It took two Atomic bombs and a raging, almost violent, discussion in the Japanese War Cabinet, but on this day in 1945 the Emperor of Japan spoke to his nation by radio.
He declared that continue to fight the war would be futile and result in the death of more Japanese subjects.
With that, World War 2 was over.
The formal Instrument of Surrender was signed by all parties on September 2, 1945 in Tokyo harbor. The surrender was unconditional except that the Emperor would not be deposed or subject to trial for war crimes.
Many of the other high ranking Japanese officials were not so lucky. They were tried, convicted, and hung for various crimes against both military personnel and civilians.
The United States then embarked on rebuilding Japan and establishing a democratic government in its former enemy.