Preliminary Japanese Acceptance of Potsdam Proclamation, 10Aug45
Allied Response to Japanese Acceptance, 11Aug45With regard to the Japanese Government's message accepting the terms of the Potsdam proclamation but containing the statement, "with the understanding that the said declaration does not comprise any demand which prejudices the prerogatives of His Majesty as a sovereign ruler," our position is as follows:
From the moment of surrender, the authority of the Emperor and the Japanese Government to rule the state shall be subject to the Supreme Commander of the Allied powers, who will take such steps as he deems proper to effectuate the surrender terms.
The Emperor will be required to authorize and ensure the signature by the Government of Japan and the Japanese Imperial General Headquarters of the surrender terms necessary to carry out the provisions of the Potsdam Declaration, and shall issue his commands to all the Japanese military, naval and air authorities and to all the forces under their control wherever located to cease active operations and to surrender their arms, and to issue such other orders as the Supreme Commander may require to give effect to the surrender terms.
Immediately upon the surrender the Japanese Government shall transport prisoners of war and civilian internees to places of safety, as directed, where they can quickly be placed aboard Allied transports.
The ultimate form of the Government of Japan shall, in accordance with the Potsdam Declaration, be established by the freely expressed will of the Japanese people.
The armed forces of the Allied Powers will remain in Japan until the purposes set forth in the Potsdam Declaration are achieved.
Final Japanese Acceptance of Potsdam Proclamation, 14Aug45At the urging of the Emperor, the Japanese Cabinet agreed to surrender on the 14th of August, 1945. The following message was cabled to the Japanese legations in Sweden and Switzerland for transmittal to the United States, United Kingdom, China, and the Soviet Union:
With reference to the Japanese Government's note of August 10 regarding their acceptance of the provisions of the Potsdam declaration and the reply of the Governments of the United States, Great Britain, the Soviet Union, and China sent by American Secretary of State Byrnes under the date of August 11, the Japanese Government have the honor to communicate to the governments of the four powers as follows:
- His Majesty the Emperor has issued an Imperial rescript regarding Japan's acceptance of the provisions of the Potsdam declaration.
- His Majesty the Emperor is prepared to authorize and ensure the signature of his government and the Imperial General Headquarters of the necessary terms for carrying out the provisions of the Potsdam declaration. His Majesty is also prepared to issue his commands to all the military, naval, and air authorities of Japan and all the forces under their control wherever located to cease active operations, to surrender arms and to issue such other orders as may be required by the Supreme Commander of the Allied Forces for the execution of the above-mentioned terms.
"The Voice of the Crane": The Imperial Rescript of 15Aug45
Emperor Hirohito's broadcast informing the Empire of the surrender.<>
Transcribed and formatted for HTML by Patrick Clancey, HyperWar Foundation