Imperial Rescript on the Termination of the Greater East Asia War

With my wish to save our situation, I pondered deeply about the present situation of the world and of our nation, and am here to speak to you, the good people of our nation.


I have ordered our government to notify Britain, America, China and Russia that Japan shall accept Potsdam declaration.

As it has been maintained throughout my ancestors, I have always been trying to secure peace amongst Japanese people, and to enjoy mutual prosperity and share the joy amongst every nation in the world.

The very reason why I declared the war against America and Britain was only to maintain the stability in the East Asia, but not to violate the sovereignty of a nation now was to invade the territories of other nations.

However, a state of war has been continuing over four years. Everybody tried their best; our armies and navies fought bravely, bureaucrats and officials dedicated their lives, 100 billion people of Japan made great sacrifices. Despite all these, the war is not making any progress and our nation is in disadvantageous against other nations.

Moreover, the enemy has been using new and brutal bombs, mass-murdering civilians numerous times, and there is no way of telling when they will stop atrocities.

There is absolutely no way to let the war continue. They will make Japanese extinct, and they may even destroy human race all together. If I let that happen, how can I protect billions of people and descendants? How can I apologize to our ancestors? That is why I reached to order the government to accept Potsdam Declaration.

I express my apology to all those nations who fought with Japan throughout this war to liberate East Asia. My heart is torn up when I thing about those people who were killed in the battle field, those died in their duty, those who were killed in terrible death, those who survived such tragedies. I am also deeply concerned how to insure the health and lives of wounded soldiers, victims of war who lost their homes, land, and jobs.

I think the suffering that Japan will have to go through is excruciating right from the beginning. I understand fully how people of Japan are feeling. But, I think, for now, that we must face whatever will happen to us, endure the un-endurable, tolerate what is un-tolerable. That is how I want to make one step forward into the World of Peace, for the future of the world, and for our children.

I hereby safeguard and maintain Kokutai, and I reassure you that I am always with you, believing in the truth and heart of faithful and trustworthy people of Japan. I admonish deeply any actions of anybody who should frequently cause incidents, fighting each other, being problematic to each other, committing crimes or receiving criticisms from the world. Make sure that you pass on my words throughout this nation and in each family, trusting that god’s land Japan is eternal, the duty is heavy and the journey is far, use all the power you have to construct future, have high morals, have firm aspiration, vow to demonstrate the profound quality and beauty of Kokutai and stay on top of the path that the world is taking.


This is my wish.


August 14, 1945