Potsdam Proclamation

An ultimatum demanding the immediate unconditional surrender of the armed forces of Japan:
    26 July 45

  1. We[1], the President of the United States, the President of the National Government of the Republic of China, and the Prime Minister of Great Britain, representing the hundreds of millions of our countrymen, have conferred and agree that Japan shall be given an opportunity to end the war.

  2. The prodigious land, sea, and air forces of the United States, the British Empire, and China, many times reinforced by their armies and air fleets from the West, are poised to strike the final blows upon Japan. This military power is sustained and inspired by the determination of all the allied nations to prosecute the war against Japan until she ceases to resist.

  3. The result of the futile and senseless German resistance to the might of the aroused free peoples of the world stands forth in awful clarity as an example to the people of Japan.

  4. The time has come for Japan to decide whether she will continue to be controlled by those self-willed militaristic advisers whose unintelligent calculations have brought the Empire of Japan to the threshold of annihilation, or whether she will follow the path of reason.

  5. The following are our terms. We shall not deviate from them. There are no alternatives. We shall brook no delay.

  6. There must be eliminated for all time the authority and influence of those who have deceived and misled the people of Japan into embarking on world conquest, for we insist that a new order of peace, security, and justice will be impossible until irresponsible militarism is driven from the world.

  7. Until such a new order is established and until there is convincing proof that Japan's war-making power is destroyed points in Japanese territory designated by the Allies will be occupied to secure the achievement of the basic objective we are here setting forth.

  8. The terms of the Cairo Declaration shall be carried out, and Japanese sovereignty shall be limited to the islands of Honshu, Hokkaido, Kyushu, Shikoku, and such minor islands as we determine.

  9. The Japanese military forces after being completely disarmed shall be permitted to return to their homes, with the opportunity of leading peaceful and productive lives.

  10. We do not intend that the Japanese shall be enslaved as a race nor destroyed as a nation, but stern justice well be meted out to all war criminals, including those who have visited cruelties upon our prisoners. The Japanese Government shall remove all obstacles to the revival and strengthening of democratic tendencies among the Japanese people. Freedom of speech, or religion, and of thought, as well as respect for fundamental human rights, shall be established.

  11. Japan shall be permitted to maintain such industries as will sustain her economy and allow of the exaction of just reparations in kind, but not those industries which would enable her to rearm for war.

    To this end access to, and distinguished from control of, raw materials shall be permitted. Eventual Japanese participation in world trade relations shall be permitted.

  12. The occupying forces of the Allies shall be withdrawn from Japan as soon as these objectives have been accomplished, and there has been established, in accordance with the freely expressed will of the Japanese people, a peacefully inclined and responsible Government.

  13. We call upon the Government of Japan to proclaim now the unconditional surrender of all the Japanese armed forces, and to provide proper and adequate assurances of their good faith in such action. The alternative for Japan is complete and utter destruction.


Transcribed and formatted for HTML by Patrick Clancey, HyperWar Foundation