On This Day In History: Japanese Emperor Announces Unconditional Surrender To AlliesJapanese_surrender_(AWM_019296)
On this day in history, Imperial Japan announced the unconditional surrender to the Allies in 1945.
On August 15, 1945, Japanese Emperor Hirohito announced Japan’s surrender through a recorded radio broadcast in which he read The Imperial Rescript on the Termination of War. In it, he announced that the Japanese government had accepted the terms of the Potsdam Declaration. The speech was broadcast at noon local time in Japan in Classical Japanese, a language that few people understood.
The Japanese people were confused by what the announcement meant because he never mentioned surrender in it, but only that the government accepted the Potsdam Declaration.
The speech was not broadcast live, but instead recorded a day or two before the announcement. Today, the announcement is known as the Jewel Voice Broadcast.
August 15 is considered in the UK to be V-J day, but for the United States, that day is September 2 because that is when Japan officially signed the Japanese Instrument of Surrender.