World War II is Technically Still Ongoing

By Jeff Kelly on Monday, July 15, 2013
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“This is not the end. It is not even the beginning of the end. But it is, perhaps, the end of the beginning.” —Sir Winston Churchill

In a Nutshell

History books generally recognize September 2, 1945 as the official end of World War II, as that was the day when the Japanese surrender finally became official. Well, mostly anyway. It turns out Russia and Japan are still at war to this day, quibbling over a group of islands.

The Whole Bushel

When the Japanese signed their terms of surrender on the deck of the USS Missouri, it signified the official end of World War II, and people around the world rejoiced. After all, the long and brutal war had finally come to a close and soldiers could at last return to their normal lives.

However, what you may not realize is that for two rather major participants, the war has actually never officially come to a close. That’s because over the past 70 years, Russia and Japan have never been able to come to agreeable terms on what to do with the Kuril Islands. Russia has been occupying the islands since the war, though Japan still claims ownership, and the two nations have been locked in a debate over rightful ownership ever since.

As recently as this spring, the two nations have finally started taking steps toward ending World War II once and for all, presumably because they realize even the worst people don’t hold this kind of grudge for this long. Of course, considering no real progress has been made, perhaps they’ll just decide to keep their record streak of passive feuding going for a few more decades.

Show Me The Proof

Christian Science Monitor: Japan and Russia Want To Finally End World War II
BBC: Kuril islands dispute between Russia and Japan