Proclamation of Unconditional Surrender by HIROHITO, EMPEROR of JAPAN (1926-1989) IMPERIAL RESCRIPT TO OUR GOOD AND LOYAL SUBJECTS,
After pondering deeply the general conditions of the world and the actual conditions in Our Empire today, We have decided to effect a settlement of the present situation by resorting to an extraordinary measure.
We declared war on America and Britain out of Our sincere desire to assure Japan’s self-preservation and the stabilisation of East Asia, it being far from Our thought either to infringe on the sovereignty of other nations or to embark on territorial aggrandizement. But now the war has lasted for nearly four years. Despite the best that has been done by everyone – the gallant fighting of military and naval forces, the diligence and assiduity of Our servants of the State and the devoted service of Our 100 million people, the war situation has developed not necessarily to Japan’s advantage, while the general trends of the world have all turned against her interest.
Moreover the enemy has begun to employ a new and most cruel bomb, the power of which to do damage is indeed incalculable, taking the toll of many innocent lives. Should We continue to fight it would not only result in the ultimate collapse and obliteration of human civilisation. Such being the case how are We to save millions of our subjects or to atone ourselves before the hallowed spirits of Our Imperial Ancestors? This is the reason why We have ordered the acceptance of the joint declaration of the Powers. We are keenly aware on the inmost feelings of ye all, Our subjects. However, it is according to the dictate of time and fate that We have resolved to pave the way for a grand peace for all generations to come by enduring the unendurable and suffering what is insufferable.
The 14th day of the 8th month of the 20th year of Showa (14 August, 1945)
NipponTimes – 14 August 1945