Japanese Instrument of Surrender

Japanese Instrument of Surrender

The Japanese Instrument of Surrender was the written agreement that established the armistice ending the Pacific War and with it 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 on August 15.

urrender ceremony

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.).Broom, Jack. [http://community.seattletimes.nwsource.com/archive/?date=19980521&slug=2751979 "Memories on Board Battleship,"] "Seattle Times." May 21, 1998.] Then General Yoshijiro Umezu, Chief of the Army General Staff, "By Command and on behalf of the JapaneseImperial General Headquarters" signed (9:06 a.m.). [Broom, [http://community.seattletimes.nwsource.com/archive/?date=19980521&slug=2751979 "Seattle Times";] [http://cas.awm.gov.au/photograph/040963 "see" photo, Umezu signing.] ] 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.). [see above] ] 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 he 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:
* Fleet Admiral Chester Nimitz for the United States (9:12 a.m.). [Broom, [http://community.seattletimes.nwsource.com/archive/?date=19980521&slug=2751979 "Seattle Times";] [http://cas.awm.gov.au/photograph/040965 "see" photo, Nimitz signing.] ]
* General Hsu Yung-Ch'ang for the Republic of China (9:13 a.m.). [Broom, [http://community.seattletimes.nwsource.com/archive/?date=19980521&slug=2751979 "Seattle Times";] [http://cas.awm.gov.au/photograph/040966 "see" photo, Hsu Yung-Ch'ang signing.] ]
* Admiral Sir Bruce Fraser for the United Kingdom (9:14 a.m.). [Broom, [http://community.seattletimes.nwsource.com/archive/?date=19980521&slug=2751979 "Seattle Times";] [http://cas.awm.gov.au/photograph/040967 "see" photo, Fisher signing.] ]
* Lieutenant General Kuzma Derevyanko for the Soviet Union (9:16 a.m.). [Broom, [http://community.seattletimes.nwsource.com/archive/?date=19980521&slug=2751979 "Seattle Times";] [http://cas.awm.gov.au/photograph/040968 "see" photo, Derevyanko signing.] ]
* General Sir Thomas Blamey for Australia (9:17 a.m.). [Broom, [http://community.seattletimes.nwsource.com/archive/?date=19980521&slug=2751979 "Seattle Times";] [http://cas.awm.gov.au/photograph/019131 "see" photo, Blamey about to sign.] ]
* Colonel Lawrence Moore Cosgrave for Canada (9:18 a.m.). [Broom, [http://community.seattletimes.nwsource.com/archive/?date=19980521&slug=2751979 "Seattle Times";] [http://cas.awm.gov.au/photograph/040970 "see" photo, Cosgrave signing.] ]
* Général d'Armée Philippe Leclerc de Hautecloque for France (9:20 a.m.). [Broom, [http://community.seattletimes.nwsource.com/archive/?date=19980521&slug=2751979 "Seattle Times";] [http://cas.awm.gov.au/photograph/040971 "see" photo, Leclerc signing.] ]
* Luitenant-Admiraal C.E.L. Helfrich for the Netherlands (9:21 a.m.). [Broom, [http://community.seattletimes.nwsource.com/archive/?date=19980521&slug=2751979 "Seattle Times";] [http://cas.awm.gov.au/photograph/040972 "see" photo, Helfrich signing.] ]
* Air Vice-Marshal Leonard M. Isitt for New Zealand (9:22 a.m.). [Broom, [http://community.seattletimes.nwsource.com/archive/?date=19980521&slug=2751979 "Seattle Times";] [http://cas.awm.gov.au/photograph/040973 "see" photo, Isitt signing.] ]

On September 6, Colonel Bernard Theilen brought 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

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. 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. 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 urge 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.Tsustsumi, Cheryl Lee. [http://starbulletin.com/2007/08/26/travel/tsutsumi.html "Hawii's Back Yard: Mighty Mo memorial re-creates a powerful history,"] "Star-Bulletin" (Honolulu). August 26, 2007.]

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 [see above] ] by Chief Carpenter Fred Miletich. [see above] ]

Text of the Instrument of Surrender

Quote box
quote =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

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Differences between the two treaties

The Japanese copy of the treaty varied greatly 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. Fact|date=March 2008

* 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.Ellwand, Geoff. [http://www.cbc.ca/news/reportsfromabroad/ellwand/20060427.html "Making a mess of history,"] CBC News. April 27, 2006; [http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,776064,00.html "... Peace Be Now Restored,"] "Time." September 10, 1945.]

ee also

*Surrender of Japan
*General Order No. 1
*Treaty of San Francisco
*Victory over Japan Day
*German Instrument of Surrender, 1945
*Imperial General Headquarters
*Occupied Japan
*Japanese holdout


External links

* [http://www.archives.gov/exhibits/featured_documents/japanese_surrender_document/ National Archives & Records Administration Featured Document]
* [http://www.ussmissouri.org/coll_MurryHistory.htm USS Missouri's Captain Stuart Murray interviewed about the surrender ceremony]
* [http://alsos.wlu.edu/qsearch.aspx?browse=warfare/Japanese+Surrender Alsos Digital Library bibliography of references on Japan's surrender]
* [http://www.japan-101.com/history/japanese_instrument_of_surrender.htm Instrument of Surrender (full text)]
* [http://www.maritimequest.com/warship_directory/us_navy_pages/uss_missouri_bb63_japanese_surrender.htm MaritimeQuest Japanese Surrender Pages]

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