The Wakamatsu Conference was the last major conference between U.S. President Joe Steele and Soviet leader Leon Trotsky. The Conference took place in the late summer of 1946 at Wakamatsu, Japan a few months after World War II. Wakamatsu was chosen because it was one of the lightly bombed cities in Japan.

The U.S. and the U.S.S.R. had begun establishing new governments in their respective parts of occupied Japan almost immediately after Japan stopped fighting. The Soviets held Hokkaido and northern Honshu, and established the Japanese People's Republic under Fedor Tolbukhin with some Japanese Reds acting as his puppets. Similarly, the U.S. established the Constitutional Monarchy of Japan in southern Honshu, Kyushu, and Shikoku under the 12-year-old emperor Akihito, with General Dwight D. Eisenhower actually running the country.[1]

This conference was purely between Steele and Trotsky; British Prime Minister Clement Attlee was not invited, even though his predecessor, Winston Churchill had been instrumental in bringing Steele and Trotsky together at the Basra Conference.[2] Relations between Steele and Trotsky were no less frosty than they had been at Basra. Nonetheless, each side recognized the new Japanese states created, with a three-mile demilitarized zone along the Agano River. Trotsky was actually more easy going here than in Basra; he'd seen the war in Europe as one of survival. The war against Japan had simply been "a war".[3]

In the end, the conference did nothing more than set the stage for increasingly poor relations between the U.S. and the U.S.S.R., and the Japanese War two years later.


  1. Joe Steele, pg. 325.
  2. Ibid., pg. 326.
  3. Ibid., pgs. 324-328.