It was a hot day in Tokyo with a daytime high of 32.3 degrees Celsius 70 years ago when Emperor Hirohito, posthumously known as Emperor Showa, declared Japan's surrender in World War II.

At noon on Aug. 15, 1945, people solemnly listened to a recording of the 44-year-old Emperor's voice through the radio that lasted about 4½ minutes.

A series of hectic and strained events bookended that historic announcement, with an attempted coup to stop it from airing, the suicide of an army minister and the prime minister's resignation.