Japan's History

Back ] Home ] Up ] Next ]

 
 







 
 
Japanese Instrument of Surrender - Formal end of World War II
 

The Japanese Instrument of Surrender was signed by the last Japanese representative at 9:04 AM on September 2, 1945, known as VJ day to Allied forces. Afterward, Gen. Douglas MacArthur, Commander in the Southwest Pacific and Supreme Commander for the Allied Powers, also signed. He accepted the Japanese surrender "for the United States, Republic of China, United Kingdom, and the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, and in the interests of the other United Nations at war with Japan." It marked the formal end of World War II.

The document was signed on the deck of the US battleship USS Missouri in Tokyo Bay. On September 6, Colonel Bernard Theilen brought the document and an imperial rescript to Washington, DC and on the following day presented them to President Harry Truman in a formal White House ceremony. The documents were then exhibited at the National Archives.

The opening paragraph illustrates the importance attached to the Japanese Emperor, while the second gets to the heart of the matter by declaring the unconditional surrender of Japan.

The full text of the Instrument of Surrender read as follows:

INSTRUMENT OF SURRENDER

We, acting by command of and in behalf of the Emperor of Japan, the Japanese Government and the Japanese Imperial General Headquarters, hereby accept the provisions set forth in the declaration issued by the heads of the Governments of the United States, China, and Great Britain on 26 July 1945 at Potsdam, and subsequently adhered to by the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, which four powers are hereafter referred to as the Allied Powers.

We hereby proclaim the unconditional surrender to the Allied Powers of the Japanese Imperial General Headquarters and of all Japanese armed forces and all armed forces under the Japanese control wherever situated.

We hereby command all Japanese forces wherever situated and the Japanese people to cease hostilites forthwith, to preserve and save from damage all ships, aircraft, and military and civil property and to comply with all requirements which my be imposed by the Supreme Commander for the Allied Powers or by agencies of the Japanese Government at his direction.

We hereby command the Japanese Imperial Headquarters to issue at once orders to the Commanders of all Japanese forces and all forces under Japanese control wherever situated to surrender unconditionally themselves and all forces under their control.

We hereby command all civil, military and naval officials to obey and enforce all proclamations, and orders and directives deemed by the Supreme Commander for the Allied Powers to be proper to effectuate this surrender and issued by him or under his authority and we direct all such officials to remain at their posts and to continue to perform their non-combatant duties unless specifically relieved by him or under his authority.

We hereby undertake for the Emperor, the Japanese Government and their successors to carry out the provisions of the Potsdam Declaration in good faith, and to issue whatever orders and take whatever actions may be required by the Supreme Commander for the Allied Poers or by any other designated representative of the Allied Powers for the purpose of giving effect to that Declaration.

We hereby command the Japanese Imperial Government and the Japanese Imperial General Headquarters at once to liberate all allied prisoners of war and civilian internees now under Japanese control and to provide for their protection, care, maintenance and immediate transportation to places as directed.

The authority of the Emperor and the Japanese Government to rule the state shall be subject to the Supreme Commander for the Allied Powers who will take such steps as he deems proper to effectuate these terms of surrender.

Signed at TOKYO BAY, JAPAN at 0904 I on the SECOND day of SEPTEMBER, 1945

MAMORU SHIGMITSU By Command and in behalf of the Emperor of Japan and the Japanese Government

YOSHIJIRO UMEZU By Command and in behalf of the Japanese Imperial General Headquarters

Accepted at TOKYO BAY, JAPAN at 0903 I on the SECOND day of SEPTEMBER, 1945, for the United States, Republic of China, United Kingdom and the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, and in the interests of the other United Nations at war with Japan.

DOUGLAS MAC ARTHUR

Supreme Commander for the Allied Powers

C.W. NIMITZ

United States Representative

HSU YUNG-CH'ANG

Republic of China Representative

BRUCE FRASER

United Kingdom Representative

KUZMA DEREVYANKO

Union of Soviet Socialist Republics Representative

THOMAS BLAMEY

Commonwealth of Australia Representative

L. MOORE COSGRAVE

Dominion of Canada Representative

JACQUES LE CLERC

Provisional Government of the French Republic Representative

C.E.L. HELFRICH

Kingdom of the Netherlands Representative

LEONARD M. ISITT

Dominion of New Zealand Representative
Article text is from Wikipedia and licensed under terms of GFDL. The original article can be found here.
 
History of Japan: Related Links, Resources & Shopping
  • Discuss any article in our History forum.
  • Look forward to more links, resources, and shopping information as we are currently updating this section.
   
 
Site Map | Contact | Privacy | Terms of Use | Advertise
 
Japan-101 - Selected as Best Of Japan On The Web 2005 Japan-101 Home
2003-2005 Japan-101.com
Japan-101 Selected as Best Of Japan On The Web 2004