Japan-American Diplomatic Relations in the Meiji-Taisho Era

By Kamikawa Hikomatsu | Go to book overview

CHAPTER FOUR
THE TEATY OF AMITY AND TRADE CONCLUDED BETWEEN JAPAN AND THE UNITED STATES

1. The Shogunate's Foreign Policy

A. Japan Concludes Treaties with Russia, Britain and Holland

When the news of the American envoy to Japan reached Europe, Russia, Britain and Holland became active in their diplomatic moves to open the door of Japan.

It was a month after Commodore Perry entered the port of Uraga that the Russian envoy Putiatin arrived at Nagasaki. However, because a war broke out between Russia and Turkey, his actions were irregular. At Nagasaki he simply expressed the Russian wishes and left, postponing further negotiations till later date. The Diana, his ship, called at the port of Hakodate and then on November 8, 1854, appeared off Tempo-zan in Osaka, which alarmed the people of Osaka and Kyoto. Then he came to Shimoda in Izu on December 4. The Shogunate dispatched two experienced government officials to receive him. On December 24, a great earthquake destroyed his ship and Putiatin decided to build two new ships in Japan. It was the Japanese ship-builders' first experience in building foreign style ships. The Japanese called them the "Kimizawa Style" ships. At Shimoda, Japan and Russia concluded a nine-article treaty of amity with four incidental clauses. The important points of the treaty were that they agreed that, of the Kurile Islands, Japan was to possess Eturup Island and to the south while Russia was to have Urup Island and to the north; Sakhalin was left untouched; Hokkaido, Shimoda and Nagasaki were to be opened to trade; both nations were to rescue ship-wrecked sailors; and if necessary, Russia was to station officials at Hakodate and

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