At noon on 15 August 1945, people gathered near radios and hastily setup loudspeakers in homes, offices, factories, and on city streets throughout Japan. Even though many felt that defeat was not far off, the vast majority expected to hear new exhortations to fight to the death or the official announcement of a declaration of war on the Soviet Union. The muted strains of the national anthem immediately followed the noon time-signal. Listeners then heard State Minister Hiroshi Shimomura announce that the next voice they would hear would be that of His Imperial Majesty the Emperor. In a solemn voice, Emperor Hirohito read the first fateful words of the Imperial Rescript: "After pondering deeply the general trend of the world situation and the actual state of Our Empire, We have decided to effect a settlement of the present crisis by resort to an extraordinary measure. To Our good and loyal subjects, we hereby convey Our will. We have commanded Our Government to communicate to the Governments of the United States, Great Britain, China and the Soviet Union that Our Empire accepts the terms of their Joint Declaration." Although the word "surrender" was not mentioned and few knew of the Joint Declaration of the Allied Powers calling for unconditional surrender of Japan, they quickly understood that the Emperor was announcing the termination of hostilities on terms laid down by the enemy. After more than three and a half years of fighting and sacrifice, Japan was accepting defeat. These articles are about the Occupation of Japan by the United States Army and provide detail about the securing the surrender of Japan in World War Two.