General Order No. 1
|General Order No. 1 (1945)
|General Order № 1, approved by the President of the United States on 17 August 1945, was General Douglas MacArthur's first order to the forces of the Empire of Japan following the surrender of Japan. It instructed Japanese forces to surrender to designated Allied commanders, reveal all current military deployments, and preserve military equipment for later disarmament. General Order № 1 became known to the world when it was announced at the Japanese Surrender Ceremony on September 2, 1945.|
Note by the Secretaries 
J.C.S. 1467/2 17 August 1945
JOINT CHIEFS OF STAFF
INSTRUMENTS FOR THE SURRENDER OF JAPAN GENERAL ORDER NO.1
Note by the Secretaries
General order No.1 (Enclosure), as approved by the President for issue by the Japanese Imperial General Headquarters by direction of the Emperor, is circulated for information.
The President approved it with the understanding that it is subject to change both by further instructions issued through the Joint Chiefs of Staff and by changes in matters of detail made by the Supreme Commander for the Allied Powers in the light of the operational situation as known by him.
ENCLOSURE (GENERAL ORDER NO.1) SWNCC21/8
GENERAL ORDER NO.1 
MILITARY AND NAVAL
The Imperial General Headquarters by direction of the Emperor, and pursuant to the surrender to the Supreme Commander for the Allied Powers of all Japanese armed forces by the Emperor, hereby orders all of its commanders in Japan and abroad to cause the Japanese armed forces and Japanese-controlled forces under their command to cease hostilities at once, to lay down their arms, to remain in their present locations and to surrender unconditionally to commanders acting on behalf of the United States, the Republic of China, the United Kingdom and the British Empire, and the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, as indicated hereafter or as may be further directed by the Supreme Commander for the Allied Powers. Immediate contact will be made with the indicated commanders, or their designated representatives, subject to any changes in detail prescribed by the Supreme Commander for the Allied Powers, and their instructions will be completely and immediately carried out.
a. The senior Japanese commanders and all ground, sea, air and auxiliary forces within China (excluding Manchuria), Formosa and French Indo-China north of 16 north latitude shall surrender to Generalissimo Chiang Kai-shek.
b. The senior Japanese commanders and all ground, sea, air and auxiliary forces within Manchuria, Korea north of 38 north latitude and Karafuto shall surrender to the Commander in Chief of Soviet Forces in the Far East.
c. The senior Japanese commanders and all ground, sea, air and auxiliary forces within the Andamans, Nicobars, Burma, Thailand, French Indo-China south of 16 degrees north latitude, Malaya, Borneo, Netherlands Indies, New Guinea, Bismarcks and the Solomons, shall surrender to (the Supreme Allied Commander South East Asia Command or the Commanding General, Australian Forces--the exact breakdown between Mountbatten and the Australians to be arranged between them and the details of this paragraph then prepared by the Supreme Commander for the Allied Powers).
d. The senior Japanese commanders and all ground, sea, air and auxiliary forces in the Japanese Mandated Islands, Ryukyus, Bonins, and other Pacific Islands shall surrender to the Commander in Chief U. S. Pacific Fleet.
e. The Imperial General Headquarters, its senior commanders, and all ground, sea, air and auxiliary forces in the main islands of Japan, minor islands adjacent thereto, Korea south of 38 north latitude, and the Philippines shall surrender to the Commander in Chief, U. S. Army Forces in the Pacific.
f. The above indicated commanders are the only representatives of the Allied Powers empowered to accept surrenders and all surrenders of Japanese Forces shall be made only to them or to their representatives.
The Japanese Imperial General Headquarters further orders its commanders in Japan and abroad to disarm completely all forces of Japan or under Japanese control, wherever they may be situated and to deliver intact and in safe and good condition all weapons and equipment at such time and at such places as may be prescribed by the Allied Commanders indicated above. (Pending further instructions, the Japanese police force in the main islands of Japan will be exempt from this disarmament provision. The police force will remain at their posts and shall be held responsible for the preservation of law and order. The strength and arms of such a police force will be prescribed.)
2. The Japanese Imperial General Headquarters shall furnish to the Supreme Commander for the Allied Powers, within (time limit) of receipt of this order, complete information with respect to Japan and all areas under Japanese control as follows:
(a) Lists of all land, air and anti-aircraft units showing locations and strengths in officers and men.
(b) Lists of all aircraft, military, naval and civil giving complete information as to the number, type, location and condition of such aircraft.
(c) Lists of all Japanese and Japanese-controlled naval vessels, surface and submarine and auxiliary naval craft in or out of commission and under construction giving their position, condition and movement.
(d) Lists of all Japanese and Japanese-controlled merchant ships of over100 gross tons, in or out of commission and under construction, including merchant ships formerly belonging to any of the United Nations which are now in Japanese hands, giving their position con dition and movement.
(e) Complete and detailed information, accompanied by maps, showing location and layouts of all mines, minefields and other obstacles to movement by land, sea or air and the safety lanes in connection therewith.
(f) Locations and descriptions of all military installations and establishments, including airfields, seaplane bases, anti-aircraft defenses, ports and naval bases, storage depots, permanent and temporary land and coast fortifications, fortresses and other fortified areas.
(g) Locations of all camps and other places of detention of United Nations prisoners of war and civilian internees.
3. Japanese armed forces and civil aviation authorities will insure that all Japanese military, naval and civil aircraft remain on the ground on the water or abroad ship until further notification of the disposition to be made of them.
4. Japanese or Japanese-controlled naval or merchant vessels of all types will be maintained without damage and will undertake no movement pending instructions from the Supreme Commander for the Allied Powers. Vessels at sea will immediately render harmless and throw overbroad explosives of all types. Vessels not at sea will immediately remove explosives of all types to safe storage ashore.
5. Responsible Japanese or Japanese-controlled military and civil authorities will insure that:
a. All Japanese mines, minefields and other obstacles to movement by land, sea and air, wherever located, be removed according to instructions of the Supreme Commander for the Allied Powers.
b. All aids to navigation be reestablished at once.
c. All safety lanes be kept open and clearly marked pending accomplishment of a. above.
6. Responsible Japanese and Japanese-controlled military and civil authorities will hold intact and in good condition pending further instructions from the Supreme Commander for the Allied Powers the following:
a. All arms, ammunition, explosives, military equipment, stores and supplies and other implements of war of all kinds and all other war material (except as specifically prescribed in Section 4 of this order).
b. All land, water and air transportation and communication facilities and equipment.
c. All military installations and establishments, including airfields, seaplane bases, anti-aircraft defenses, ports and naval bases, storage depots, permanent and temporary land and coast fortifications, fortresses and other fortified areas, together with plans and drawings of all such fortifications, installations and establishments.
d. All factories, plants, shops, research institutions, laboratories, testing stations, technical data, patents, plans, drawings and inventions designed or intended to produce or facilitate the production or use of all implements of war and other material and property used by or intended for use by any military or paramilitary organizations in connection with their operations.
7. The Japanese Imperial General Headquarters shall furnish to the Supreme Commander for the Allied Powers, within (time limit) of receipt of this order, complete lists of all the items specified in paragraph a, b and d of Section 6 above, indicating the numbers, types and locations of each.
8. The manufacture and distribution of all arms, ammunition and implements of war will cease forthwith.
9. With respect to United Nations prisoners of war and civilian internees in the hands of Japanese or Japanese-controlled authorities:
a. The safety and well-being of all United Nations prisoners of war and civilian internees will be scrupulously preserved to include the administrative and supply services essential to provide adequate food shelter, clothing and medical care until such responsibility is undertaken by the Supreme Commander for the Allied Powers;
b. Each camp or other place of detention of United Nations prisoners of war and civilian internees together with nits equipment, stores, records, arms and ammunition will be delivered immediately to the command of the senior officer or designated representative of the prisoner of war and civilian internees;
c. As directed by the Supreme Commander for the Allied Powers, prisoners of war and civilian internees will be transported to places of safety where they can be accepted by allied authorities;
d. The Japanese Imperial General Headquarters will furnish to the Supreme Commander for the Allied Powers ,within (time limit)of the receipt of this order, complete lists of all United Nations prisoners of war and civilian internees, indicating their location.
10. All Japanese and Japanese-controlled military and civil authorities shall aid and assist the occupation of Japan and Japanese-controlled areas by forces of the Allied Powers.
11. The Japanese Imperial General Headquarters and appropriate Japanese officials shall be prepared on instructions from Allied occupation commanders to collect and deliver all arms in the possession of the Japanese civilian population.
12. This and all subsequent instructions issued by the Supreme Commander for the Allied Powers or other allied military authorities will be scrupulously and promptly obeyed by Japanese and Japanese-controlled military and civil officials and private persons. Any delay or failure to comply with the provisions of this or subsequent orders and any action which the Supreme Commander for the Allied Powers determines to be detrimental to the Allied Powers, will incur drastic and summary punishment at the hands of allied military authorities and the Japanese Government.
- Congressional Record, 6 September 1945
- "General Order No. 1, Military and Naval," quoted in US Department of State, Foreign Relations of the United States, 1945 (Washington: GPO, 1969), vol. VI: The British Commonwealth, The Far East, p. 659.