Occupation & Liberation

of Hong Kong

The Japanese occupation of Hong Kong ended in 1945, after Japan surrendered on 15 August 1945. Hong Kong was handed over by the Imperial Japanese Army to the Royal Navy on 30 August 1945. 30 August was declared as "Liberation Day" (Chinese: 重光紀念日)

After nearly four years in enemy hands, the British retook Hong Kong on 30 August 1945. Here in a victory parade, Royal Marines march down Salisbury Road in Kowloon. In the background the Peninsula Hotel still bears signs of wartime camouflage.

A classic image marking the end of the Japanese occupation: the Japanese Gestapo Chief, Colonel Kanazawa, head of their Gendarmerie, is arrested at the entrance of the Peninsula Hotel on 29 September 1945. British Marines with weapons provocatively poised keep a watchful eye on the Colonel, with arms folded and still wearing his samurai sword, and his aides.

The dark shroud of occupation was lifted on 16 September 1945, when Vice Admiral Ruitaro Fujita and Major Umekichi Okada - seated at a small table in Government House bearing brush and ink slab - signed the Surrender Document; "On behalf of the Emperor of Japan and the Japanese Imperial Headquarters, we do hereby unconditionally surrender ourselves and all forces under our control... ", the Japanese handed over their swords, bowed stiffly and were marched away.

Original Negative

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