Second World War commemorations take place across the globe

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By Euronews  with Reuters
Second World War commemorations take place across the globe

The 70th anniversary of the official end of the Second World War has been commemorated around the globe.

At Saint Martin-in-the-Fields Church in London, veterans, including former prisoners of war, joined Queen Elizabeth, the Duke of Edinburgh and the prime minister for a memorial service.

Elsewhere in the English capital, Prince Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall attended a veterans parade complete with a fly-past of military aircraft.

Known in Britain as VJ Day, or Victory over Japan Day, August 15 is also a time to reflect on the 71,000 British and Commonwealth casualties of the war against Japan.

“I think it is hugely important that we remember this anniversary because thousands of people died, thousands of people suffered appalling injuries and torture during this conflict, and it’s right that we thank them, it’s right that we recognise they suffered for our freedoms,” said British Prime Minister David Cameron.

Pearl Harbour

Back in 1941, the Japanese bombing of the Hawaiian port of Pearl Harbour dragged the US into the Second World War.

Over 70 years later, Japanese and US cities joined forces with the US Navy to hold a memorial service and unveil a new commemorative plaque.

Tokyo and Yasukuni Shrine

In Japan, Emperor Akihito marked the occasion with an expression of “deep remorse” over the conflict.

The legacy of the war still haunts the country’s relations with China and South Korea, which suffered under Japan’s sometimes brutal occupation and colonial rule.

Japanese prime minister Shinzo Abe sent a cash offering to Yasukuni Shrine for the war dead, seen by Beijing and Seoul as a symbol of Tokyo’s wartime militarism.