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Japanese Instrument of Surrender

Japanese Instrument of Surrender

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The Japanese Instrument of Surrender was the written agreement that enabled the Surrender of Japan
Surrender of Japan
The surrender of Japan in 1945 brought hostilities of World War II to a close. By the end of July 1945, the Imperial Japanese Navy was incapable of conducting operations and an Allied invasion of Japan was imminent...

, marking the end of World War II
World War II
World War II, or the Second World War , was a global conflict lasting from 1939 to 1945, involving most of the world's nations—including all of the great powers—eventually forming two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis...

. It was signed by representatives from the Empire of Japan
Empire of Japan
The Empire of Japan is the name of the state of Japan that existed from the Meiji Restoration on 3 January 1868 to the enactment of the post-World War II Constitution of...

, the United States of America, the Republic of China
Republic of China
The Republic of China , commonly known as Taiwan , is a unitary sovereign state located in East Asia. Originally based in mainland China, the Republic of China currently governs the island of Taiwan , which forms over 99% of its current territory, as well as Penghu, Kinmen, Matsu and other minor...

, the United Kingdom
United Kingdom
The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern IrelandIn the United Kingdom and Dependencies, other languages have been officially recognised as legitimate autochthonous languages under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages...

, the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics
Soviet Union
The Soviet Union , officially the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics , was a constitutionally socialist state that existed in Eurasia between 1922 and 1991....

, the Commonwealth of Australia, the Dominion of Canada
Canada
Canada is a North American country consisting of ten provinces and three territories. Located in the northern part of the continent, it extends from the Atlantic Ocean in the east to the Pacific Ocean in the west, and northward into the Arctic Ocean...

, the Provisional Government of the French Republic
Provisional Government of the French Republic
The Provisional Government of the French Republic was an interim government which governed France from 1944 to 1946, following the fall of Vichy France and prior to the Fourth French Republic....

, the Kingdom of the Netherlands
Kingdom of the Netherlands
The Kingdom of the Netherlands is a sovereign state and constitutional monarchy with territory in Western Europe and in the Caribbean. The four parts of the Kingdom—Aruba, Curaçao, the Netherlands, and Sint Maarten—are referred to as "countries", and participate on a basis of equality...

, and the Dominion of New Zealand
New Zealand
New Zealand is an island country in the south-western Pacific Ocean comprising two main landmasses and numerous smaller islands. The country is situated some east of Australia across the Tasman Sea, and roughly south of the Pacific island nations of New Caledonia, Fiji, and Tonga...

 on the deck of the USS Missouri
USS Missouri (BB-63)
|USS Missouri is a United States Navy Iowa-class battleship, and was the fourth ship of the U.S. Navy to be named in honor of the U.S. state of Missouri...

 in Tokyo Bay
Tokyo Bay
is a bay in the southern Kantō region of Japan. Its old name was .-Geography:Tokyo Bay is surrounded by the Bōsō Peninsula to the east and the Miura Peninsula to the west. In a narrow sense, Tokyo Bay is the area north of the straight line formed by the on the Miura Peninsula on one end and on...

 on September 2, 1945.

The date is sometimes known as Victory over Japan Day
Victory over Japan Day
Victory over Japan Day is a name chosen for the day on which the Surrender of Japan occurred, effectively ending World War II, and subsequent anniversaries of that event...

, although that designation is more frequently used to refer to the date of Emperor Hirohito's Gyokuon-hōsō
Gyokuon-hoso
The , lit. "Jewel Voice Broadcast", was the radio broadcast in which Japanese emperor Hirohito read out the , announcing to the Japanese people that the Japanese Government had accepted the Potsdam Declaration demanding the unconditional surrender of the Japanese military at the end of World War II...

 (Imperial Rescript of Surrender), the radio broadcast announcement of the acceptance of the terms of the Potsdam Declaration
Potsdam Declaration
The Potsdam Declaration or the Proclamation Defining Terms for Japanese Surrender is a statement calling for the Surrender of Japan in World War II. On July 26, 1945, United States President Harry S...

 at noon Japan standard time
Japan Standard Time
Japan Standard Time or JST is the standard timezone of Japan, and is 9 hours ahead of UTC. For example, when it is midnight in UTC, it is 09:00 in Japan Standard Time. There is no daylight saving time, though its introduction has been debated several times. Japan Standard Time is the same as...

 on August 15.

Surrender 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
Mamoru Shigemitsu
was a Japanese diplomat and politician in the Empire of Japan, who served as the Japanese Minister of Foreign Affairs at the end of World War II.-Biography:...

 "By Command and on behalf of the Emperor of Japan and the Japanese Government" (9:04 a.m.). 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.).

Afterwards, U.S. General of the Army
General of the Army
General of the Army is a military rank used in some countries to denote a senior military leader, usually a General in command of a nation's Army. It may also be the title given to a General who commands an Army in the field....

 Douglas MacArthur
Douglas MacArthur
General of the Army Douglas MacArthur was an American general and field marshal of the Philippine Army. He was a Chief of Staff of the United States Army during the 1930s and played a prominent role in the Pacific theater during World War II. He received the Medal of Honor for his service in the...

, Commander in the Southwest Pacific and Supreme Commander for the Allied Powers
Supreme Commander of the Allied Powers
Supreme Commander of the Allied Powers was the title held by General Douglas MacArthur during the Occupation of Japan following World War II...

, also signed (9:08 a.m.).

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.).
  • General
    General
    A general officer is an officer of high military rank, usually in the army, and in some nations, the air force. The term is widely used by many nations of the world, and when a country uses a different term, there is an equivalent title given....

     Hsu Yung-Ch'ang
    Xu Yongchang
    General Xu Yongchang was the Minister of Board of Military Operations of the Republic of China between December 22, 1948 and April 22, 1949, and the representative of the Republic of China on September 2, 1945 at the signing of the Instrument of Surrender of Japan that ended World War II.Xu...

     for the Republic of China (9:13 a.m.).
  • Admiral
    Admiral
    Admiral is the rank, or part of the name of the ranks, of the highest naval officers. It is usually considered a full admiral and above vice admiral and below admiral of the fleet . It is usually abbreviated to "Adm" or "ADM"...

     Sir
    Sir
    Sir is an honorific used as a title , or as a courtesy title to address a man without using his given or family name in many English speaking cultures...

     Bruce Fraser
    Bruce Fraser, 1st Baron Fraser of North Cape
    Admiral of the Fleet Bruce Austin Fraser, 1st Baron Fraser of North Cape GCB, KBE was a senior British admiral during World War II.-Early naval career:Fraser joined the Royal Navy as a Cadet on 15 January 1904...

     for the United Kingdom (9:14 a.m.).
  • Lieutenant General
    Lieutenant General
    Lieutenant General is a military rank used in many countries. The rank traces its origins to the Middle Ages where the title of Lieutenant General was held by the second in command on the battlefield, who was normally subordinate to a Captain General....

     Kuzma Derevyanko for the Soviet Union (9:16 a.m.).
  • General
    General (Australia)
    General is the second highest rank, and the highest active rank, of the Australian Army and was created as a direct equivalent of the British military rank of General; it is also considered a four-star rank....

     Sir Thomas Blamey
    Thomas Blamey
    Field Marshal Sir Thomas Albert Blamey GBE, KCB, CMG, DSO, ED was an Australian general of the First and Second World Wars, and the only Australian to date to attain the rank of field marshal....

     for Australia (9:17 a.m.).
  • Colonel
    Colonel
    Colonel , abbreviated Col or COL, is a military rank of a senior commissioned officer. It or a corresponding rank exists in most armies and in many air forces; the naval equivalent rank is generally "Captain". It is also used in some police forces and other paramilitary rank structures...

     Lawrence Moore Cosgrave
    Lawrence Moore Cosgrave
    Colonel Lawrence Moore Cosgrave DSO & Bar was the Canadian signatory to the Japanese Instrument of Surrender at the end of World War II.-Early life:...

     for Canada (9:18 a.m.).
  • Général d'Armée
    Army General (France)
    A Général d'Armée is the highest active military rank of the French Army.Officially, Général d'armée is not a rank , but a position and style bestowed on some Généraux de division in charge of important commands, such as chief of staff of the army...

     Philippe Leclerc de Hautecloque for France (9:20 a.m.).
  • Lieutenant Admiral
    Lieutenant Admiral
    Lieutenant admiral is a senior naval military rank in some countries of the world. The rank is considered by many nations to be a direct equivalent of a vice admiral....

     C.E.L. Helfrich
    Conrad Emil Lambert Helfrich
    Luitenant-Admiraal Conrad Emil Lambert Helfrich, GNL, KCB of the Royal Netherlands Navy was a leading Dutch naval figure of World War II. He was born in Semarang....

     for the Netherlands (9:21 a.m.).
  • Air Vice-Marshal
    Air Vice-Marshal
    Air vice-marshal is a two-star air-officer rank which originated in and continues to be used by the Royal Air Force. The rank is also used by the air forces of many countries which have historical British influence and it is sometimes used as the English translation of an equivalent rank in...

     Leonard M. Isitt
    Leonard Monk Isitt (aviator)
    Air Vice-Marshal Sir Leonard Monk Isitt, KBE, was a New Zealand military aviator and administrator...

     for New Zealand (9:22 a.m.).


On September 6, Colonel Bernard Theilen took the document and an imperial rescript to Washington, D.C.
Washington, D.C.
Washington, D.C., formally the District of Columbia and commonly referred to as Washington, "the District", or simply D.C., is the capital of the United States. On July 16, 1790, the United States Congress approved the creation of a permanent national capital as permitted by the U.S. Constitution....

, and presented them to President Harry Truman in a formal White House
White House
The White House is the official residence and principal workplace of the president of the United States. Located at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW in Washington, D.C., the house was designed by Irish-born James Hoban, and built between 1792 and 1800 of white-painted Aquia sandstone in the Neoclassical...

 ceremony the following day. The documents were then exhibited at the National Archives.

Pens


As witnesses, American General Jonathan Wainwright
Jonathan Mayhew Wainwright IV
Jonathan Mayhew "Skinny" Wainwright IV was a career American army officer and the commander of Allied forces in the Philippines at the time of their surrender to the Empire of Japan during World War II...

, who had surrendered the Philippines
Philippines
The Philippines , officially known as the Republic of the Philippines , is a country in Southeast Asia in the western Pacific Ocean. To its north across the Luzon Strait lies Taiwan. West across the South China Sea sits Vietnam...

, and British Lieutenant General Arthur Percival, who had surrendered Singapore
Singapore
Singapore , officially the Republic of Singapore, is a Southeast Asian city-state off the southern tip of the Malay Peninsula, north of the equator. An island country made up of 63 islands, it is separated from Malaysia by the Straits of Johor to its north and from Indonesia's Riau Islands by the...

, 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
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

 flags. A commonly heard story is that one of the flags had flown over the White House
White House
The White House is the official residence and principal workplace of the president of the United States. Located at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW in Washington, D.C., the house was designed by Irish-born James Hoban, and built between 1792 and 1800 of white-painted Aquia sandstone in the Neoclassical...

 on the day Pearl Harbor
Pearl Harbor
Pearl Harbor, known to Hawaiians as Puuloa, is a lagoon harbor on the island of Oahu, Hawaii, west of Honolulu. Much of the harbor and surrounding lands is a United States Navy deep-water naval base. It is also the headquarters of the U.S. Pacific Fleet...

 was attacked
Attack on Pearl Harbor
The attack on Pearl Harbor was a surprise military strike conducted by the Imperial Japanese Navy against the United States naval base at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, on the morning of December 7, 1941...

. 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
Jack of the United States
The jack of the United States is a maritime flag representing United States nationality flown on the jackstaff in the bow of its vessels. The U.S. Navy is a prime user of jacks, but they are also used by ships of the Coast Guard, Military Sealift Command, National Oceanic and Atmospheric...

 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
Guam
Guam is an organized, unincorporated territory of the United States located in the western Pacific Ocean. It is one of five U.S. territories with an established civilian government. Guam is listed as one of 16 Non-Self-Governing Territories by the Special Committee on Decolonization of the United...

 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 [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."


That special 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
Tokyo Bay
is a bay in the southern Kantō region of Japan. Its old name was .-Geography:Tokyo Bay is surrounded by the Bōsō Peninsula to the east and the Miura Peninsula to the west. In a narrow sense, Tokyo Bay is the area north of the straight line formed by the on the Miura Peninsula on one end and on...

 to force the opening of Japan's ports to foreign trade. MacArthur was a direct descendant of the New England
New England
New England is a region in the northeastern corner of the United States consisting of the six states of Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and Connecticut...

 Perry family and cousin of Commodore Matthew Perry.

Photographs of the signing ceremony show that this flag is displayed backward — reverse side showing (stars in the upper right corner). The reason being is that flags being shown on the right of an object plane, ship, or person are set to have the stars on the upper right corner. The reason for that is that it looks like it is heading into battle; as if it was attached to a pole and someone was carrying it and the wind blowing it so flag was unfurled and flying. If it had the stars in the upper left corner while being displayed on the right side of the object it would look like it was going away from such battle. The cloth of the historic flag was so fragile that the conservator at the U.S. Naval Academy Museum
U.S. Naval Academy Museum
The United States Naval Academy Museum is a public maritime museum in Annapolis, Maryland, United States. Being part of the United States Naval Academy, it is located at Preble Hall within the Academy premises. Its history dates back to 1845 . The museum has an area of with four galleries.It is...

 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.

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 by Chief Carpenter Fred Miletich. The original flag is still on display at the Naval Academy Museum, as is the table and tablecloth upon which the instrument of surrender was signed, and the original bronze plaque marking the location of the signing (which was replaced by two replicas in 1990).

Text


Differences between versions


The Japanese copy of the treaty varied from the Allied in the following ways:
  • The Allied copy was presented in leather
    Leather
    Leather is a durable and flexible material created via the tanning of putrescible animal rawhide and skin, primarily cattlehide. It can be produced through different manufacturing processes, ranging from cottage industry to heavy industry.-Forms:...

     and gold
    Gold
    Gold is a chemical element with the symbol Au and an atomic number of 79. Gold is a dense, soft, shiny, malleable and ductile metal. Pure gold has a bright yellow color and luster traditionally considered attractive, which it maintains without oxidizing in air or water. Chemically, gold is a...

     lining with both countries' seals printed on the front, whereas the Japanese copy was bound in rough canvas with no seals on the front.
  • The Canadian representative, Colonel Lawrence Moore Cosgrave
    Lawrence Moore Cosgrave
    Colonel Lawrence Moore Cosgrave DSO & Bar was the Canadian signatory to the Japanese Instrument of Surrender at the end of World War II.-Early life:...

    , 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
    Richard K. Sutherland
    Richard Kerens Sutherland was a Lieutenant General of the US Army and General of the Army Douglas MacArthur's Chief of Staff in the South West Pacific Area during World War II.-Early life:...

    , 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.


Current locations


The Allied copy is in display at the National Navy UDT-SEAL Museum in Fort Pierce, Florida
Fort Pierce, Florida
Fort Pierce, also spelled Ft. Pierce, is a city in St. Lucie County, Florida, USA. It is known as The Sunrise City. The population was 37,959 at the 2004 census. As of 2008, the population recorded by the U.S. Census Bureau is 41,000. It is the county seat of St. Lucie County.Fort Pierce is part...

, the Japanese version can be viewed at the Edo-Tokyo Museum
Edo-Tokyo Museum
The is a museum of the history of Tokyo, established in 1993. The main features of the permanent exhibitions are the life-size replica of the Nihonbashi, which was the bridge leading into Edo; the Nakamuraza theatre; scale models of town; and buildings from the Edo, Meiji and Shōwa periods.The...

 in Tokyo, Japan. There is also a copy on display at the Presidential office of the Republic of China
Republic of China
The Republic of China , commonly known as Taiwan , is a unitary sovereign state located in East Asia. Originally based in mainland China, the Republic of China currently governs the island of Taiwan , which forms over 99% of its current territory, as well as Penghu, Kinmen, Matsu and other minor...

 in Taipei
Taipei
Taipei City is the capital of the Republic of China and the central city of the largest metropolitan area of Taiwan. Situated at the northern tip of the island, Taipei is located on the Tamsui River, and is about 25 km southwest of Keelung, its port on the Pacific Ocean...

.

Gallery



Image:Instrument of surrender Japan2.jpg|The Instrument of Surrender, dated September 2, 1945.
Image:Japanese_Instrument_of_Surrender_Document_Taipei_PresidentialOffice.jpg|Original Instrument of Surrender on display at the Presidential office in Taipei
Taipei
Taipei City is the capital of the Republic of China and the central city of the largest metropolitan area of Taiwan. Situated at the northern tip of the island, Taipei is located on the Tamsui River, and is about 25 km southwest of Keelung, its port on the Pacific Ocean...

, Taiwan
Taiwan
Taiwan , also known, especially in the past, as Formosa , is the largest island of the same-named island group of East Asia in the western Pacific Ocean and located off the southeastern coast of mainland China. The island forms over 99% of the current territory of the Republic of China following...

.
Image:MissouriPlaque.png|Plaque over the door to the Captain's Cabin onboard USS Missouri marking the signing
Image:Surrender Plaque USS Missouri (BB-63).jpg|Plaque in the deck of USS Missouri marking the location of the signing

See also

  • Cairo Declaration
    Cairo Declaration
    The Cairo Declaration was the outcome of the Cairo Conference in Cairo, Egypt, on November 27, 1943. President Franklin Roosevelt of the United States, Prime Minister Winston Churchill of the United Kingdom, and Generalissimo Chiang Kai-shek of the Republic of China were present...

     (1943)
  • Potsdam Declaration
    Potsdam Declaration
    The Potsdam Declaration or the Proclamation Defining Terms for Japanese Surrender is a statement calling for the Surrender of Japan in World War II. On July 26, 1945, United States President Harry S...

     (July 1945)
  • General Order No. 1 (Aug. 1945)
  • Surrender of Japan
    Surrender of Japan
    The surrender of Japan in 1945 brought hostilities of World War II to a close. By the end of July 1945, the Imperial Japanese Navy was incapable of conducting operations and an Allied invasion of Japan was imminent...

  • Victory over Japan Day
    Victory over Japan Day
    Victory over Japan Day is a name chosen for the day on which the Surrender of Japan occurred, effectively ending World War II, and subsequent anniversaries of that event...



Post-war:
  • Occupied Japan
    Occupied Japan
    At the end of World War II, Japan was occupied by the Allied Powers, led by the United States with contributions also from Australia, India, New Zealand and the United Kingdom. This foreign presence marked the first time in its history that the island nation had been occupied by a foreign power...

  • Japanese holdout
    Japanese holdout
    Japanese holdouts or stragglers were Japanese soldiers in the Pacific Theatre who, after the August 1945 surrender of Japan that marked the end of World War II, either adamantly doubted the veracity of the formal surrender due to strong dogmatic or militaristic principles, or were not aware of it...

  • Treaty of San Francisco
    Treaty of San Francisco
    The Treaty of Peace with Japan , between Japan and part of the Allied Powers, was officially signed by 48 nations on September 8, 1951, at the War Memorial Opera House in San Francisco, California...

     (1951)
  • Treaty of Taipei
    Treaty of Taipei
    The Sino-Japanese Peace Treaty , commonly known as the Treaty of Taipei , was a peace treaty between Japan and the Republic of China signed in Taipei, Taiwan on April 28, 1952...

     (1952)


Other Axis:
  • German Instrument of Surrender, 1945
    German Instrument of Surrender, 1945
    The German Instrument of Surrender was the legal instrument that established the armistice ending World War II in Europe. It was signed by representatives of the Oberkommando der Wehrmacht and the Allied Expeditionary Force together with the Soviet High Command, French representative signing as...

  • Treaty of Peace with Italy, 1947

External links