Japanese letter to British forces in Singapore, demanding their surrender, 1942

Lieut General Tomoyuki Yamashita. High Com of The Nipon Army

Feb 10 1942

To:– The High Com of The British Army in Malaya

Your Excellency,

I, the High Com of The Nipon Army based on the spirit of Japanese chivalry have the honour of presenting this note to your Excellency advising you to surrender the whole force in Malaya.

My sincere respect is due to your Army which true to the traditional spirit of Great Britain is bravely defending Singapore, which now stands isolated and unaided.

Many fierce and gallant fights have been fought by your gallant men and officers, to the honour of British Warriorship.

But the development of the General War situation has already sealed the fate of Singapore, and continuation of futile resistance would not only serve to inflict direct harms and injuries to thousands of non-combatants living in the city, throwing them into further miseries and horrors of war, but also would not certainly add anything to the honour of your Army.

I expect that your Excellency accepting my advice will give up this meaningless and desperate resistance and promptly order the entire front to cease hostilities and will dispatch at the same time your Parlimentaire according to the procedure shown at the end of this note. If on the contrary your Excellency should reject my advice and the present resistance be continued I shall be obliged though

reluctantly from humanitarian considerations to order my army to make annihilating attacks upon Singapore.

In closing this note of advice I pay again my sincere respects to your Excellency.


Tomoyuki Yamashita.

The British in Singapore duly surrendered.