Press Releases

Battleship Missouri Memorial and Mamoru Shigemitsu Memorial Exchange Historic Artifacts to Commemorate End of WWII

Artifacts to be Displayed Through 75th Anniversary on September 2, 2020

Yugawara, Japan – (October 2, 2017) – In tribute to th Anniversary of the End of World War II Commemoration on September 2, 2020, representatives of the Battleship Missouri Memorial and Mamoru Shigemitsu Memorial exchanged historic artifacts tied to the landmark ceremony and lasting friendship that evolved following the war’s conclusion.

The exchange of artifacts took place on September 30 at the Mamoru Shigemitsu Memorial in Yugawara, Japan. Susumu Shigemitsu, grandson of Mamoru Shigemitsu, was presented with an engraved plaque made from the original teak deck of the battleship USS Missouri, site of the ceremony for Imperial Japan’s surrender ending World War II on September 2, 1945.

“The significance of this exchange goes far deeper than remembering the events of what happened that day aboard the USS Missouri in Tokyo Bay,” said Michael Carr, president and CEO of the USS Missouri Memorial Association, caretaker of the Battleship Missouri Memorial. “The relationship between the United States and Japan changed forever starting that day, growing into the trust, goodwill and mutual respect our nations have enjoyed for many decades. Mamoru Shigemitsu was instrumental to the ceremony that restored peace to the Pacific and we are honored to share this artifact in his memory.”

As Japan’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mamoru Shigemitsu was the central figure for his nation’s participation in the ceremony aboard the USS Missouri on September 2, 1945, signing the Instrument of Surrender on Japan’s behalf. With that act, he formally ended all hostilities between the warring countries of World War II.

To support the commemoration of the day that ended World War II, the Mamoru Shigemitsu Memorial is providing on loan to the Battleship Missouri Memorial a pair of Shigemitsu’s distinctive eyeglasses for display onboard the Mighty Mo. The display will be part of a special exhibit surrounding the 75th Anniversary of the End of World War II in 2020 to help tell the story of how history’s most destructive war came to an end.

“After discussing the exchange of these historical artifacts, we were keenly aware of the preciousness of peace and felt we need to help each other to pass it down to future generations,” said Susumu Shigemitsu, grandson of Mamoru Shigemitsu. “We really appreciate receiving the original piece of teak deck from the battleship Missouri and are honored to display it in our Memorial.”

While in Japan, Battleship Missouri Memorial representatives also visited the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum and Yamato Museum, all of which was done to continue fostering a message of peace, partnership and friendship between Japan and the United States.

Please credit images to Battleship Missouri Memorial.

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Caption: Susumu Shigemitsu received an Missouri. (left to right) Chizuko Shigemitsu, Susumu’s mother; Susumu Shigemitsu, grandson of Mamoru Shigemitsu; and Hitomi Foronda, Battleship Missouri Memorial Representative

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Caption: The exchange of historical artifacts between the Battleship Missouri Memorial and Mamoru Shigemitsu Memorial featured Missouri.

Battleship Missouri Memorial

Since opening in January 1999, the Battleship Missouri Memorial has attracted more than 7-million visitors from around the world with a fascinating tour experience showcasing the USS Missouri’s unique place in history. Located a mere ship’s length from the USS Arizona Memorial, the Mighty Mo completes a historical visitor experience that begins with the “day of infamy” and sinking of the USS Arizona in Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941, and ends with Japan’s formal surrender aboard the USS Missouri in Tokyo Bay on September 2, 1945.

The USS Missouri had an astounding career over five decades and three wars – World War II, the Korean War, and Desert Storm – after which it was decommissioned and donated to the USS Missouri Memorial Association, Inc., a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization. The Association operates the Battleship Missouri Memorial as a historic attraction and oversees her care and preservation with the support of visitors, memberships, grants, and donations.

The Battleship Missouri Memorial is open daily from 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. General admission, which includes choice of an optional tour, is $27 per adult and $13 per child (4-12). Military, kama‘aina (local resident) and school group pricing is available. For information or reservations, call (toll-free) 1-877-644-4896 or visit

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