HIROHITO RECORDING HIS SURRENDER
SPEECH - AUGUST 14, 1945
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Hirohito's Surrender Speech.
It follows the English
translation of the full text transcript of Hirohito's
Surrender speech, which was recorded on August 14, 1945, and
broadcast on August 15, 1945.
To our good and
After pondering deeply the general trends of the
world and the actual conditions obtaining in our
Empire today, we have decided to effect a
settlement of the present situation by resorting
to an extraordinary measure.
We have ordered our Government to communicate to
the Governments of the United States, Great
Britain, China, and the Soviet Union that our
Empire accepts the provisions of their joint
To strive for the common prosperity and
happiness of all nations as well as the security
and well- being of our subjects is the solemn
obligation that has been handed down by our
Imperial Ancestors, and we lay it close to the
Indeed, we declared war on America and Britain
out of our sincere desire to ensure Japan's
self-preservation and the stabilization of East
Asia, it being far from our thought either to
infringe upon the sovereignty of other nations
or to embark upon 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 the 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 an ultimate
collapse and obliteration of the Japanese
nation, but also it would lead to the total
extinction of human civilization.
Such being the case, how are we to save the
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 provisions of the
joint declaration of the powers.
We cannot but express the deepest sense of
regret to our allied nations of East Asia, who
have consistently cooperated with the Empire
toward the emancipation of East Asia.
The thought of those officers and men as well as
others who have fallen in the fields of battle,
those who died at their posts of duty, and those
who met with death and all their bereaved
families, pains our heart night and day.
The welfare of the wounded and the war
sufferers, and of those who have lost their
homes and livelihood is the object of our
profound solicitude. The hardships and suffering
to which our nation is to be subjected hereafter
will be certainly great.
We are keenly aware of the inmost feelings of
all you, our subjects. However, it is according
to the dictates of time and fate that we have
resolved to pave the way for a grand peace for
all the generations to come by enduring the
unendurable and suffering what is insufferable.
Having been able to save and maintain the
structure of the Imperial State, we are always
with you, our good and loyal subjects, relying
upon your sincerity and integrity.
Beware most strictly of any outbursts of emotion
that may engender needless complications, and of
any fraternal contention and strife that may
create confusion, lead you astray and cause you
to lose the confidence of the world.
Let the entire nation continue as one family
from generation to generation, ever firm in its
faith in the imperishableness of its divine
land, and mindful of its heavy burden of
responsibilities, and the long road before it.
Unite your total strength to be devoted to the
construction for the future. Cultivate the ways
of rectitude, nobility of spirit, and work with
resolution so that you may enhance the innate
glory of the Imperial State and keep pace with
the progress of the world.
All you, our subjects, we command you to act in
accordance with our wishes.