It was issued by General Douglas MacArthur to the representative of the Empire of Japan following the surrender of Japan, and then issued by Japanese Imperial General Headquarters to the forces of the Empire of Japan on 2 September 1945. It instructed Japanese forces to surrender to designated Allied commanders, reveal all current military deployments, and preserve military equipment for later disarmament. It also specified the occupation of Japan and Japanese-controlled areas by forces of the Allied Powers.
It also had the effect of leading to the eventual division of Korea at the 38th Parallel in that Japanese forces to the north of this parallel were ordered to surrender to the Commander in Chief of Soviet Forces in the Far East, and those to the south were directed to surrender to the Commander in Chief, U.S. Army Forces in the Pacific, in accordance with Section 1, paragraphs (b) and (e), respectively.
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- Cairo Declaration (27 November 1943)
- Potsdam Declaration (26 July 1945)
- Gyokuon-hōsō and Gwangbokjeol (15 August 1945)
- Japanese Instrument of Surrender (2 September 1945)
- Retrocession Day (25 October 1945)
- Treaty of San Francisco (8 September 1951)
- Joint Chiefs of Staff (August 17, 1945). "SWNCC 21/8: Unconditional Surrender of Japan".
General order No.1 (Enclosure), as approved by the President for issue by the Japanese Imperial General Headquarters by direction of the Emperor, is circulated for information.
- "Tokyo Bay: The Formal Surrender of the Empire of Japan on Board USS Missouri, 2 September 1945". Naval History and Heritage Command. Archived from the original on 6 October 2014.
- United States Department of State (1945). "Foreign relations of the United States : diplomatic papers, 1945. The British Commonwealth, the Far East". Foreign Relations of the United States (FRUS). United States Government Printing Office. pp. 635–639.
- GENERAL ORDER NO.I(in English and Japanese)Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan
- SCAPIN-1: GENERAL ORDER NO. 1 (DIRECTIVE NO. 1), OFFICE OF THE SUPREME COMMANDER FOR THE ALLIED POWERS 1945/09/02 (in English and Japanese), Scap Directives to the Imperial Japanese Government Volume 1
- END OF EMPIRE: General Order No.1