【PART 4】 The Mystery of Security Treaty Village (2): The UN Charter and the Postwar World


4 Establishment of the “United Nations”: a huge military treaty between 26 nations


As you would notice when you read its clauses, the Atlantic Charter is very idealistic. It includes principles such as “no territorial expansion,” “the right to self-determination (selection of a political system by its own people),” “the establishment of a peace where everyone everywhere can live free from fear and want,” and “disarmament as well as the establishment of a world-wide security system” (Six out of eight clauses derive from the Fourteen Points for peace that President Wilson set down, near the end of World War I).

After this joint declaration by the U.S. and the U.K., Roosevelt and Churchill incorporated the Soviet Union and China (Republic of China, currently known as Taiwan) into their global vision. Four months later, on January 1, 1942, they formed the comprehensive military treaty (joint declaration) that I cite below.

●Declaration by the United Nations

[Location] Washington D.C.

[Date] January 1, 1942

[Signatories] United States, United Kingdom, Soviet Union, Republic of China, Australia, Belgium, Canada, Costa Rica, Cuba, Czechoslovakia, Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Greece, Guatemala, Haiti, Honduras, India, Luxembourg, Netherlands, New Zealand, Nicaragua, Norway, Panama, Poland, South Africa, Yugoslavia

The Governments signatory hereto,

Having subscribed to a common program of purposes and principles embodied in the Joint Declaration of the President of the United States of America and the Prime Minister of Great Britain dated August 14, 1941, known as the Atlantic Charter,

Being convinced that complete victory over their enemies is essential to defend life, liberty, independence and religious freedom, and to preserve human rights and justice in their own lands as well as in other lands, and that they are now engaged in a common struggle against savage and brutal forces seeking to subjugate the world,


(1) Each Government pledges itself to employ its full resources, military or economic, against those members of the Tripartite Pact and its adherents with which such government is at war.

(2) Each Government pledges itself to cooperate with the Governments signatory hereto and not to make a separate armistice or peace with the enemies.

The foregoing declaration may be adhered to by other nations which are, or which may be, rendering material assistance and contributions in the struggle for victory over Hitlerism.

As it is written here, the signatories agreed to fight with all their might against the members of the Tripartite Pact such as Japan, Germany and Italy, to cooperate with the other signatories, and not to agree to a ceasefire or make peace with them on their own.

The term “United Nations” was used for the first time here, at Roosevelt’s suggestion. As I mentioned earlier, the current Japanese translation of this term is used to signify the United Nations that we see today.