The Surrender of Japan


General Yoshijiro Umezu signing the Instrument of Japanese Surrender to the Allied Nations on the battleship USS Missouri (September 02, 1945).

The sudden and unprovoked attack on Pearl Harbour gave Japan - a small island with less natural resources and industrial plant than the United States - only a temporary advantage on the enemy. Thus, after some initial successes obtained in 1942, Japan began to suffer continuous defeats in the South West Pacific, in the Marianas Islands and Philippines. In the first half of 1945 the Allies captured the islands of Iwo Jima (March 26, 1945) and Okinawa (June 21, 1945), two Japanese military bases with huge strategic importance. The Battle of Okinawa involved particularly ferocious fighting and kamikaze attacks. The Japanese had 80,000 soldiers killed or captured; the Allies suffered more than 50,000 casualties; and 142,000 civilians were either killed during bombings, died of starvation, or committed suicide not to fall in the hands of the Allies invaders. The violence of those battles, and of those which led to the Surrender of Germany, made President Harry Truman estimate that a full scale invasion of Japan would have inflicted immense casualties to the American Army. Furthermore, the Allies were resolute to accept only an unconditional surrender from the enemy, and such an act was deemed as dishonorable by the Japanese code of honor, the bushido. Even the intense bombing of 67 Japanese cities, which took place between June and July 1945, did not move the government towards surrender. Thus, by executive order of President Harry Truman, the United States dropped two nuclear weapons on the cities of Hiroshima (August 06, 1945) and Nagasaki (August 09, 1945), killing 120,000 persons: six days after the bombing of Nagasaki, Japan announced its surrender to the Allied Powers, signing the Instrument of Surrender on September 02, 1945 and thus officially ending the Second World War.

- transcript of all speeches

1945/06/07 - Message to the Congress of the United States (Harry Truman)
1945/07/29 - Declaration after Japanese Rejection to American Ultimatum (Harry Truman)
1945/08/06 - Account of the Atomic Bomb Attack on Hiroshima (Paul Tibbets)
1945/08/06 - Announcement of the Atomic Bombing of Hiroshima (Harry Truman)
1945/08/09 - Report on Potsdam Conference (Harry Truman)
1945/08/14 - Unofficial Announcement of Japanese Unconditional Surrender (Unknown Speaker on MBS)
1945/08/14 - Official Announcement of Japanese Unconditional Surrender (Harry Truman)
1945/08/15 - Jewel Voice Broadcast (Hirohito)
1945/09/01 - On Victory over Japan (Douglas MacArthur)
1945/09/02 - Surrender Ceremony Speech (Douglas MacArthur)
1945/09/02 - On the End of the War (Harry Truman)

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