Washington – With regard to the Japanese Government’s message 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 Powers who will take such steps as he deems proper to effectuate the surrender terms.
The Emperor will be required to authorize and ensure the signature by the Government of Japan and the Japanese Imperial General Headquarters of the surrender terms necessary to carry out the provisions of the Potsdam Declaration, and shall issue his commands to all the Japanese military, naval and air authorities, and to all of the forces under their control wherever located, to cease active operations 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 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.
Source: Presidential Museum and Library