Copy of the U.S.-Japan Treaty of Peace and Amity
After his initial visit to Japan in July 1853, Commodore Matthew C. Perry (1794–1858) returned to Japan in March 1854 to start discussions with Hayashi Akira and other Bakufu (shogunate) representatives in Yokohama. After protracted negotiations, the U.S. and Japanese representatives signed the U.S.−Japan Treaty of Peace and Amity. Consisting of 12 articles, the treaty proclaimed everlasting peace and amity between the two countries and approved the opening of the Shimoda and Hakodate ports, the supply of fuel and water, and the establishment of a U.S. consulate in Japan. In May of the same year, a 13-article appendix to the Treaty of Peace and Amity also was concluded. The treaty, which came into force on February 21, 1855 after the exchange of instruments of ratification, heralded the end of Japan’s policy of Sakoku (closed country). Presented here is a copy of the instrument of ratification for the treaty produced by the Japanese delegation. An instrument of ratification was also prepared for the treaty appendix, even though separate ratification of this agreement was not required. These documents are referred to in Perry’s Narrative of the Expedition of an American Squadron to the China Seas and Japan (1856).
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Last updated: April 23, 2015