Citation: Harry S. Truman: "Statement by the President Calling for Unconditional Surrender of Japan.," May 8, 1945.
Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project.
NAZI GERMANY has been defeated.
The Japanese people have felt the weight of our land, air and naval attacks. So long as their leaders and the armed forces continue the war the striking power and intensity of our blows will steadily increase and will bring utter destruction to Japan's industrial war production, to its shipping, and to everything that supports its military activity.
The longer the war lasts, the greater will be the suffering and hardships which the people of Japan will undergo--all in vain. Our blows will not cease until the Japanese military and naval forces lay down their arms in unconditional surrender.
Just what does the unconditional surrender of the armed forces mean for the Japanese people ?
It means the end of the war.
It means the termination of the influence of the military leaders who have brought Japan to the present brink of disaster.
It means provision for the return of soldiers and sailors to their families, their farms, their jobs.
It means not prolonging the present agony and suffering of the Japanese in the vain hope of victory.
Unconditional surrender does not mean the extermination or slavement of the Japanese people.