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Emperor Hirohito's Surrender Rescript to Japanese Troops

17 August 1945

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Three years and eight months have elapsed since we declared war on the United States and Britain. During this time our beloved men of the army and navy, sacrificing their lives, have fought valiantly on disease-stricken and barren lands and on tempestuous waters in the blazing sun, and of this we are deeply grateful.

Now that the Soviet Union has entered the war against us, to continue the war under the present internal and external conditions would be only to increase needlessly the ravages of war finally to the point of endangering the very foundation of the Empire's existence

With that in mind and although the fighting spirit of the Imperial Army and Navy is as high as ever, with a view to maintaining and protecting our noble national policy we are about to make peace with the United States, Britain, the Soviet Union and Chungking.

To a large number of loyal and brave officers and men of the Imperial forces who have died in battle and from sicknesses goes our deepest grief. At the same time we believe the loyalty and achievements of you officers and men of the Imperial forces will for all time be the quintessence of our nation.

We trust that you officers and men of the Imperial forces will comply with our intention and will maintain a solid unity and strict discipline in your movements and that you will bear the hardest of all difficulties, bear the unbearable and leave an everlasting foundation of the nation.

| Seal of the Empire |

Signed: H I R O H I T O


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Source: U. S. Govt. I Imperial Rescript Granted the Ministers of War and Navy. 17 August 1945. Reproduced in facsimile as Serial *2118, in Psychological Warfare, Part Two, Supplement *2 CINCPAC-CINCPOA Bulletin #164-45. 64-45.