Monday, 2 September 2013

Japan surrenders

68 years ago, aboard the USS Missouri in Tokyo Bay, Japan formally surrenders to the Allies, bringing an end to World War II.

On Sunday, September 2, more than 250 Allied warships lay at anchor in Tokyo Bay. The flags of the United States, Britain, the Soviet Union, and China fluttered above the deck of the Missouri.

Aboard the USS Missouri in 1945

Just after 9 a.m. Tokyo time, Japanese Foreign Minister Mamoru Shigemitsu signed on behalf of the Japanese government. General Yoshijiro Umezu then signed for the Japanese armed forces, and his aides wept as he made his signature.


Supreme Commander MacArthur next signed on behalf of the United Nations, declaring, "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". Ten more signatures were made, by the United States, China, the United Kingdom, the USSR, Australia, Canada, France, the Netherlands, and New Zealand, respectively.

USS Missouri in Tokyo Bay

Admiral Chester W. Nimitz signed for the United States. As the 20-minute ceremony ended, the sun burst through low-hanging clouds. The most devastating war in human history was over.