Kiku Shimbun 169 (August 2016) featured an article about the use of Japanese Showa stamps in North Korea after late 1945. The article is reprinted here by permission. Parts of this article were from a translation of ‘The Specialised Catalogue of Showa Stamps’ with the translation being carried out by our member Nicholas Pertwee. The article starts with a history of the Soviet occupation.
On the 8th August 1945, during the final days of World War II, the Soviet Union declared war against Japan and launched a military invasion of Manchuria and Korea taking many Japanese army members as prisoners of war. By then Japan had been depleted by the long drawn out war against Britain, the United States and their Allies – with the Japanese forces being in no position to stave off the invading Soviet army. The United States dropping of Atomic Bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki on the 6th August and 9th August respectively, which led to the Japanese government searching for ways to end the war. On the 15th August 1945 Japan unconditionally surrendered.