The Cairo Declaration was the outcome of the Cairo Conference in Cairo, Egypt, on November 27, 1943. President Franklin Roosevelt of the United States, Prime Minister Winston Churchill of the United Kingdom, and Generalissimo Chiang Kai-shek of the Republic of China were present. The declaration developed ideas from the 1941 Atlantic Charter, which was issued by the Allies of World War II to set goals for the post-war order. The Cairo Communiqué was broadcast through radio on December 1, 1943. The Cairo Declaration is cited in Clause Eight (8) of the Potsdam Declaration, which is referred to by the Japanese Instrument of Surrender.
The several military missions have agreed upon future military operations against Japan. The Three Great Allies expressed their resolve to bring unrelenting pressure against their brutal enemies by sea, land, and air. This pressure is already rising.
The Three Great Allies are fighting this war to restrain and punish the aggression of Japan. They covet no gain for themselves and have no thought of territorial expansion. It is their purpose that Japan shall be stripped of all the islands in the Pacific which she has seized or occupied since the beginning of the first World War in 1914, and that all the territories Japan has stolen from the Chinese, such as Manchuria, Formosa, and The Pescadores, shall be restored to the Republic of China. Japan will also be expelled from all other territories which she has taken by violence and greed. The aforesaid three great powers, mindful of the enslavement of the people of Korea, are determined that in due course Korea shall become free and independent.
With these objects in view the three Allies, in harmony with those of the United Nations at war with Japan, will continue to persevere in the serious and prolonged operations necessary to procure the unconditional surrender of Japan.
Legal effect on the sovereignty of Taiwan
The Cairo Declaration was a statement of intention. The Allies, however, did not recognize that the Cairo Declaration itself affected any transfer of sovereignty of Taiwan (Formosa) to China. However, by signing the Instrument of Surrender (2 Sep 1945), Japan specifically accepted the terms of the Potsdam Declaration (26 Jul 1945), which incorporated by reference the terms of the Cairo Declaration: "We, acting by command of and on behalf of the Emperor of Japan, the Japanese Government and the Japanese Imperial General Headquarters, hereby accept the provisions in the declaration issued by the heads of the Governments of the United States, China, and Great Britain 26 July 1945 at Potsdam, and subsequently adhered to by the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, which four powers are hereafter referred to as the Allied Powers." The Potsdam Declaration (26 Jul 1945) stipulated that: "(8) The terms of the Cairo Declaration shall be carried out AND Japanese sovereignty shall be limited to the islands of Honshu, Hokkaido, Kyushu, Shikoku and such minor islands as we determine."
A declassified CIA report written in March 1949 claimed that Taiwan was not part of the Republic of China, and therefore there had been no internationally recognized transfer of Taiwan's territorial sovereignty to China as a result of the Cairo Declaration or the Potsdam Declaration.
In a letter to the Formosa Association for Public Affairs (FAPA), Washington, D.C., dated June 5, 2007, Michael Kurtz, the Assistant Archivist for Records Services at the United States National Archives confirmed that the 1943 Cairo Declaration is neither a treaty nor an executive agreement.
Marking the 70th anniversary of the Cairo Declaration, China called for the terms of the document to be observed and carried out.
- Cairo Conference
- Second Sino-Japanese War (1937–1945)
- Potsdam Declaration (July 1945)
- General Order No. 1 (August 1945)
- Japanese Instrument of Surrender (September 1945)
- Taiwan Retrocession (October 1945)
- Treaty of San Francisco (1951)
- Treaty of Taipei (1952)
- "Cairo Communiquè, December 1, 1943". Japan National Diet Library. December 1, 1943.
- Text of Cairo Declaration, Government of Japan website
- "Foreign Relations of the United States". US Dept. of State. Jan 6, 1951. Retrieved 2013-12-02.
The Cairo declaration manifested our intention. It did not itself constitute a cession of territory.
- "UK Parliament". Hansard. Feb 7, 1955. Retrieved 2012-06-07.
The position in law is that an armistice or the cessation of fighting does not affect sovereignty.
- Japanese Instrument of Surrender
- Taipei Times (June 9, 2013), CIA report shows Taiwan concerns, retrieved 2013-06-10,
[Quoting from a declassified CIA report on Taiwan written in March 1949] From the legal standpoint, Taiwan is not part of the Republic of China. Pending a Japanese peace treaty, the island remains occupied territory in which the US has proprietary interests.
- National Archives Shatters Beijing's and KMT's Claims, June 14, 2007, retrieved 2014-06-10,
The National Archives and Records Administration has not filed this declaration under treaties. […] the declaration was a communique, and it does not have treaty series (TS) or executive agreement series (EAS) number.
- Luan, ed. (December 1, 2013), China Focus: Experts stress Cairo Declaration terms shall be carried out, retrieved 2013-12-01
- Text of the Cairo Communiqué in the Japanese National Diet Library
- FRUS1943 Cairo Conference University of Wisconsin Digital Collection
- Cairo Declaration Department of State
- Cairo Declaration Yale University
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