740.00119 Control (Korea)/9–745

Proclamation No. 1 by General of the Army Douglas MacArthur

To the People of Korea:

As Commander-in-chief, United States Army Forces, Pacific, I do hereby proclaim as follows:

By the terms of the Instrument of Surrender,56 signed by command and in behalf of the Emperor of Japan and the Japanese Government and by command and in behalf of the Japanese Imperial General Headquarters, the victorious military forces of my command will today occupy the territory of Korea south of 38 degrees north latitude.

Having in mind the long enslavement of the people of Korea and the determination that in due course Korea shall become free and independent, the Korean people are assured that the purpose of the occupation is to enforce the Instrument of Surrender and to protect them in their personal and religious rights. In giving effect to these purposes, your active aid and compliance are required.

By virtue of the authority vested in me as Commander-in-Chief, United States Army Forces, Pacific, I hereby establish military control over Korea south of 38 degrees north latitude and the inhabitants thereof, and announce the following conditions of the occupation:

Article I

All powers of Government over the territory of Korea south of 38 degrees north latitude and the people thereof will be for the present exercised under my authority.

Article II

Until further orders, all governmental, public and honorary functionaries and employees, as well as all officials and employees, paid or voluntary, of all public utilities and services, including public welfare and public health, and all other persons engaged in essential services, shall continue to perform their usual functions and duties, and shall preserve and safeguard all records and property.

Article III

All persons will obey promptly all my orders and orders issued under my authority. Acts of resistance to the occupying forces or any acts which may disturb public peace and safety will be punished severely.

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Article IV

Your property rights will be respected. You will pursue your normal occupations, except as I shall otherwise order.

Article V

For all purposes during the military control, English will be the official language. In event of any ambiguity or diversity of interpretation or definition between any English and Korean or Japanese text, the English text shall prevail.

Article VI

Further proclamations, ordinances, regulations, notices, directives and enactments will be issued by me or under my authority, and will specify what is required of you.57

Given under my hand at Yokohama

this seventh day of September 1945

Douglas MacArthur

Commander-in-Chief, United States
Army Forces, Pacific
  1. Signed September 2; for text, see Department of State Executive Agreement Series No. 493, 59 Stat. (pt. 2) 1733, or Department of State Bulletin, September 9, 1945, pp. 364, 365, which contains a facsimile of the Instrument; for documentation on the surrender of Japan, see ante, pp. 621 ff.
  2. Two additional proclamations were issued on September 7 by General MacArthur; No. 2 dealt with crimes and offenses and No. 3 with currency (740.00119–Control (Korea)/9–745). In telegram 88, October 2, to the Japanese Government, the Supreme Commander for the Allied Forces in Japan directed the Japanese Government not to attempt to exercise any administrative authority in Korea and stated the Military Government was the sole authority in Korea. For text of SCAPIN 88, see Report of Government Section, Supreme Commander for the Allied Powers: Political Reorientation of Japan, Appendix B, p. 473.