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Representatives of Japan stand aboard the USS Missouri prior to signing of the Instrument of Surrender.

The Japanese Instrument of Surrender was the written agreement that enabled the Surrender of Japan, marking the end of World War II. It was signed by representatives from the Empire of Japan, the United States of America, the Republic of China, the United Kingdom, the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, the Commonwealth of Australia, the Dominion of Canada, the Provisional Government of the French Republic, the Kingdom of the Netherlands, and the Dominion of New Zealand on the deck of the USS Missouri in Tokyo Bay on September 2, 1945. The date is sometimes known as Victory over Japan Day, although that designation is more frequently used to refer to the date of Emperor Hirohito's Gyokuon-hōsō (Imperial Rescript of Surrender), the radio broadcast announcement of the acceptance of the terms of the Potsdam Declaration at noon Japan standard time on August 15.

Contents

Surrender ceremony

Gen. Douglas MacArthur signs the Instrument of Surrender on behalf of the Allied Powers
Japanese Foreign Minister Mamoru Shigemitsu signs the Instrument of Surrender on behalf of the Japanese Government, formally ending World War II.

The ceremony aboard the deck of the Missouri lasted twenty-three minutes and was broadcast throughout the world. The instrument was first signed by the Japanese foreign minister Mamoru Shigemitsu "By Command and on behalf of the Emperor of Japan and the Japanese Government" (9:04 a.m.).[1] Then General Yoshijiro Umezu, Chief of the Army General Staff, "By Command and on behalf of the Japanese Imperial General Headquarters" signed (9:06 a.m.).[2] Afterwards, U.S. General of the Army Douglas MacArthur, Commander in the Southwest Pacific and Supreme Commander for the Allied Powers, also signed (9:08 a.m.).[1] As witnesses, U.S. Lieutenant General Jonathan Mayhew Wainwright IV, who had surrendered the Philippines, and British Lieutenant General Arthur Percival, who had surrendered Singapore, received two of the six pens they used to sign the instrument. Another pen went to the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, and one to his aide. All of the pens used by MacArthur were black, except the last which was plum colored and went to his wife. A replica of it, along with copies of the instrument of surrender, is in a case on the Missouri by the plaque marking the signing spot.

After MacArthur's signature as Supreme Commander, the following representatives signed the instrument of surrender on behalf of each of the Allied Powers:

On September 6, Colonel Bernard Theilen took the document and an imperial rescript to Washington, D.C., and presented them to President Harry Truman in a formal White House ceremony the following day. The documents were then exhibited at the National Archives.

Flags at the ceremony

Huge formation of American planes over USS Missouri and Tokyo Bay celebrating the signing, September 2, 1945.

The deck of the Missouri was furnished with two American flags. A commonly heard story is that one of the flags had flown over the White House on the day Pearl Harbor was attacked. However, Captain Stuart Murray of the Missouri explained:

"At eight o’clock we had hoisted a clean set of colors at the mainmast and a clean Union Jack at the bow as we were at anchor, and I would like to add that these were just regular ship’s flags, GI issue, that we’d pulled out of the spares, nothing special about them, and they had never been used anywhere so far as we know, at least they were clean and we had probably gotten them in Guam in May. So there was nothing special about them. Some of the articles in the history say this was the same flag that was flown on the White House or the National Capitol on 7 December 1941, the attack on Pearl Harbor, and at Casablanca, and so forth, also MacArthur took it up to Tokyo and flew it over his headquarters there. The only thing I can say is they were hard up for baloney, because it was nothing like that. It was just a plain ordinary GI-issue flag and a Union Jack. We turned them both in to the Naval Academy Museum when we got back to the East Coast in October.

Commodore Perry's flag was flown from Annapolis to Tokyo for display at the surrender ceremonies which officially ended World War II.

The only special flag that was there was a flag which Commodore Perry had flown on his ship out in that same location 82 years before [sic: the actual number of years was 92]. It was flown out in its glass case from the Naval Academy Museum. An officer messenger brought it out. We put this hanging over the door of my cabin, facing forward, on the surrender deck so that everyone on the surrender deck could see it."

The second flag on the veranda deck of the Missouri had been flown from Commodore Matthew Perry's flagship in 1853–1854 when he led the US Navy's Far East Squadron into Tokyo Bay to force the opening of Japan's ports to foreign trade. MacArthur was a direct descendant of the New England Perry family and cousin of Commodore Matthew Perry. Perhaps it was MacArthur who insisted on the flag and saw himself as a second "opener" of Japan rather than the nation's conqueror.

Photographs of the signing ceremony show that this flag was actually displayed backward — reverse side showing (stars in the upper right corner). The cloth of the historic flag was so fragile that the conservator at the Naval Academy Museum directed that a protective backing be sewn on it, leaving its "wrong side" visible; and this was how Perry's 31-star flag was presented on this unique occasion.[12]

A replica of this historic flag can be seen today on the Surrender Deck of the Battleship Missouri Memorial in Pearl Harbor. This replica is also placed in the same location on the bulkhead of the veranda deck where it had been initially mounted on the morning of September 2, 1945[12] by Chief Carpenter Fred Miletich.[1]

Text

We, acting by command of and on behalf of the Emperor of Japan, the Japanese Government and the Japanese Imperial General Headquarters, hereby accept the provisions in the declaration issued by the heads of the Governments of the United States, China, and Great Britain 26 July 1945 at Potsdam, and subsequently 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 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 General 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, 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 action 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 09.04 on the SECOND day of SEPTEMBER, 1945

Mamoru Shigemitsu
By Command and in behalf of the Emperor of Japan and the Japanese Government

Yoshijirō Umezu
By Command and in behalf of the Japanese Imperial General Headquarters

Accepted at TOKYO BAY, JAPAN at 0908 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 MacArthur
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 Leclerc
Provisional Government of the French Republic Representative

C.E.L. Helfrich
Kingdom of the Netherlands Representative

Leonard M. Isitt
Dominion of New Zealand Representative

— 


Differences between versions

The instrument of surrender, dated September 2, 1945.

The Japanese copy of the treaty varied from the Allied in the following ways:

  • The Allied copy was presented in leather and gold lining with both countries' seals printed on the front, whereas the Japanese copy was bound in rough canvas with no seals on the front.[citation needed]
  • The Canadian representative, Colonel Lawrence Moore Cosgrave, signed below his line instead of above it on the Japanese copy, forcing everyone after him to sign one line below the intended one. When the discrepancy was pointed out to General Sutherland, he simply crossed-out the pre-printed names of the Allied nations and wrote them himself in their correct relative positions; and the Japanese representatives did not demur further.[13]

Current Locations

The Allied copy is stored at the National Archives in Washington, DC, the Japanese version can be viewed at the Edo-Tokyo Museum in Tokyo, Japan.

See also

Notes

External links

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prior to signing of the Instrument of Surrender.]]

The Japanese Instrument of Surrender was the written agreement that enabled the Surrender of Japan, marking the end of World War II. It was signed by representatives from the Empire of Japan, the United States of America, the Republic of China, the United Kingdom, the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, the Commonwealth of Australia, the Dominion of Canada, the Provisional Government of the French Republic, the Kingdom of the Netherlands, and the Dominion of New Zealand on the deck of the USS Missouri in Tokyo Bay on September 2, 1945.

The date is sometimes known as Victory over Japan Day, although that designation is more frequently used to refer to the date of Emperor Hirohito's Gyokuon-hōsō (Imperial Rescript of Surrender), the radio broadcast announcement of the acceptance of the terms of the Potsdam Declaration at noon Japan standard time on August 15.

Contents

Surrender ceremony

signs the Instrument of Surrender on behalf of the Allied Powers]]
signs the Instrument of Surrender on behalf of the Japanese Government, formally ending World War II.]]

The ceremony aboard the deck of the Missouri lasted twenty-three minutes and was broadcast throughout the world. The instrument was first signed by the Japanese foreign minister Mamoru Shigemitsu "By Command and on behalf of the Emperor of Japan and the Japanese Government" (9:04 a.m.).[1] Then General Yoshijiro Umezu, Chief of the Army General Staff, "By Command and on behalf of the Japanese Imperial General Headquarters" signed (9:06 a.m.).[2]

Afterwards, U.S. General of the Army Douglas MacArthur, Commander in the Southwest Pacific and Supreme Commander for the Allied Powers, also signed (9:08 a.m.).[1]

After MacArthur's signature as Supreme Commander, the following representatives signed the instrument of surrender on behalf of each of the Allied Powers:

On September 6, Colonel Bernard Theilen took the document and an imperial rescript to Washington, D.C., and presented them to President Harry Truman in a formal White House ceremony the following day. The documents were then exhibited at the National Archives.

Pens

As witnesses, U.S. Lieutenant General Jonathan Mayhew Wainwright IV, who had surrendered the Philippines, and British Lieutenant General Arthur Percival, who had surrendered Singapore, received two of the six pens they used to sign the instrument. Another pen went to the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, and one to MacArthur's aide. All of the pens used by MacArthur were black, except the last which was plum colored and went to his wife. A replica of it, along with copies of the instrument of surrender, is in a case on the Missouri by the plaque marking the signing spot.

Flags at the ceremony

The deck of the Missouri was furnished with two American flags. A commonly heard story is that one of the flags had flown over the White House on the day Pearl Harbor was attacked. However, Captain Stuart Murray of the Missouri explained:

"At eight o’clock we had hoisted a clean set of colors at the mainmast and a clean Union Jack at the bow as we were at anchor, and I would like to add that these were just regular ship’s flags, GI issue, that we’d pulled out of the spares, nothing special about them, and they had never been used anywhere so far as we know, at least they were clean and we had probably gotten them in Guam in May. So there was nothing special about them. Some of the articles in the history say this was the same flag that was flown on the White House or the National Capitol on 7 December 1941, the attack on Pearl Harbor, and at Casablanca, and so forth, also MacArthur took it up to Tokyo and flew it over his headquarters there. The only thing I can say is they were hard up for baloney, because it was nothing like that. It was just a plain ordinary GI-issue flag and a Union Jack. We turned them both in to the Naval Academy Museum when we got back to the East Coast in October. 's flag was flown from Annapolis to Tokyo for display at the surrender ceremonies which officially ended World War II.]] The only special flag that was there was a flag which Commodore Perry had flown on his ship out in that same location 82 years before [sic: the actual number of years was 92]. It was flown out in its glass case from the Naval Academy Museum. An officer messenger brought it out. We put this hanging over the door of my cabin, facing forward, on the surrender deck so that everyone on the surrender deck could see it."

The second flag on the veranda deck of the Missouri had been flown from Commodore Matthew Perry's flagship in 1853–1854 when he led the US Navy's Far East Squadron into Tokyo Bay to force the opening of Japan's ports to foreign trade. MacArthur was a direct descendant of the New England Perry family and cousin of Commodore Matthew Perry.

Photographs of the signing ceremony show that this flag was actually displayed backward — reverse side showing (stars in the upper right corner). The cloth of the historic flag was so fragile that the conservator at the Naval Academy Museum directed that a protective backing be sewn on it, leaving its "wrong side" visible; and this was how Perry's 31-star flag was presented on this unique occasion.[12]

A replica of this historic flag can be seen today on the Surrender Deck of the Battleship Missouri Memorial in Pearl Harbor. This replica is also placed in the same location on the bulkhead of the veranda deck where it had been initially mounted on the morning of September 2, 1945[12] by Chief Carpenter Fred Miletich.[1]

Text

We, acting by command of and on behalf of the Emperor of Japan, the Japanese Government and the Japanese Imperial General Headquarters, hereby accept the provisions in the declaration issued by the heads of the Governments of the United States, China, and Great Britain 26 July 1945 at Potsdam, and subsequently 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 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 General 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, 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 action 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 09.04 on the SECOND day of SEPTEMBER, 1945

Mamoru Shigemitsu
By Command and in behalf of the Emperor of Japan and the Japanese Government

Yoshijirō Umezu
By Command and in behalf of the Japanese Imperial General Headquarters

Accepted at TOKYO BAY, JAPAN at 0908 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 MacArthur
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 Leclerc
Provisional Government of the French Republic Representative

C.E.L. Helfrich
Kingdom of the Netherlands Representative

Leonard M. Isitt
Dominion of New Zealand Representative

 

Differences between versions

The Japanese copy of the treaty varied from the Allied in the following ways:

  • The Allied copy was presented in leather and gold lining with both countries' seals printed on the front, whereas the Japanese copy was bound in rough canvas with no seals on the front.[citation needed]
  • The Canadian representative, Colonel Lawrence Moore Cosgrave, signed below his line instead of above it on the Japanese copy, forcing everyone after him to sign one line below the intended one. When the discrepancy was pointed out to General Sutherland, he simply crossed-out the pre-printed names of the Allied nations and wrote them himself in their correct relative positions; and the Japanese representatives did not demur further.[13]

Current locations

The Allied copy is in display at the National Navy UDT-SEAL Museum in Fort Pierce, Florida, the Japanese version can be viewed at the Edo-Tokyo Museum in Tokyo, Japan.

See also

Post-war:

Other Axis:

Notes

External links


Source material

Up to date as of January 22, 2010

From Wikisource

It has been suggested that this article or section be merged with The Japanese Surrender Documents of World War II. (Discuss)
Japanese Instrument of Surrender

"We, acting by command of and on behalf of the Emperor of Japan, the Japanese Government and the Japanese Imperial General Headquarters, hereby accept the provisions in the declaration issued by the heads of the Governments of the United States, China, and Great Britain 26 July 1945 at Potsdam, and subsequently 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 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 General 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, 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 action 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 of TOKYO BAY, JAPAN of 09.04 on the SECOND day of SEPTEMBER, 1945

Mamoru Shigemitsu 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 0908 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 MacArthur
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

For all documents see The Japanese Surrender Documents of World War II.

External links

Wikipedia logo Wikipedia has more on:
Japanese Instrument of Surrender.
  • Scanned images of the Instrument of Surrender from the U.S. National archives: page 1, page 2

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