Potsdam Declaration of 1945

Potsdam Declaration of 1945

 

a document published in Potsdam on July 26 by the governments of Great Britain, the USA, and China, presenting an ultimatum for the unconditional surrender of Japan, which was one of the members of the fascist bloc during Word War II (1939–45).

The Potsdam Declaration provided for the elimination of the power and influence of the militarists in Japan and for the temporary occupation of Japanese territory. The governments of the USA, Great Britain, and China also agreed to implement the declaration adopted at the Cairo Conference of 1943. Japanese sovereignty was to be limited to the islands of Honshu, Hokkaido, Kyushu, Shikoku, and several smaller islands, to be named later. In addition, the Potsdam Declaration provided for the punishment of war criminals, the elimination of all obstacles to reviving and strengthening democratic traditions in Japan, and the conversion of the Japanese economy to peaceful priorities.

On July 28, 1945, the Japanese government refused to meet the demands of the Potsdam Declaration. However, after the Soviet Union joined the Potsdam Declaration (Aug. 8, 1945) and initiated military action against Japan (August 9), the Japanese government announced its acceptance of the declaration (August 14, 1945). Nonetheless, the Japanese government did not order its armed forces to halt resistance until after the Soviet Army had delivered a number of attacks. On Sept. 2, 1945, Japan signed a document of capitulation that obligated the Japanese government and its successors “honorably to fulfill the conditions of the Potsdam Declaration.”

PUBLICATION

Vneshniaia politika Sovetskogo Soiuza ν period Otechestvennoi voiny, vol. 3. [Moscow] 1947. Pages 334–35, 362–66.

V. L ISRAELIAN

References in periodicals archive ?
Chinese assert that the Potsdam Declaration of 1945 (which Japan accepted as part of the San francisco Peace Treaty) required that Japan relinquish control of all islands except for "the islands of Honshu, Hokkaido, Kyushu, Shikoku and such minor islands as we determine", and they state that this means control of the islands should pass to China.