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Thursday, December 29, 2016

Japanese World War II Surrender

I'm still on vacation mode until about the middle of January... so what we have here is General Douglas MacArthur putting his signature to the Empire of Japan's surrender on September 2, 1945.

Signed aboard the United States battleship the USS Missouri (BB-63) in Tokyo Bay, the Japanese Instrument of Surrender was the written formal agreement prepared by the U.S War Department and approved by then U.S. president Harry S. Truman.

The document had eight short paragraphs contained within it, with the opening paragraph stating:
"We, acting by command of and in behalf of the Emperor of Japan..."

The second paragraph states:
"We hereby proclaim the unconditional surrender to the Allied Powers of the Japanese Imperial General Headquarters and of all Japanese armed forces and all armed forces under Japanese control wherever situated."

You can read the full document below:.

Japan envoys Foreign Minister Shigemitsu Mamoru (surname first) and General Umezu Yoshijiro (surname first) signed the document at 9:04AM.

Next, Commander in the Southwest Pacific and Supreme Commander for the Allied Powers U.S. General Douglas MacArthur signed the document. (See image above).

On October 1, 1945, these documents were formally received by the U.S. National Archives.

You can see where General MacArthur signed on the middle of the second page.

As for the Japanese copy... well, that had to be signed as well... and everyone did that at the same time they were signing the English copy.

Of course, Canada managed to screw up the Japanese-language version of the Japanese Instrument of Surrender.

Canada's Colonel Cosgrove wrote his name not on the line above “The Dominion of Canada,” as was intended, but on the line below.

Everyone else who followed then had to add their name in the wrong spot, crossing out the country information and handwriting in the correct data... leaving no where for the New Zealand representative to sign.

The New Zealand representative signed his name below everyone else.

When it was over, the Japanese came to take their copy of the document - saw the mishmash of crossed out information and began to question the legality of it all.

Way to continue WWII, Canada!

To quickly resolve the issue, General Walther Sutherland - the chief of staff to MacArthur - took a pen out and drew a line under the New Zealand representative signature and said "Now that's fine. Now it's all fixed."

The Japanese representative took the document, folded it up, and walked down the gangway of the USS Missouri.

The Japanese copy of the Japanese Instrument of Surrender is in the Edo-Tokyo Museum.

D'oh Canada. 

Yes, I have written about this before... but not like this.

Let's see if I can come up with something different for tomorrow... I've been playing a video game all day long... hey... that's it.

Andrew Joseph

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