict, have shown us the spirit and determination that we must always remember and always be grateful for it.

“It is important that we draw inspiration from this generation as we face today's challenges.

"Through their community spirit and their bravery and determination for a better world, they have shown us what we can achieve if we pull ourselves together."

Japan's surrender came more than three months after the end of the war in Europe when Germany surrendered to the Allies following the suicide of Adolf Hitler.

The Prime Minister has welcomed the courage of veterans in the Far East to end World War II and create "peace and prosperity".

In a letter to the "Veterans of the Far East Campaign" on the 75th anniversary of VJ Day, Boris Johnson thanked them for their service.

Stressing the importance of the outcome of the war to Southeast Asia, Mr Johnson said: “You were the last to come home, but your successes are in the light of the glittering capitals of the dynamic region we see today.

You fought for freedom, brought World War II to an end, and brought peace and prosperity back to the world.

“All of us who were born after you benefited from your courage in need. On this anniversary and every day after that, you will be remembered. & # 39;

Because of the distance from Great Britain, the military victories in Europe and the long recent voyage home, some veterans returning from the Far East felt not fully recognized and called themselves the "forgotten army".

In appreciation, Mr Johnson wrote: “When you finally returned, you sometimes found that your experience of the conflict in Europe had been overshadowed in the minds of the people.

“When I thank you for your service, I want to remember what you have achieved.

“Today the countries of Southeast Asia are thriving faster than almost anywhere else in the world.

"This transformation would never have been possible if it had remained under the occupation of Japan imposed by the defeat of the British and Commonwealth forces in Malaysia, Singapore and Burma."

Mr. Johnson added, “These blows were so severe that many feared they would break your will to fight.

"But you survived the longest retreat in British history, marching nearly 1,000 miles from Burma to India. Then you regrouped and reformed."

The Prime Minister also wrote: "At Kohima in 1944, British and Indian forces, beaten ten to one, halted Japan's invasion of India and achieved one of the greatest weapons achievements in military history."

He added, “They have achieved these advances through ingenuity and daring, mastering the jungle war, overcoming malaria and solving the seemingly insoluble problem of how to fight during monsoons.

General William Slim, commander of the 14th Army, wrote that he had "asked his soldiers for the impossible – and received it".

Mr Johnson concluded, “You know the dire cost better than I do: 50,000 British and Commonwealth citizens lost their lives in the war against Japan. Almost half of them died in brutal prison camps.

"But this immeasurable sacrifice has helped change the course of history and lay the foundation for the success of Southeast Asia."

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