Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Japanese Surrender
September 2, 1945
General of the Army Douglas MacArthur, Supreme Allied Commander, reads his speech opening the surrender ceremony, the representatives of all the Allied nations standing behind him.

From left to right;General Hsu Yung-Chang (China)Admiral Sir Bruce A. Fraser RN Lt. General Kuzma Derevyanko (USSR), General Sir Thomas Blamey (Australia)Colonel Lawrence Moore Cosgrave (Canada)General Jacques LeClerc (France)Vice Admiral Conrad E. L. Helfrich (The Netherlands)

Air Vice Marshall Leonard M. Isitt (New Zealand)"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 people 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 our people unreservedly to faithful compliance with the understanding 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 dedicated to the dignity of man and the fulfillment of his most cherished wish for freedom, tolerance and justice. Following the signing of the documents MacArthur continued, this time transmitting to the world.

"Today the guns are silent. A great tragedy has ended. A great victory has been won.... As I look back upon the long, tortuous trail from those grim days of Bataan and Corregidor, when an entire world lived in fear, when democracy was on the defensive everywhere, when modern civilization trembled in the balance, I thank a merciful God that he has given us the faith, the courage and the power from which to mold victory. We have known the bitterness of defeat and the exultation of triumph, and from both we have learned there can be no turning back. We must go forward to preserve in peace what we won in war. A new era is upon us. Even the lesson of victory itself brings with it profound concern, both for our future security and the survival of civilization. The destructiveness of the war potential, through progressive advances in scientific discovery, has in fact now reached a point which revises the traditional concepts of war. Men since the beginning of time have sought peace.... Military alliances, balances of power, leagues of nations, all in turn failed, leaving the only path to be by way of the crucible of war. We have had our last chance. If we do not now devise some greater and more equitable system, Armageddon will be at our door. The problem basically is theological and involves a spiritual recrudescence and improvement of human character that will synchronize with our almost matchless advances in science, art, literature and all material and cultural development of the past two thousand years. It must be of the spirit if we are to save the flesh."

The Japanese delegation aboard the USS Missouri BB-63.Front row; Foreign Minister Mamoru Shigemitsu (top hat)General Yoshijiro Umezu, Chief of the Army General Staff.Second row; Major General Yatsuji NagaiKatsuo Okazaki (Foreign Ministry)Rear Admiral Tadatoshi Tomioka Toshikazu Kase (Foreign Ministry)Lt. General Suichi MiyakaziThird row;Rear Admiral Ichiro YokoyamaSaburo Ota (Foreign Ministry)Captain Katsuo Shiba (Navy)Colonel Kaziyi Sugita