National / History

Master recording of Emperor’s WWII surrender speech to be released

Kyodo

The Imperial Household Agency plans to make public for the first time the original vinyl master recordings of Emperor Hirohito’s historic speech in which he declared Japan’s surrender in World War II, agency officials said Thursday.

The exhibition next month of the original discs as well as a new digitally remastered version of the recording will coincide with the 70th anniversary of the end of the war.

Emperor Hirohito, posthumously known as Emperor Showa, recorded the address on Aug. 14, 1945, at a building of the agency’s predecessor. It was broadcast at noon on the radio the following day.

Five vinyl records of the speech are in the Imperial family’s archives.

The agency is also considering displaying photos of a bomb shelter at Emperor Hirohito’s residence. The shelter was where the government met on Aug. 14, 1945, for a meeting in which the Emperor decided to end the war.