Little Stories: Surrender Agreement Which Effectively Ended The Japanese Occupation Of Singapore

Little Stories: The Surrender Agreement Which Ended The Japanese Occupation In Singapore Goes On Display At The Changi Chapel and Museum
Image: Changi Chapel and Museum
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On 12 September 1945, the occupying forces of the Japanese officially surrendered Singapore back to the Allies with a surrender ceremony held at the City Hall Chamber of then-Municipal Building, now part of National Gallery Singapore.

During the surrender ceremony, Lord Louis Mountbatten, Supreme Allied Commander (Southeast Asia), accepted the surrender of the Japanese imperial forces by General Itagaki Seishirō.

Surrender Chambers at Fort Siloso

This is the scene depicted at the Surrender Chambers at Sentosa’s Fort Siloso.

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What may be less well known is the terms of the surrender were negotiated and agreed upon the week before on 4 September 1945.

Surrender Agreement which Effectively Ended the Japanese Occupation of Singapore

Surrender Agreement which Effectively Ended the Japanese Occupation of Singapore
Image: Changi Chapel and Museum

The surrender agreement signed on 4 September 1945 was signed onboard HMS Sussex, which was docked at Singapore’s Keppel Harbour.

Image: Photograph A 30481 from the collections of the Imperial War Museums. Taken by Royal Navy official photographer. Source.

It was signed by General Seishito Itagaki, who was later convicted of war crimes and executed, and Vice-Admiral Shigeru Fukidome. The Allied representatives were Rear Admiral Cedric Holland and Lieutenant General Sir Philip Christison.

The signing of the surrender agreement on 4 September 1945 effectively marked the end of the Japanese occupation of Singapore. Within 24 hours, Allied troops re-entered Singapore and local clocks were set back to Malayan time.

The surrender agreement, which was previously thought to be lost, was rediscovered by National Museum of Singapore curator Rachel Eng in the National Museums Scotland’s collection. It had been donated to National Museums Scotland.

The document is now on loan from National Museums Scotland for six months from September 2021 and is on display at the Changi Chapel and Museum.

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