General Douglas MacArthur

Opening Statement at the Japanese Surrender Ceremony

delivered 2 September 1945, USS Missouri, Tokyo Bay, Japan

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[AUTHENTICITY CERTIFIED: Text version below transcribed directly from compiled audio.]

We are gathered here, representatives of the major warring powers, to conclude a solemn agreement whereby peace may be restored.

The issues involving divergent ideals and ideologies have been determined on the battlefields of the world, and hence are not for our discussion or debate.

Nor is it for us here to meet, representing as we do a majority of the peoples of the earth, in a spirit of distrust, malice, or hatred.

But rather it is for us, both victors and vanquished, to rise to that higher dignity which alone befits the sacred purposes we are about to serve, committing all of our peoples unreservedly to faithful compliance with the undertakings they are here formally to assume.

It is my earnest hope, and indeed the hope of all mankind, that from this solemn occasion a better world shall emerge out of the blood and carnage of the past -- a world founded upon faith and understanding, a world dedicated to the dignity of man and the fulfillment of his most cherished wish for freedom, tolerance, and justice.

The terms and conditions upon which surrender of the Japanese Imperial Forces is here to be given and accepted are contained in the Instrument of Surrender now before you.

[click for Instrument of Surrender image]

As Supreme Commander for the Allied Powers, I announce it my firm purpose, in the tradition of the countries I represent, to proceed in the discharge of my responsibilities with justice and tolerance, while taking all necessary dispositions to insure that the terms of surrender are fully, promptly, and faithfully complied with.

I now invite the representatives of the Emperor of Japan and the Japanese government and the Japanese Imperial General Headquarters to sign the Instrument of Surrender at the places indicated.


Book/CDs by Michael E. Eidenmuller, Published by McGraw-Hill (2008)

Image of MacArthur Source: http://www.history.navy.mil/

Image of Instrument of Surrender Source: http://commons.wikimedia.org/

Audio Source:: Compiled from different sources. As of 5/30/2011 this artifact represents the first and only known audio version of the entirety of MacArthur's remarks available on the Internet.

Copyright Status: Text and Images = Public domain. Audio = Uncertain.

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American Rhetoric.
HTML transcription by Michael E. Eidenmuller.