The Japanese Instrument of Surrender was the written agreement that formalized the surrender of the Empire of Japan, marking the end of World War II. It was signed by representatives from the Empire of Japan, the United States of America, the Republic of China, the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, the Commonwealth of Australia, the Dominion of Canada, the Provisional Government of the French Republic, the Kingdom of the Netherlands, and the Dominion of New Zealand. The signing took place on the deck of USS Missouri in Tokyo Bay on September 2, 1945.
The Allies called for unconditional Japanese surrender in the Potsdam declaration of 27 July, but the Japanese government was internally divided on whether to make peace and did not respond. In early August, the United States dropped atomic bombs on the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Like the Japanese cities previously bombed by American airmen, the US and its allies justified the atomic bombings as military necessity to avoid invading the Japanese home islands which would cost the lives of between 250,000–500,000 Allied troops and millions of Japanese troops and civilians. Between the two bombings, the Soviets, pursuant to the Yalta agreement, invaded Japanese-held Manchuria, and quickly defeated the Kwantung Army, which was the largest Japanese fighting force. The Red Army also captured Sakhalin Island and the Kuril Islands. On 15 August 1945, Japan surrendered, with the surrender documents finally signed aboard the deck of the American battleship USS Missouri on 2 September 1945, ending the war.