Cairo Conference – December 1, 1943
On this December 1st in 1943, word reached newsrooms that the Conference in Cairo had just concluded. The meeting between China’s Gen. Chiang kai-Shek, President Roosevelt and Britain’s Winston Churchill took place to discuss just how the end of the war was going to look for Asia and what was going to happen to Japan once it was.
The five day conference, which had just concluded was held to discuss Japan’s future. The intention of the meeting was to strip Japan of all Pacific Islands seized in the previous 30 years, the restore Manchuria and Formosa to China and in general, to reduce the Japanese empire to its status as of 1906. Also discussed was the promise to restore independence to Korea in due course. The exact place of the conference wasn’t disclosed and it was obscured by the most outrageous charade of obstruction ever perpetrated on the Press. Reporters were only allowed to divulge that the President saw the Pyramids and nothing else as to where the location of the conference was.
Also disclosed was the stark fact that the war in Asia would involve prolonged operations and it would be some time before Japan finally capitulated. The conference dealt with only the Japanese involvement in the war and many in Washington were interested in the details of the issued communiquè which specified that future military operations would be a unified effort and that these efforts were escalating. But more importantly, Washington observers were taking note of the fact that serious and prolonged efforts were needed in order to force an unconditional surrender of Japan. The operative words were Unconditional Surrender, the two words used repeatedly in connection with the defeat of Germany.
It was also wondered if Chiang kai-Shek would remain a part of the bigger picture and join the others when the conference was to reconvene later in another location with Soviet Premier Stalin. It was still difficult to tell, but it was significant that the conference reiterated a united effort to bring an end of the war on all fronts and that nothing less than unconditional surrender was to be achieved.