On August 15, 1945, Emperor Hirohito announced, in his first radio speech, Japan’s acceptance of the surrender conditions advanced by the Allied Powers, thus ending World War II, according to Reuters.
This decision took place after on August 6 and 9, 1945, American B-29 strategic bombers dropped, for the first time in history, nuclear bombs on Japan, to decimate the fighting capacity of the Japanese army and to end the war for good. of the conflict.
Japan had entered the conflict in December 1941, through the attack on the American base at Pearl Harbor, causing the involvement of the United States of America in the operations of the Second World War.
The military operations in the Pacific included the conduct of numerous naval and air confrontations, and the involvement of American forces in this area contributed to the balancing of the belligerent forces.
On August 10, 1945, just one day after the nuclear bomb was dropped on Nagasaki, Japan sent the Allies consent to the terms of unconditional surrender advanced during the Potsdam Conference, according to history.com.
On July 26, 1945, on the occasion of the Potsdam Conference, the Allies established the terms of Japan’s surrender in the form of a Proclamation. Japanese sovereignty was to be limited to the islands of Honshu, Hokkaido, Kyushu, Shikoku, and other small islands to be established by the representatives of the Allies. The Japanese armed forces were to be completely disarmed and the servicemen allowed to return to their homes, the Japanese government to remove barriers to the restoration and consolidation of democratic directions, the restoration of freedom of expression, religion and freedom of thought, and respect for fundamental rights of man. Article 11 of the declaration aimed to preserve those industries that would provide the necessary framework for the functioning of the economy to allow the payment of war reparations, but not those industrial branches that would have offered the possibility of rearmament to be able to wage a war, according to www.atomicheritage.org.
Emperor Hirohito’s chairmanship of the War Council contributed to the adoption of the decision by which the Japanese executive assumed the transmission of the decision to end hostilities. “It is obvious that the nation can no longer carry on the war, and its ability to defend its borders is doubtful”, said Emperor Hirohito during the meeting of the War Council, whose members had divided opinions regarding the assumption of capitulation, according to history. com. The adoption of this decision was also taken from the perspective of the Soviet invasion in Manchuria. The Japanese Minister of War, General Anami Korechika, was one of the supporters of the continuation of the war, but he could not support a position opposed to the emperor, www.osti.gov indicates.
The executive in Tokyo sent a diplomatic message to its ambassadors from the diplomatic missions in Switzerland and Sweden, which was later sent to the Allies. The content of the message referred to the formal acceptance of the Potsdam Declaration, including the provision that “The Declaration of Capitulation shall not contain any claim that would prejudice the prerogatives of His Majesty as sovereign ruler”. After the transmission of the message, negotiations were started between the administrations in Washington and in Tokyo, against the backdrop of bitter fighting between Japan and the Soviet Union in Manchuria, according to history.com.
The dropping of the nuclear bombs on the cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki drew the attention of American President Harry S. Truman to the horrors that affected innocent civilians. Prior to the attacks, plans were made that included nuclear strikes, depending on weather conditions, for August 17 or 18, at Kokura Arsenal and Niigata. American General Kenneth Nichols had advanced as a proposal for a nuclear strike the very capital Tokyo. US President Harry Truman called for the suspension of any military planning for further nuclear attacks amid ongoing negotiations with Tokyo to end hostilities.
In the message broadcast on the radio, at the national level, on August 15, 1945 (August 14, 1945 in other countries around the world depending on the time zone – ed.), Emperor Hirohito conveys to the Japanese people the decision to surrender Japan, according to history. com. This was the official moment publicly transmitted to the Japanese nation and the international community regarding the end of the conflict in the Pacific.
In his speech, the emperor justified the decision by avoiding the loss of many human lives amid the enemy’s preparations to carry out devastating attacks with “a merciless bomb whose destructive power is immeasurable,” indicates history.com. “The war situation evolved to the disadvantage of Japan“, the emperor explained, in the first part of the speech, according to www.osti.gov. According to Emperor Hirohito’s memoirs, published and translated after the war, his fear at the time of making the decision to capitulate was highlighted that “the Japanese race will be completely destroyed if the war continues“.
An important point in the negotiations regarding the terms of capitulation was the status of Emperor Hirohito. The Tokyo executive aimed to protect the imperial function, but the Allies did not agree to the inclusion of certain conditions in the process of carrying out negotiations on capitulation. An understanding was reached, the emperor retained his imperial title, but was induced to publicly renounce the divine status of his office. American General Douglas MacArthur had considered that such a public exposure of the emperor during the ceremony would act as a stabilizing factor for post-war Japan, history.com indicates.
For two weeks, the delegations of the administrations of the United States and Japan carried out extensive negotiations to determine the details of the surrender. The official event took place in a formal ceremony at September 2, 1945, aboard the USS Missouri, indicates www.osti.gov. Japanese government officials signed the surrender document titled “Instrument of Japanese surrender“. On the side of the Allies, representatives of the governments of the USA, Great Britain, China, the Soviet Union, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, France and the Netherlands were present, who also signed the Japanese surrender document, according to www.warhistoryonline.com. After the ceremony, demonstrations took place, organized within “VJ Day” (Victory Over Japan Day), in the allied states, both among civilians and within the allied military structures. Extensive military hostilities ended immediately after the signing of the capitulation, in several Pacific islands fighting continued for several months, according to www.warhistoryonline.com.
Tags: Japan, World War II,
Publication date: 02-09-2022 09:32