We acting by command of and behalf of the Emperor of Japan, the Japanese Government and the Japanese Imperial General Headquarters, hereby accept the provisions set forth in the declaration issued by the heads of the Governments of the United States, China and Great Britain on 26 July, 1945, at Potsdam, and subsequently adhered to by the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, which four powers are hereafter referred to as the Allied Powers.
We hereby proclaim the unconditional surrender to the Allied Powers of the Japanese Imperial General Headquarters and all of the Japanese armed forces under Japanese control wherever situated.
We hereby command all Japanese forces wherever situated and the Japanese people to cease all hostilities forthwith, to preserve and save from damage all ships, aircraft, and military and civil property and to comply with all requirements which may be imposed by the Supreme Commander for the Allied Powers or by agencies of the Japanese Government at his direction.
We hereby command the Japanese Imperial General Headquarters to issue at once orders to the Commanders of all Japanese forces and all forces under Japanese control wherever situated to surrender unconditionally themselves and all forces under their control.
We hereby command all civil, military and naval officers to obey and enforce all proclamations, orders and directives deemed by the Supreme Commander for the Allied Powers to be proper to effectuate this surrender and issued by him or under his authority and we direct all such officials to remain at their posts and to continue to perform their non-combat duties unless specifically relieved by him or under his authority.
We hereby undertake for the Emperor, the Japanese Government and their successors to carry out the provisions of the Potsdam Declaration in good faith, and to issue whatever orders and take whatever action may be required by the Supreme Commander for the Allied Powers or by any other designated representative for the Allied Powers for the purpose of giving effect to that Declaration.
We hereby command the Japanese Imperial General Headquarters at once to liberate all allied prisoners of war and civilian internees now under Japanese control and to provide for their protection, care, maintenance and immediate transportation to places as directed.
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 these these terms of surrender.
Signed at Tokyo Bay Japan at 09.04 on the second day of September, 1945.
(Signature of: Mamoru Shigemitsu)
By Command and in behalf of the Emperor of Japan and the Japanese Government.
(Signature of: Yoshijirō Umezu)
By Command and in behalf of the Japanese Imperial General Headquarters.
Accepted at Tokyo Bay, Japan at 09.08 on the second day of September, 1945 for the United States, Republic of China, United Kingdom and the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, and in the interests of the other United Nations at war with Japan.
(Signature of: Douglas MacArthur)
Supreme Commander of the Allied Powers.
(Signature of: C.W. Nimitz)
United States Representative
(Signature of: Hsu Yung-Ch'ang )
Republic of China Representative
(Signature of: Bruce Fraser)
United Kingdom Representative
(Signature of: Kuzma Derevyanko)
Union of Soviet Socialist Republics Representative
(Signature of: Thomas Blamey)
Commonwealth of Australia Representative
(Signature space blank:)
Dominion of Canada Representative
(Signature of Dominion of Canada Representative: Lawrence Moore Cosgrave)
(handwritten)(Dominion of Canada Representative)
(Signature of the Provisional Government of the French Republic Representative: Philippe Leclerc de Haureclocque)
(handwritten) (Provisional Government of the French Republic Representative)
(Signature of the Kingdom of the Netherlands Representative: C.E.L. Helfrich)
(Signature in empty space: Leonard M. Isitt)
Dominion of New Zealand Representative
If you are wondering what the hell was going on at the end, with things being crossed off, just know that the Dominion of Canada Representative signed his bloody name on the wrong line... signing it in the line reserved for the French representative. Oh, Canada. That meant everybody else had to sign one space down... ending with poor New Zealand signing in empty space.
The ceremony aboard the deck of the Missouri lasted 23 minutes and was broadcast throughout the world.
And that's the way it was.