30 August 1945. 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.
30 August 1945. In an emotionally charged event marking the end of a thousand years of Vietnamese monarchy, Bao Dai reads the text of his edict to a huge crowd in Hue during the formal abdication ceremony. ‘I would prefer to be a citizen of an independent country rather than Emperor of an enslaved one’, he states. Although the ex-emperor agrees to become ‘supreme advisor’ to the provisional government, he is allowed to go into exile in March 1946.
30 August 1945. 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.
30 August 1945. The Japanese Association completes construction of the Jurong Internment Camp and Syonan’s (Singapore’s) 6,000 Japanese civilians begin moving into their temporary home and await repatriation to Japan. The situation of surrendered Japanese soldiers is different. Designated ‘Japanese Surrendered Personnel’ rather than POWs, they will be set to work as unpaid labourers in the rebuilding of Singapore.
30 August 1945. At the urging of French commissioner Hans Imfeld, King Sisavangvong retracts the declaration of Lao independence he made under Japanese coercion four months earlier and repeats his support for a French protectorate. Coming two days after Prince Phetsarath’s pro-independence moves, this lays bare the rift between the regal and vice-regal lines of the royal family. Divisions are also apparent between those seen as collaborating with the Japanese during the occupation and those who remained faithful to the French, and between traditional conservatives and progressive nationalists who differ on how and when Lao independence can be realized.