On Thursday 18th June, Sir David Amess, MP for Southend West, spoke at Business Questions and called for a debate on commemorations for Victory Over Japan Day.
Sir David said “Will my right hon. Friend find time for a debate on VJ Day on the 15th August. Because of the national crisis, VE Day celebrations were somewhat muted. I have been talking to Dame Vera’s daughter, Virginia, and I very much feel that we should make this a very special celebration. We owe her mother a great debt of gratitude for the way her wonderful voice lifted spirits during our darkest hours. And to quote Dame Vera, she very much felt our boys in the Far East had been forgotten”.
Jacob Rees-Mogg replied “May I thank my hon. Friend for raising this important occasion in the Chamber. The Government fully recognises the importance of VJ Day, which is the 15th August … This important anniversary is an occasion for us to acknowledge once again the sacrifices made on our behalf by the veterans of the campaign, to remember all those who lost their lives and the many military prisoners of war and civilian internees who suffered in captivity. The Government and its partners will be taking into careful consideration the changing national situation as we continue to tackle the Coronavirus outbreak. We will always put the health and wellbeing of our veterans at the forefront of our plans. We are committed to creating a programme which will allow members of the public to remember and give thanks to the Second World War generation in appropriate and fitting ways. But my hon. Friend is right to say that we must not allow those troops that were in the Far East to be forgotten”.