30 August. Two days after an advance party of U.S. Army airborne forces secures Atsugi aerodrome near Tokyo, General MacArthur arrives by plane. Meanwhile U.S. marines come ashore in Tokyo Bay in full combat gear and clearly prepared for Japanese treachery. The next day MacArthur assumes command of the Japanese government in Tokyo. This is the first time in its history that Japan is occupied by a foreign power.
31 August. Chiang Kaishek orders General Chang Fa-kuei to send U.S.-equipped troops to reoccupy Canton and Hong Kong. The closest KMT troops, however, are in far-away Kwangsi. Seven days later, these troops enter Canton. A formal Japanese surrender ceremony is held there on 16 September, by which time Hong Kong is firmly in British hands.
3 September. On the day of China’s national victory celebration, President Chiang Kai-shek calls for priority to be given to economic reconstruction, constitutional democracy and national unification after the war. At the same time, Mao meets Wang Shihchieh, the chief KMT representative in the ongoing Chungking negotiations, and stresses the CCP’s principles.
7 September. A British planning unit formed in 1943 to prepare for the re-occupation of Hong Kong arrives in the colony, establishing a British Military Administration (BMA). This body begins to provide relief, rebuild the government, restore infrastructure and resettle the currency of the colony. The first British food convoy arrives later in the month, saving the colony from possible starvation. The swift rehabilitation of Hong Kong allows the resumption of international trade by December. The BMA will continue until May 1946, when the civilian government is re-established.
8 September. Finally, after completion of initial U.S. troop movements to Japan and China, troops of the U.S. Army Forces in Korea land at Incheon. Their commander, Lt.-Gen. John Hodge, is faced with a delegation from the Committee for the Preparation for Korean Independence. Poorly briefed, not expecting the reception and having been specifically warned not to recognize any group claiming to represent the Koreans, Hodge declines to meet the delegation.
9 September. Okamura Yasuji, commander-in-chief of Japan’s China Expeditionary Army, signs and presents the Japanese Instrument of Surrender to General Ho Yin-chin. Ho, on Chiang’s behalf, orders Japanese armies to maintain order, keep control of arms and supplies, take care of POWs and assist KMT forces to retake Japanese-occupied territories in China.
9 September. Finally, after a long delay, the main body of Chinese troops enters northern Indochina to disarm the Japanese and maintain order. It also proceeds to plunder the local populace or pay for supplies with Chinese currency at a highly inflated exchange rate. The commander of Chinese forces, General Lu Han, arrives in Hanoi by air on the 14th and establishes himself in the former governor-general’s palace. Ho Chi Minh is swiftly summoned here. However, unlike the British, the Chinese are amenable to an accommodation with the Viet Minh.
30 August. After a visit to the Soviet embassy in Ulaanbaatar by Choibalsan and President Bumtsend, the Mongolian People’s Republic begins focusing on securing Outer Mongolian independence and, at least in public, treating calls for Mongol unification with eloquent silence.
3 September. A ragged Nationalist Chinese army finally marches into Shanghai to be met by cheering crowds. Although the first U.S. troops entered the city on 19 August, the formal surrender of Japanese troops in Shanghai has been delayed until Chinese government troops could be airlifted in by the Americans from deep inside government-held territory.
7 September. Faced with hyperinflation in Malaya as a result of massive printing by the Japanese of their wartime currency, the British Military Administration (BMA) demonetizes the currency; only pre-war and a new post-war currency are legal tender. The widespread economic pain this causes is alleviated by government handouts. However, due to the financial and economic upheaval caused by the demonetization policy, the BMA would come to be derogatorily known as the ‘Black Market Administration’ owing to the widespread corruption of its staff.