BBC marks 70th anniversary of Victory over Japan Day

I am proud to provide the coverage of this very important World War Two anniversary. It is incredibly important to make sure that those who fought so bravely to secure victory over Japan seventy years ago are honoured and remembered.Claire Popplewell, Editor, BBC Ceremonial Events
Date: 05.08.2015     Last updated: 06.08.2015 at 17.19
Seventy years ago, the 'Far East Campaign' ended, finally bringing the Second World War to its conclusion. To mark the historic anniversary of Victory over Japan Day (VJ Day 70) the BBC announces it will be broadcasting a range of coverage across TV, radio and online this August, with BBC One providing live coverage of the commemorations.

Claire Popplewell, editor, ceremonial events for the BBC, says: “The BBC is proud to provide the coverage of this very important World War Two anniversary. It is incredibly important to make sure that those who fought so bravely to secure victory over Japan seventy years ago are honoured and remembered.”

In VJ Day 70: The Nation Remembers, Saturday 15 August on BBC One, Kirsty Young introduces live coverage of the 70th anniversary commemorations. Commentary of these events will be provided by James Naughtie, with Dan Snow speaking to the veterans and their families.

The broadcast begins at 10.30am when The Queen and The Duke of Edinburgh together with members of the Royal Family, the Prime Minister, veterans, former prisoners of war and civilian internees attend a service at St Martin-in-the-Fields Church, Trafalgar Square, organised by National FEPOW (Far East Prisoners of War) Fellowship Welfare Remembrance Association. The service will be live on BBC One from 10.30am to 12.15pm.

We return at 1pm with a special commemorative event on Horse Guards Parade hosted by Her Majesty’s Government and The Royal British Legion. It will begin with a flypast followed by a traditional Drumhead Service and wreath-laying ceremony. Their Royal Highnesses The Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall will join veterans and their families and current members of the Armed Forces at this event.

Following these commemorations, veterans, civilian internees, their descendants and families along with current personnel will march down Whitehall and through Parliament Square to Westminster Abbey – passing the statue of Field Marshal Slim and The Cenotaph – in a special anniversary parade.

VJ Day 70: The Nation Remembers, Saturday 15 August on BBC One, 10:30 to 12:15pm and 13:00 to 15:30pm. Highlights will be shown on BBC Two on Sunday 16 August at 5.30pm. Presented by Kirsty Young, with James Naughtie and Dan Snow. It has been commissioned by Charlotte Moore, Controller of BBC One and is executive produced by Claire Popplewell from the BBC.

VJ DAY PROGRAMME HIGHLIGHTS

BBC Radio 5 Live
Hiroshima 70 years on
Thursday 6 August Radio 5 live daily special 10am-1pm

Peter Allen travels to Hiroshima for a special programme on the 70th anniversary of the world’s first atomic bomb attack. He’ll report live from the Japanese city’s commemoration events, and hear powerful testimonies from people who survived the bomb blast – which is estimated to have killed up to 140,000 people. The survivors he’ll meet include a Japanese woman whose school was obliterated, but who survived because she was helping out at a military base on the edge of the city. He’ll talk to one of the American physicists – now in his 90s – who helped develop the atomic bombs at the Manhattan Project, and who was on the Pacific island of Tinian when the US bomber the Enola Gay set off on its mission. And he’ll meet Hiroshima residents to understand what the aftermath of the bomb has been on the city, Japan, and the world, as well as people who have travelled from across the globe to take part in the commemorations.

BBC Radio 5 Live will also broadcast an hour special on Hiroshima on Sunday 16 August - more details to be confirmed.

BBC Radio 4
Random Edition
Saturday 14 August, 11.00-11.30

Random Edition presenter Peter Snow will use a single copy of an archive newspaper to make history live. Here it’s a copy of The Times for 16 August, 1945 – thus reporting VJ Day the day before. Extensive sound archive material will be matched with newly recorded memories. The programme will reflect the VJ Day celebrations across the country, as reported in this copy of The Times, commencing with the jubilant scenes in London as the war in East Asia was finally pronounced over. Among those recalling that day in London will be Gwen Hollingshead, who has vivid memories of the scenes at Piccadilly Circus. Gwen will also bring alive another report in the paper – of the atmosphere at Rainbow Corner, the central London club for members of the US armed forces, where Gwen worked. Doyne North will also recall a VJ-Day railway journey in the Midlands during which he asked at every station if the war was over yet.

On Radio 2, Jeremy Vine (12 to 2pm) will be marking the historic 70th anniversary by asking listeners for their and their parents' memories of the original VJ Day back in 1945, the day that effectively ended the Second World War. Jeremy will also be asking listeners on their thoughts about how the country has celebrated its victory over Japan in past years.

BBC South Today will feature three special reports (3min 30), including stories from the families of servicemen who were killed and the veterans who returned but were unable to talk about what they’d been through. TX: 12, 13 and 14 August, 18.30

BBC South East Today will feature three special reports (3min 30) focusing on stories of local people including Olga, now 83, who was imprisoned as a young girl with her mother and siblings in Changi Jail, Singapore. Olga wasn’t aware Victory in Japan had happened until a British plane dropped messages into their camp; she still has the slip of paper! Children at the camp, including Olga, stitched their names into a quilt which was made in secret from scraps of material and rice bags. This is now famously known as the ‘Changi quilt’ and is kept at the Imperial War Museum. TX: 12/13/14 August, 18.30

For further information on the live events see:
MOD Press Release: gov.uk/government/news/vj-day-70-plans-announced
RBL Press Release: britishlegion.org.uk/remembrance/vj-day

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