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 main points of the document were:
- The Allies are not fighting Japan for their own territorial expansion
- The Allies are resolved to bring unrelenting military pressure against Japan until it agrees to unconditional surrender
- Japan shall be stripped of all islands she has seized or occupied in the Pacific since the beginning of World War I in 1914
- All the territories Japan has taken from China such as Manchuria (northeastern China), Formosa (Taiwan), and the Pescadores (Penghu), shall be restored to the China
- The Allies are determined that Korea shall become free and independent
- Japan will also be expelled from all other territories which she has taken by violence and greed
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 Taiwan's sovereignty to China. However, by signing the Instrument of Surrender (2 Sep 1945), Japan specifically accepted the terms of the Potsdam declaration, 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.
Legal effect on the sovereignty of the Senkaku Islands
The Japanese central government formally annexed the islands on 14 January 1895, naming them Senkaku, or “Pinnacled Pavilions.” As this annexation occurred prior to 1914, the Cairo Declaration does not refer to this chain of islands.
Marking the 70th anniversary of the Cairo Declaration, China called for the terms of the document to be observed and carried out.
- FRUS1943 Cairo Conference University of Wisconsin Digital Collection
- Roosevelt updated the Draft of Cairo Declaration University of Wisconsin Digital Collection
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- Cairo Declaration Department of State
- Cairo Declaration Yale University
- Cairo Conference
- Second Sino-Japanese War (1937–1945)
- Potsdam Declaration (July 1945)
- General Order No. 1 (Aug. 1945)
- Japanese Instrument of Surrender (Sep. 1945)
- Treaty of San Francisco (1951)
- Treaty of Taipei (1952)
- "Cairo Communiquè, December 1, 1943". Japan National Diet Library. December 1, 1943.
- "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."
- 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."
- The Senkaku or Diaoyu Islands: Narrative of an empty space. The Economist (2012-12-22). Retrieved on 2013-08-16.
- Luan, ed. (December 1, 2013), China Focus: Experts stress Cairo Declaration terms shall be carried out, retrieved 2013-12-01
- Text of the Constitution and Other Important Documents in the Japanese National Diet Library
- The Cairo Conference, 1943
- Cairo Comminique
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