Japanese Emperor Hirohito’s speech made public

Tokyo, Aug 1 (IANS) The Japan Imperial Household Agency on Saturday released the original recording of Japanese Emperor Hirohito’s war-ending speech announcing the unconditional surrender of the Japanese military at the end of the World War II.

The agency decided to release the original audio of the speech by the emperor, now known as Emperor Showa, broadcast by radio on August 15, 1945, as this year marks the 70th anniversary of the end of World War II, said Japan’s Kyodo News Agency.

The voice on the radio 70 years ago was muffled and was nearly inaudible due to poor sound quality.

The agency succeeded in digitally re-recording the whole speech last December, though the new version is clearer than before, it was still hard for some people to understand because the emperor used classical language in part of the speech.

Some photos and films of a bomb shelter at the Imperial Palace were also released by the agency on Saturday.

“We judged it is of great significance to make the major symbolic items related to the end of the war widely known to the public at the timing of the 70th anniversary,” the agency said.

In the speech, the emperor announced to the Japanese people that the Japanese government had accepted the Potsdam Declaration demanding the unconditional surrender of the Japanese military by the US, Britain and China — and later the Soviet Union.

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