August 15, 1945 ~ Setting of the Rising Sun
At noon Japan Standard Time on August 15, 1945, Japanese Emperor Hirohito spoke to his people via radio for the first time.
Never before had the common people of Japan heard the voice of their Emperor.
The Emperors broadcast was not live. It had been prerecorded at the Imperial Palace on a phonograph record and then replayed.
As his subjects contemplated the voice of the 124th monarch to occupy the Chrysanthemum Throne and the devastation of the Atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki just days earlier, Hirohito announced that he had ordered his government to communicate to the Allied governments that the Japanese empire accepts the provisions of the Potsdam declaration. In other words, he Japan would unconditionally surrender.
Hirohito went on to say that Japan was resolved to pave the way for a grand peace for all the generations to come by enduring the unendurable and suffering what is insufferable.”
Hirohito’s broadcast brought the hostilities of World War II to a close and ended the most costly war in human history.
The four-minute radio address ended a war, obliterated the 20-year imperial ideology, and began Japan’s rebirth into what it is today.