July 26, 1945: Prompt and Utter Destruction

At the Potsdam Conference on July 26, 1945, the governments of the United States, Great Britain and China announced their terms of surrender for Japan.  The key points of the Declaration:

1.  Any occupation of Japan would be temporary until a democratic, peaceful, government was established and firmly in control, and the other goals of the occupation had been achieved.

2.  Japan, by trade, would have access to overseas raw materials and food.

3.  Japanese military forces would be disarmed and allowed to return to their homes.  Japan was to be deprived of any war making capability.

4.  Japan would consist of the Home Islands and such other minor islands as determined by the Allies.

5.  Stern justice would be meted out to Japanese war criminals.

6.  The Japanese were warned that the terms would not be deviated from and that failure of Japan to immediately surrender would result in prompt and immediate destruction.  Here is the text of the Declaration:


“1.We-the President of the United States, the President of the National Government of the Republic of China, and the Prime Minister of Great Britain, representing the hundreds of millions of our countrymen, have conferred and agree that Japan shall be given an opportunity to end this war.

2.The prodigious land, sea and air forces of the United States, the British Empire and of China, many times reinforced by their armies and air fleets from the west, are poised to strike the final blows upon Japan. This military power is sustained and inspired by the determination of all the Allied Nations to prosecute the war against Japan until she ceases to resist.

3.The result of the futile and senseless German resistance to the might of the aroused free peoples of the world stands forth in awful clarity as an example to the people of Japan. The might that now converges on Japan is immeasurably greater than that which, when applied to the resisting Nazis, necessarily laid waste to the lands, the industry and the method of life of the whole German people. The full application of our military power, backed by our resolve, will mean the inevitable and complete destruction of the Japanese armed forces and just as inevitably the utter devastation of the Japanese homeland.

4.The time has come for Japan to decide whether she will continue to be controlled by those self-willed militaristic advisers whose unintelligent calculations have brought the Empire of Japan to the threshold of annihilation, or whether she will follow the path of reason.

5.Following are our terms. We will not deviate from them. There are no alternatives. We shall brook no delay.

6.There must be eliminated for all time the authority and influence of those who have deceived and misled the people of Japan into embarking on world conquest, for we insist that a new order of peace, security and justice will be impossible until irresponsible militarism is driven from the world.

7.Until such a new order is established and until there is convincing proof that Japan’s war-making power is destroyed, points in Japanese territory to be designated by the Allies shall be occupied to secure the achievement of the basic objectives we are here setting forth.

8.The terms of the Cairo Declaration shall be carried out and Japanese sovereignty shall be limited to the islands of Honshu, Hokkaido, Kyushu, Shikoku and such minor islands as we determine.

9.The Japanese military forces, after being completely disarmed, shall be permitted to return to their homes with the opportunity to lead peaceful and productive lives.

10.We do not intend that the Japanese shall be enslaved as a race or destroyed as a nation, but stern justice shall be meted out to all war criminals, including those who have visited cruelties upon our prisoners. The Japanese Government shall remove all obstacles to the revival and strengthening of democratic tendencies among the Japanese people. Freedom of speech, of religion, and of thought, as well as respect for the fundamental human rights shall be established.

11.Japan shall be permitted to maintain such industries as will sustain her economy and permit the exaction of just reparations in kind, but not those which would enable her to re-arm for war. To this end, access to, as distinguished from control of, raw materials shall be permitted. Eventual Japanese participation in world trade relations shall be permitted.

12.The occupying forces of the Allies shall be withdrawn from Japan as soon as these objectives have been accomplished and there has been established in accordance with the freely expressed will of the Japanese people a peacefully inclined and responsible government.

13.We call upon the government of Japan to proclaim now the unconditional surrender of all Japanese armed forces, and to provide proper and adequate assurances of their good faith in such action. The alternative for Japan is prompt and utter destruction.”

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  1. Your tax dollars are being provided to PP to fund the harvest and sales of slaughtered-baby parts.
    But 3,2,1 . . . KABOOM! The libiCath loony-bin explodes with “Damn America!” b/c of 70-years ago 30,000 feet over Hiroshima.
    So it goes.

  2. The Court has made atheism, abortion and sodomy of “We, the people” . Japan made war and got war.
    60,000,000 soul have not been destroyed, only moved. Have you seen Cecile Richard’s face decompose before your very eyes and see the death. Have you seen the EVIL on Obama’s face? Obama looks like the madman he is.

  3. It isn’t just the libCaths. Read a copy of the Remnant. You will read that Truman was a dirty, filthy Mason who purposely set off the Bomb over a Catholic Church in Hiroshima to senselessly murder innocent people when Japan was virtually defeated and defenseless.

    The Tokyo firebombings killed more people than Little Boy or Fat Man. Japan had millions under arms in Manchuria who were willing to fight until Stalin sent the Red Army – the one force the Japanese were terrified of – to smash them to pieces. Forgotten were the atrocities committed by the Japanese military and government. Some of them were committed against the Catholic Filipino population. Selective outrage, as much as it is painful to admit, does not rest only with the CathLeft.

  4. While living in the Philippines 25 years ago, I toured Corregidor Island and its Malinta tunnels. Read numerous books on the Death March of Japanese occupation, life in the POW camps and the sufferings of the local population. The Japanese army was cruel wherever it went. The Aussie and Dutch soldiers dying in the pig baskets in then Dutch Indonesia, Singapore, China…. My father-in-law was an army doctor who cared for the liberated military and citizens from Santo Tomas prison camp. He reluctantly came to visit us with my mother-in-law but would not speak of his experiences there.

  5. WWII in the East finally ended the centuries old “bushido” mindset where man’s dignity and value was reduced to winning. They killed and desecrated the bodies of their own captured soldier in Bataan, while the West, infused with Christian values, saw dignity in the will to die to save a fellow warrior.
    Out of evil, God brings good–even if some of us miss it.

  6. That was then. Then, we were fighting bushido, emperor-worship, and Japanese imperialism. Now, we are fighting jihad, Muhammad, and sharia. We warred with these devils from December 7, 1941 to August 1945.
    This is now. Christendom has been at war with these Muslim devils since 637 AD.

    John Quincy Adams:
    “The fundamental doctrine of the Christian religion is the extirpation of hatred from the human heart. It forbids the exercise of it, even towards enemies. […]”

    “The natural hatred of the Mussulmen towards the infidels is in just accordance with the precepts of the Koran. [..]”

    “In the 7th century of the Christian era, a wandering Arab … spread desolation and delusion over an extensive portion of the earth. … He declared undistinguishing and exterminating war as a part of his religion. … The essence of his doctrine was violence and lust, to exalt the brutal over the spiritual part of human nature.”
    Peace and justice: The jihadi merit prompt and utter destruction. It won’t happen before January 2017.

  7. These terms fail the basic rule of leaving your opponent an honorable way out. The cultural tone deafness of these terms made it impossible for Japan to accept.

    Item 6 implicitly threatens the Imperial line, which reaches back to the 6th century at least, and is something that transcends normal Japanese politics. Not even during the Sengoku Jidai period was the continuation of the Chrysanthemum Throne threatened.

    Items 7 & 11 has the entire Japanese military completely and permanently dismantled. That is a bitter pill for any nation to swallow, but doubly so for one whose cultural narrative is steeped in martial tradition as was theirs. Would the USA ever accept such terms?

    Item 10 betrays the some Enlightenment naivete that our current foreign policy is suffering from in the Middle East; namely that our opponents can be just like us and that “free and open elections” are the key to peace. Nevermind the fact that such things have no natural habitation in these cultures.

    It literally took the total incineration of every man, woman, and child in two cities with the threat of more to come in order for these sort of terms to be accepted. Moral high ground or no, if you back your opponent into a corner with no honorable retreat, they will desperately fight to the end. Potsdam was a diplomatic failure on the part of the Allies.

  8. These terms fail the basic rule of leaving your opponent an honorable way out.

    Whose ‘rule’ would that be? Your complaint is trivial. They had no other options at that point, nor were the options disagreeable given that they were an abjectly defeated enemy.

  9. Baron Korf;
    I seems to me that they bought the terms and quite clearly they worked. Unfortunately, even after two cities were incinerated they still refused to surrender, training their small children to fight invaders until death (as in Saipan)

    If the “Rape of Nanking” , the Bataan Death March, and the unmarked Prison ships, represents the glorious “Imperial line” then I’m not sure eliminating it at all costs was so evil.

    One could make a fairly good argument about the firebombing of Tokyo (those paper houses) and the many innocent lives lost. But then there was Dresden and other atrocities that became part of the war….which we never started, never asked for, but were drawn into for our survival against the “Master Race” and “Bushido honor.”

  10. Baron Korf,

    Such evil cannot be offered condition or deference.

    Basically the same terms, unconditional surrender, were imposed on Nazi Germany. Both regimes’ uber-evil actions and raison d’etre left no room for “conditions.”

    John Toland wrote, The Rising Sun, a book on WWII Pacific from the Japanese viewpoint. If I remember the same militarists that pushed the war, were intent (even to the point of a military coup) to fight it out if necessary to the death of every man, woman and child.

  11. Art Deco: It is a rule of human nature, if you want an opponent to accept your terms you have to make them bearable. They had two options before them: fight or surrender. The fighting meant death, surrender meant unbearable shame. To use language an American would understand “Give me liberty or give me death.” The values are different but the concept is the same.

    Don L: America’s survival was not dependent on the dropping of the bomb or a land invasion of Japan. It was quite clear at this point that they could, at best, defend their home from invasion. The Emperor agreed to the terms of surrender when we made it clear to him that a handful of US bombers could wipe out all life on the island, and he put himself at risk by doing so.

    T. Shaw: These are humans, not demons. They must be dealt with as such. Dismissing them as evil is to excuse all military excess and deadens the conscience. Diplomacy with Imperial Japan cannot be compared to that with Nazi Germany. Their history, culture, and relationship to the Allies are completely different. Different tactics are required. Making peace is harder than making war.

    If the Allies had truly sought peace and not absolute victory, they could’ve achieved it. Potsdam shows they wanted the latter, and their subsequent actions show they were willing to do whatever it took to get that victory.

  12. Baron Korf, you are obviously a smart guy. Rebutting smart people when they are obviously wrong usually takes a tome. I’ll do my best to avoid writing one.

    Your rebuttal to Art Deco fails because the only honorable way out for the Japanese militarists was the status quo ante bellum. The only “give” the Allies had to give in the eyes of the militarists would have negated the Allied war effort.

    Your rebuttal to Don L is a non-sequitur. Don was posting on the fanaticism of the militarists and you turn it into a screed on “America’s survival”. Ironically the only linkage between the two would have been if the militarists survived in power after the war and got nuclear weapons themselves.

    Your rebuttal to T. Shaw is flawed because some Japanese were demons. Not literally, of course, but the atrocious actions of many during the conflict hardened the hearts of their opponents and brought about a level of callousness not seen in the European theater. It is unfortunate and certainly no excuse, but anti-Japanese prejudices were largely the result of Japanese actions.

    Finally you wrote “If the Allies had truly sought peace and not absolute victory, they could’ve achieved it.” Sorry, but a comparative study of the outcomes of the two world wars shows that real peace usually comes from absolute victory coupled with magnanimity. Your peace with Japan would have been just another 20 year truce.

  13. I have to ask what were the “bearable” terms of surrender that God laid to the Egyptians in the Red Sea?

    In view of the mass suicides by Japanese civilians at Saipan, (13,00-22,000 est.) surrender of any type was not a “bearable” situation–something they might have considered before they loosed their oriental style blitzkrieg war on the Indio-Pacific world and the West.

    The same Emperor (that ignored Hiroshima and Nagasaki for far too long) ordered* those civilians to commit suicide rather than be taken alive. (*disputed but evidence is quite strong)
    You’re right about Japan being different “humans” than Germany. The deaths of American POWs in Japan was (at least 3 times(?) that of the Nazi rate. The atrocities they committed on their own captured soldiers for being caught and dishonoring them cannot be printed in most family media.

  14. Sorry, but a comparative study of the outcomes of the two world wars shows that real peace usually comes from absolute victory coupled with magnanimity. Your peace with Japan would have been just another 20 year truce.

    Aside from the fact that his counter-factual is a fantasy.

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