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This article is about the Pacific theatre of World War II. For other uses, see Pacific War (disambiguation).
"War in the Pacific" redirects here. For the video game, see War in the Pacific (video game). For the war between Chile, Bolivia, and Peru in 1879–84, see War of the Pacific.
"Pacific Theater of World War II" redirects here. For the United States military command area in World War II, see Pacific Theater of Operations.

The Pacific War, sometimes called the Asia-Pacific War, was the theatre of World War II that was fought in the Pacific and East Asia. It was fought over a vast area that included the Pacific Ocean and islands, the South West Pacific, South-East Asia, and in China (including the 1945 Soviet–Japanese conflict).

It is generally considered that the Pacific War began on 7/8 December 1941, on which date Japan invaded Thailand and attacked the British possessions of Malaya, Singapore, and Hong Kong as well as the United States military bases in Hawaii and the Philippines. Some historians contend that the conflict in Asia can be dated back to 7 July 1937 with the beginning of the Second Sino-Japanese War between the Empire of Japan and the Republic of China, or possibly 19 September 1931, beginning with the Japanese invasion of Manchuria. However, it is more widely accepted that the Pacific War itself started in early December 1941, with the Sino-Japanese War then becoming part of it as a theater of the greater World War II.

The Pacific War saw the Allied powers pitted against the Empire of Japan, the latter briefly aided by Thailand and to a much lesser extent by its Axis allies, Germany and Italy. The war culminated in the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, and other large aerial bomb attacks by the United States Army Air Forces, accompanied by the Soviet invasion of Manchuria on 8 August 1945, resulting in the Japanese announcement of intent to surrender on 15 August 1945. The formal and official surrender of Japan took place aboard the battleship USS Missouri in Tokyo Bay on 2 September 1945. Following its defeat, Japan's Shinto Emperor stepped down as the divine leader through the Shinto Directive, because the Allied Powers believed this was the major political cause of Japan's military aggression and deconstruction process soon took place to install a new liberal-democratic constitution to the Japanese public as the current Constitution of Japan.

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