The Info List - Convention Of Kanagawa

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On March 31, 1854, the CONVENTION OF KANAGAWA (Japanese : 日米和親条約, Hepburn : _Nichibei Washin Jōyaku_, "Japan–US Treaty of Peace and Amity") or KANAGAWA TREATY (神奈川条約, _ Kanagawa Jōyaku_) was the first treaty between the United States of America and the Tokugawa Shogunate .

Signed under threat of force, it effectively meant the end of Japan’s 220-year-old policy of national seclusion (_sakoku _), by opening the ports of Shimoda and Hakodate to American vessels. It also ensured the safety of American castaways and established the position of an American consul in Japan. The treaty also precipitated the signing of similar treaties establishing diplomatic relations with other western powers.


* 1 The isolation of Japan * 2 The Perry expedition * 3 Treaty of Peace and Amity (1854) * 4 Consequences of the treaty * 5 Kanagawa Treaty House * 6 See also * 7 Notes * 8 References * 9 External links


Japanese woodblock print of Perry (center) and other high-ranking US seamen

Since the beginning of the seventeenth century, the Tokugawa shogunate pursued a policy of isolating the country from outside influences. Foreign trade was maintained only with the Dutch and the Chinese and was conducted exclusively at Nagasaki under a strict government monopoly. This policy had two main objectives. One was the fear that trade with western powers and the spread of Christianity would serve as a pretext for the invasion of Japan by imperialist forces, as had been the case with most of the nations of Asia. The second objective was fear that foreign trade and the wealth developed would lead to the rise of a _daimyō _ powerful enough to overthrow the ruling Tokugawa clan .

By the early nineteenth century, this policy of isolation was increasingly under challenge. In 1844, King William II of the Netherlands sent a letter urging Japan to end the isolation policy on its own before change would be forced from the outside. In 1846, an official American expedition led by Commodore James Biddle arrived in Japan asking for ports to be opened for trade, but was sent away.


In 1852, United States Navy Commodore Matthew Perry was sent with a fleet of warships by American President Millard Fillmore to force the opening of Japanese ports to American trade, through the use of gunboat diplomacy if necessary. The growing commerce between America and China, the presence of American whalers in waters offshore Japan, and the increasing monopolization of potential coaling stations by the British and French in Asia were all contributing factors. The Americans were also driven by concepts of Manifest Destiny and the desire to impose the benefits of western civilization on what they perceived as backward Asian nations. For the Japanese standpoint, increasing contacts with foreign warships and the increasing disparity between western military technology and the Japanese feudal armies created growing concern. The Japanese had been keeping abreast of world events via information gathered from Dutch traders in Dejima and had been forewarned by the Dutch of Perry’s voyage. There was considerable internal debate in Japan on how best to meet this potential threat to Japan’s economic and political sovereignty in light of events occurring in China with the Opium Wars .

Perry arrived with four warships at Uraga , at the mouth of Edo Bay on July 8, 1853. After refusing Japanese demands that he proceed to Nagasaki, which was the designated port for foreign contact, and after threatening to continue directly on to Edo , the nation’s capital and to burn it to the ground if necessary, he was allowed to land at nearby Kurihama on July 14 and to deliver his letter. Foreigners in Yokohama in 1854

Despite years of debate on the isolation policy, Perry’s letter created great controversy within the highest levels of the Tokugawa shogunate. The Shogun himself, Tokugawa Ieyoshi died days after Perry’s departure, and was succeeded by his sickly young son, Tokugawa Iesada , leaving effective administration in the hands of the Council of Elders (_rōjū _) led by Abe Masahiro . Abe felt that it was currently impossible for Japan to resist the American demands by military force, and yet was reluctant to take any action on his own authority for such an unprecedented situation. Attempting to legitimize any decision taken, Abe polled all of the daimyō for their opinions. This was the first time that the Tokugawa shogunate had allowed its decision-making to be a matter of public debate, and had the unforeseen consequence of portraying the Shogunate as weak and indecisive. The results of the poll also failed to provide Abe with an answer, as of the 61 known responses, 19 were in favor of accepting the American demands, and 19 were equally opposed. Of the remainder, 14 gave vague responses expressing concern of possible war, 7 suggested making temporary concessions and two advised that they would simply go along with whatever was decided.

Perry returned again on February 13, 1854, with an even larger force of eight warships, and made it clear that he would not be leaving until a treaty was signed. Negotiations began on March 8 and proceeded for around one month. The Japanese side gave in to almost all of Perry’s demands, with the exception of a commercial agreement modeled after previous American treaties with China, which Perry agreed to defer to a later time. The main controversy centered on the selection of the ports to open, with Perry adamantly rejecting Nagasaki. The treaty, written in English, Dutch, Chinese and Japanese was signed on 31 March 1854 at what is now known as Kaiko Hiroba (Port Opening Square) Yokohama , a site adjacent to the current Yokohama Archives of History .


English text of the Kanagawa Treaty

The "Japan–US Treaty of Peace and Amity" has twelve articles:


§ I Mutual peace between the United States and the Empire of Japan

§ II Opening of the ports of Shimoda for the Emperor to interact in any way with foreigners was out of the question. Perry concluded the treaty with representatives of the shogun, led by plenipotentiary Hayashi Akira (林韑) and the text was endorsed subsequently, albeit reluctantly, by Emperor Kōmei . The treaty was ratified on 21 February 1855.


In the short-term, both sides were satisfied with the agreement. Perry had achieved his primary objective of breaking Japan’s _sakoku_ policy and setting the grounds for protection of American citizens and an eventual commercial agreement. The Tokugawa shogunate could point out that the treaty was not actually signed by the Shogun, or indeed any of his _rōjū_, and by the agreement made, had at least temporarily averted the possibility of immediate military confrontation.

Externally, the treaty led to the United States-Japan Treaty of Amity and Commerce , the "Harris Treaty" of 1858, which allowed the establishment of foreign concessions, extraterritoriality for foreigners, and minimal import taxes for foreign goods. The Japanese chafed under the "unequal treaty system" which characterized Asian and western relations during this period. The Kanagawa treaty was also followed by similar agreements with the United Kingdom (Anglo-Japanese Friendship Treaty , October 1854), the Russians ( Treaty of Shimoda , 7 February 1855), and the French (Treaty of Amity and Commerce between France and Japan , 9 October 1858).

Internally, the treaty had far-reaching consequences. Decisions to suspend previous restrictions on military activities led to re-armament by many domains and further weakened the position of the Shogun. Debate over foreign policy and popular outrage over perceived appeasement to the foreign powers was a catalyst for the _sonnō jōi _ movement and a shift in political power from Edo back to the Imperial Court in Kyoto . The opposition of Emperor Kōmei to the treaties further lent support to the tōbaku (overthrow the Shogunate) movement, and eventually to the Meiji Restoration .


The Convention was negotiated and then signed in a purpose-built house in Yokohama , Japan, the site of which is now the Yokohama Archives of History .


* Hayashi Akira * Sō Yoshiyori * Anglo-Japanese Friendship Treaty * Treaty of Shimoda * Treaty of Amity and Commerce (United States–Japan) * Sakoku * List of Westerners who visited Japan before 1868


* ^ Perry, Matthew Calbraith (1856). _Narrative of the expedition of an American Squadron to the China Seas and Japan, 1856._ * ^ W. G. Beasley, _The Meiji Restoration_, p.74–77 * ^ W. G. Beasley, _The Meiji Restoration_, p.78 * ^ J. W. Hall, _Japan_, p.207. * ^ W. G. Beasley, _The Meiji Restoration_, p.88. * ^ W. G. Beasley, _The Meiji Restoration_, p.89. * ^ J. W. Hall, _Japan_, p.211. * ^ _A_ _B_ W. G. Beasley, _The Meiji Restoration_, s.90–95. * ^ "From Washington; The Japanese Treaty-Its Advantages and Disadvantages-The President and Col. Rinney, &c.," _New York Times._ October 18, 1855. * ^ Cullen, Louis M. (2003). _A History of Japan, 1582–1941: Internal and External Worlds,_ p. 173–185. * ^ Diplomatic Record Office of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (Japan) exhibit. * ^ W. G. Beasly, _The Meiji Restoration_, p.96–97 * ^ Bert Edström, Bert. (2000). _The Japanese and Europe: Images and Perceptions,_ p. 101. * ^ J. W. Hall, _Japan_, p.211–213.


* Arnold, Bruce Makoto (2005). _Diplomacy Far Removed: A Reinterpretation of the U.S. Decision to Open Diplomatic Relations with Japan_ (Thesis). University of Arizona. * Auslin, Michael R. (2004). _Negotiating with Imperialism: The Unequal Treaties and the Culture of Japanese Diplomacy._ Cambridge: Harvard University Press . ISBN 978-0-674-01521-0 ; OCLC 56493769 * Bert Edström, Bert. (2000). _The Japanese and Europe: Images and Perceptions._ London: Routledge . ISBN 978-1-873410-86-8 * Cullen, L. M. (2003). _A History of Japan, 1582–1941: Internal and External Worlds._ Cambridge: Cambridge University Press . ISBN 0-521-52918-2 (paper) * Perry , Matthew Calbraith. (1856). _Narrative of the expedition of an American Squadron to the China Seas and Japan, 1856._ New York : D. Appleton and Company. * Taylor , Bayard. (1855). A visit to India, China, and Japan in the year 1853 New York : G.P. Putnam's sons.

_ Wikimedia Commons has media related to CONVENTION OF KANAGAWA _.

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* The Convention of Kanagawa, 1854 (full text) * Kitahara, Michio. Commodore Perry and the Japanese: A Study in the Dramaturgy of Power, 1986 * Perry Visits Japan: A Visual History; Brown University collection

* v * t * e

Treaties of Japan

Bakumatsu period (1854–68)

* Japan-US Treaty of Peace and Amity (1854) * Anglo-Japanese Friendship Treaty (1854) * Treaty of Commerce and Navigation between Japan and Russia (1855) * Dutch-Japan Treaty of Peace and Amity (1856) (ja) * Japan-US Additional Treaty (1857) * Japan- Netherlands Additional Treaty (1857) (ja) * Japan-Russia Additional Treaty (1857) * Treaty of Amity and Commerce ( United States – Japan) (1858) * Treaty of Amity and Commerce between the Netherlands and Japan (1858) (ja) * Treaty of Amity and Commerce between Russia and Japan (1858) * Anglo-Japanese Treaty of Amity and Commerce (1858) * Treaty of Amity and Commerce between France and Japan (1858) * Agreement of Paris (1864) (ja)

Meiji period (1868–1912)

* Sino-Japanese Friendship and Trade Treaty (1871) * Treaty of Amity and Commerce between Hawaii and Japan (1871) * Treaty of Friendship, Commerce and Navigation between Peru and Japan (1873) * Treaty of Saint Petersburg (1875) * Japan–Korea Treaty of 1876 * Japan–Korea Treaty of 1882 * Japan-Hawaii Labor Immigration Treaty (1884) * Japan–Korea Treaty of 1885 * Convention of Tientsin * Declaration of Amity and Commerce between Thailand and Japan (1887) * Treaty of Friendship, Commerce between Mexico and Japan (1888) * Anglo-Japanese Treaty of Commerce and Navigation (1894) * Treaty of Commerce and Navigation between Japan and the USA (1894)

* Japan-China Peace Treaty (1895) * Treaty of Friendship, Commerce and Navigation between Brazil and Japan (1895) * Treaty for returning Fengtian Peninsula (1895) (ja) * Komura-Weber Memorandum (1896) * Yamagata–Lobanov Agreement (1896) * Japan-China Treaty of Commerce and Navigation (1896) (ja) * Nishi–Rosen Agreement (1898) * Japan-Thailand Friendship, Commerce and Navigation Treaty (1898) * Boxer Protocol (1901) * Anglo-Japanese Alliance (1902) * Japan-China Additional Treaty of Commerce and Navigation (1903) (ja) * Japan–Korea Treaty of 1904 * Japan–Korea Agreement of August 1904 * Japan-Russia Treaty of Peace (1905) * Taft–Katsura agreement (1905) * Japan–Korea Treaty of 1905 * Additional Agreement of the Japan-China Treaty relating to Manchuria (1905) (ja) * Franco-Japanese Treaty of 1907 * Japan–Korea Treaty of 1907 * Russo-Japanese Agreement of 1907 * Gentlemen\'s Agreement of 1907 * Root–Takahira Agreement (1908) * Japan-China Agreement relating to Manchuria and Jiandao (1909) (ja) * Russo-Japanese Agreement of 1910 * Japan–Korea Treaty of 1910 * North Pacific Fur Seal Convention of 1911 * Russo-Japanese Agreement of 1912

From World War I to World War II (1912–45)

* Japan-China Treaty of 1915 * Russo-Japanese Agreement of 1916 * Lansing–Ishii Agreement (1917) * Japan-China Co-defense Military Pact (1918) (ja) * Treaty of Versailles (1919) * Gongota Agreement of 1920 * Four-Power Treaty (1921) * Nine-Power Treaty (1922) * Treaty concerning solution of Shandong issues (1922) (ja) * Washington Naval Treaty (1922) * Soviet–Japanese Basic Convention (1925) * Japan-China Customs Agreement (1930) * Cease Fire Agreement in Shanghai (1932) (ja) * Japan-Manchukuo Protocol (1932) * Tanggu Truce (1933) * India-Japan Agreement of 1934 * Japan-Manchukuo-Soviet Protocol for Cession of North Manchuria Railway (1935) (ja) * He–Umezu Agreement (1935) * Chin–Doihara Agreement (1935) * Canada-Japan New Trade Agreement (1935) * Japan- Netherlands Shipping Agreement (1936) * Anti-Comintern Pact (1936) * Hart-Ishizawa Agreement (1937) * India-Japan Agreement of 1937 * Van Mook-Kotani Agreement (1938) * Tripartite Pact (1940) * Japan-China Basic Relations Treaty (1940) * Japan-Manchukuo-China Joint Declaration (1940) (ja) * Soviet–Japanese Neutrality Pact (1941) * Japan-Thailand Attack/Defence Alliance Treaty (1941) (ja) * Japanese Instrument of Surrender (1945)