Address to the surrendering Japanese delegation

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Address to the surrendering Japanese delegation  (1945) 
by Thomas Blamey

Given to the surrendering Japanese delegation at Morotai Island on September 9, 1945.

In receiving your surrender I do not recognise you as an honorable and gallant foe, but you will be treated with due but severe courtesy in all matters.

I recall the treacherous attack on Australian ally, China. I recall the treacherous attack upon the British Empire and upon the United States of America in December 1941, at a time when your authorities were making the pretence of ensuring peace between us. I recall the atrocities inflicted upon the person of Australian nationals as prisoners of war and internees, designed to reduce them by punishment and starvation to slavery.

In the light of these evils I will enforce most rigorously all orders issued to you, so let there be no delay or hesitation in their fulfillment at your peril.

The Japanese navy has been destroyed. The Japanese merchant fleet has been reduced to a mere fraction. The Japanese armies have been beaten everywhere and all that remained for them was to await their total destruction. Japanese cities lie in waste and Japanese industry has been destroyed. Never before in history has so numerous a nation been so completely defeated.

To escape the complete destruction of the nation, the Emperor of Japan has yielded to the Allied forces, and an instrument of total surrender has been signed in his name. He has charged you to obey the orders which I shall give you.

In carrying out these orders the Japanese army and navy organization will be retained for convenience. Instructions will be issued by the designated Australian commanders to the commanders of the respective Japanese forces, placing upon you and your subordinate commanders the responsibility for carrying out your Emperor's directions to obey all orders given by me to you.

You will ensure that all Allied personnel, prisoners of war or internees in Japanese hands are safeguarded and nourished and delivered over to Allied commanders. You will collect, lay down and safeguard all arms, ammunition and instruments of war until such time as they are taken over by the designated Australian commanders. You will be given adequate time to carry this out.

An official date will be named and any Japanese found in possession, after that date, of any arms, ammunition or instrument of war of any kind will be dealt with summarily by the Australian commander on the spot.