The majority of the Allied Powers, including the United States and Great Britain, signed the Treaty of Peace with Japan (also known as the Treaty of San Francisco) in 1951. However, the Soviet Union refused to sign the treaty for numerous reasons, including the U.S.’ building of military bases in Japan, not being consulted before the treaty was developed and the fact that China was not invited to the treaty talks because it was engaged in a civil war (Japan and China signed a peace treaty in 1952). The 1956 declaration officially ended the war and restored the diplomatic relationship between the two countries.
On this day in 1956, Japan and the Soviet Union signed a joint declaration announcing the end of World War II. This was the last act officially ending the Second World War.