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September 1939 World War 2 began
September 1940 USA put in place economic sanctions against Japan, following Japanese invasion of Indochina
7 December 1941 Japanese aircraft attacked the US naval base at Pearl Harbour in Hawaii
December 1941 Japan declared war on the USA and Britain; declarations of war were exchanged between the USA and Germany / Italy
June 1942 Battle of Midway was a major defeat for Japan
July 1944 Moderate forces in the Japanese government looked for an end to the war
October 1944 Massive damage to the Japanese fleet inflicted at the Battle of Leyte Gulf
June 1945 Japanese surrendered in Okinawa; Hirohito wanted his ministers to discuss peace with the allies
16 July 1945 Atomic bomb successfully tested in New Mexico
28 July 1945 Japan refused a demand to surrender unconditionally
6 August 1945 Atomic bomb destroyed Hiroshima
9 August 1945 Atomic bomb destroyed Nagasaki; USSR declared war on Japan
10 August 1945 Japan offered conditional surrender
14 August 1945 Truman accepted that Hirohito could remain as emperor and Japan surrendered