740.00119 P. W./8–1045: Telegram

The Secretary of State to the Ambassador in China (Hurley)

[White House No. 321.] Please deliver at once to the Minister for Foreign Affairs2 or the Generalissimo the following message. Please impress upon the Minister for Foreign Affairs or the Generalissimo the urgency of a reply to this message and telegraph at once his reply.

  • “1. This Government proposes that a reply as quoted in paragraph 3 be made to the Japanese Government’s acceptance of the Potsdam Proclamation.3
  • “2. In order that hostilities may be terminated and further loss of life be prevented this Government hopes that the Chinese Government will associate itself with this Government in making an early reply as quoted in paragraph 3.
  • “3. With regard to the Japanese Government’s message4 accepting the terms of the Potsdam proclamation, but containing the statement ‘with the understanding that the said declaration does not comprise any demand which prejudices the prerogatives of His Majesty as a sovereign ruler’, our position is as follows:

    ‘From the moment of surrender the authority of the Emperor and the Japanese Government to rule the state shall be subject to the Supreme Commander of the Allied Powers5 who will take such steps as he deems proper to effectuate the surrender terms.

    ‘The Emperor and the Japanese High Command will be required to sign the surrender terms necessary to carry out the provisions of the Potsdam Declaration, to issue orders to all the armed forces of Japan to cease hostilities and to surrender their arms, and to issue such other orders as the Supreme Commander may require to give effect to the surrender terms.

    ‘Immediately upon the surrender the Japanese Government shall transport prisoners of war and civilian internees to places of safety, as directed, where they can quickly be placed aboard Allied transports.

    ‘The ultimate form of government of Japan shall, in accordance with the Potsdam Declaration, be established by the freely expressed will of the Japanese people.

    ‘The armed forces of the Allied Powers will remain in Japan until the purposes set forth in the Potsdam Declaration are achieved’.”

  1. Wang Shih-chieh.
  2. Proclamation defining terms for Japanese surrender, dated July 26, Department of State Bulletin, July 29, 1945, p. 137; see also Foreign Relations, The Conference of Berlin (The Potsdam Conference), 1945, vol. ii, p. 1474.
  3. August 10; Department of State Bulletin, August 12, 1945, p. 205.
  4. Gen. Douglas MacArthur.