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|The Surrender of Japan
On August 10, 1945, the Japanese government asked the Allies if unconditional surrender meant that Emperor Hirohito would have to give up his throne. The Allies replied that the Japanese people would decide his fate. On August 14, the Allies received a message from Japan accepting the terms of the Potsdam Conference. The Allies appointed General Douglas MacArthur supreme commander for the Allied Powers as their representative at the surrender ceremony.
On September 2, aboard the battleship Missouri in Tokyo Bay, Japanese envoys Foreign Minister Mamoru Shigemitsu and General Yoshijiro Umezu signed their names on the Instrument of Surrender. Afterward, General MacArthur signed for the Allied Powers and accepted the 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." Admiral Chester W. Nimitz was also a U.S. signatory to the document.
On September 6, Colonel Bernard Thielen brought the surrender document and a second imperial rescript back to Washington, D.C. The following day, Thielen presented the documents to President Harry Truman in a formal White House ceremony.
We, acting by command of and in behalf on 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 hostilities forthwith, to preserve and save from damage all ships, aircraft, and military and civil property and to comply with all requirements which may 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 Powers 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
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.
L. Moore Cosgrave
Jacques Le Clerc
Leonard M. Isitt
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