The Pacific War, also sometimes called the Asia-Pacific War refers broadly to the parts of World War II that took place in the Pacific Ocean, its islands, and in East Asia, then called the Far East. The term Pacific War is used to encompass the Pacific Ocean theatre, the South West Pacific theatre, the South-East Asian theatre and the Second Sino-Japanese War, also including the 1945 Soviet-Japanese conflict.
It is generally considered that the Pacific War began on 7/8 December 1941 with the Japanese invasion of Thailand for the invasion of British Malaya, and the attack on Pearl Harbor in the United States' Territory of Hawaii by the Empire of Japan. Some authors consider the conflict in Asia can be dated as far as 7 July 1937, beginning with the Second Sino-Japanese War between the Empire of Japan and the Republic of China, or possibly 19 September 1931, beginning with the Japanese invasion of Manchuria. However, it is more widely accepted that the Pacific War itself started in early December 1941, with the Sino-Japanese War then becoming part of it as a theater of the greater World War II.
The Pacific War saw the Allied powers against the Empire of Japan, the latter briefly aided by Thailand and to lesser extent by its Axis allies Germany and Italy. The war culminated in the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, and other large aerial bombing attacks by the United States Army Air Forces, accompanied by the Soviet invasion of Manchuria on 8 August 1945, resulting in the surrender of Japan and the end of fighting during World War II on 15 August 1945. The formal and official surrender of Japan occurred aboard the battleship USS Missouri in Tokyo Bay on 2 September 1945.