Japan Surrenders – Sept 2, 1945

The Japanese delegation approaches the USS Missouri for the formal surrender ceremony
2 September, 1945

Although the surrender of Imperial Japan was announced on August 15, 1945, the hostilities of World War II ended with the formal signing aboard the USS Missouri on September 2nd.

Representatives of the Empire of Japan stand aboard the USS Missouri prior to signing the Instrument of Surrender
2 September, 1945

Japanese representatives present for the surrender ceremonies included Foreign Minister Mamoru Shigemitsu (wearing top hat) and General Yoshijiro Umezu, Chief of the Army General Staff.   Behind them were three representatives each of the Foreign Ministry, the Army, and the Navy.

General of the Army Douglas MacArthur, Supreme Allied Commander,
on board the USS Missouri for the surrender ceremony
Tokyo Bay, 2 September 1945

General Douglas MacArthur, Supreme Allied Commander, opened the surrender ceremonies with his speech.  Representatives of the Allied Powers in attendance included the United Kingdom, Soviet Union, Australia, Canada, France, The Netherlands, New Zealand, China, and other U.S. representatives.  The framed flag in upper left was flown by Commodore Matthew C. Perry’s flagship when she entered Tokyo Bay in 1853.

Among General MacArthur’s remarks:

“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 founded upon faith and understanding—a world dedicated to the dignity of man and the fulfillment of his most cherished wish—for freedom, tolerance and justice.

The terms and conditions upon which the surrender of the Japanese Imperial Forces is here to be given and accepted are contained in the Instrument of Surrender now before you.

As Supreme Commander for the Allied Powers, I announce my firm purpose, in the tradition of the countries I represent, to proceed in the discharge of my responsibilities with justice and tolerance, while taking all necessary dispositions to insure that the terms of surrender are fully, promptly and faithfully complied with.”

When the assembled representatives of the Allied Powers and of Japan had finished signing the agreements, General MacArthur stated:

“Let us pray that peace be now restored to the world and that God will preserve it always.”

Japanese Foreign Affairs Minister Mamoru Shigemitsu signs the Japanese Instrument of Surrender on board the USS Missouri, assisted by Foreign Ministry representative Toshikazu Kase. as General Richard K. Sutherland watches.
2 September, 1945

With the conclusion of the surrender ceremony, 450 carrier planes from the Third Fleet flew in massed formation over the USS Missouri and minutes later were followed by Army Air Force B-29 bombers.   This massive and impressive display reflected the power which led Japan and the Allies to this point in history.

With the jubilation of V-E Day and Germany’s unconditional surrender on May 8, 1945, followed by Japan’s on August 15th and the formal Instrument of Surrender on September 2nd, the United States and its Allies celebrated the end of World War II.

American military personnel celebrate in Paris with news of the Japanese surrender
15 August, 1945

A crowd in New York City’s Times Square celebrates the unconditional surrender of Japan
15 August, 1945
National Archives Image

The British celebrate the end of WWII in Montreal, Canada
8 May, 1945

Winston Churchill Waves to Crowd After V-E Day and End of War in Europe
8 May, 1945

Parisians march through the Arc de Triomphe jubilantly waving flags of the Allied Nations
as they celebrate the end of World War II
8 May, 1945

General Dwight D. Eisenhower waves to cheering crowds in New York City Times Square
19 June, 1945

Decades later, a WWII soldier salutes a WWII general

WWII soldier Sgt. Major Robert Blaknit salutes gravesite marker of General George S. Patton, Jr.
Luxembourg American Cemetery and Memorial
Hamm , Luxembourg City, Luxembourg

Sgt. Major Blaknit, who landed with 900 men on D-Day, had only 400 remaining under his command the next morning.   Decades later when revisiting that site, as he knelt where he had landed,  he prayed for the souls of the men who did not survive.


 “In the long history of the world, only a few generations have been granted the role of defending freedom in its hour of maximum danger.  I do not shrink from this responsibility.  I welcome it.”                                                                                                                                                                       John F. Kennedy


 The Greatest Generation defended that freedom with great valor

About Karen Evans

Advocate For Honoring Military Service
This entry was posted in American History, American Veterans and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Japan Surrenders – Sept 2, 1945

  1. GP Cox says:

    What an amazing and emotional scene it must have been when all of our aircraft flew over the signing!!!

  2. Karen Evans says:

    I agree, it had to have been a proud and patriotic moment – all hands on deck for the Japanese delegation and our aircraft overhead at conclusion.. You are a fountain of military history, as I was unaware of the armada of planes. Thank you, GP, for your unending education to us all.

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