Kanagawa AgreementPosted: December 11th, 2020 | Author: Paul | Filed under: Uncategorized | Leave a comment »
The Treaty of Kanagawa was an agreement between the United States of America and the Japanese government. In what was announced as the “opening of Japan,” the two countries agreed to maintain limited trade and accept the safe return of American sailors who had sunk in Japanese waters. Perry returned on February 11, 1854 with an even greater force of eight warships and made it clear that he would not leave until a contract had been signed. Perry continued his manipulation of the configuration by keeping away from lower officials, insinuating the use of force, measuring the port and refusing to meet in the negotiating venues provided for that purpose. Negotiations began on March 8 and continued for about a month. Each game shared a performance when Perry arrived. The Americans had a technology demonstration, and the Japanese had a sumo wrestling show.  While the Japanese people were passionate about the new technology, Perry was not impressed by the sumo wrestlers and found this performance senseless and degrading: “This abominable exhibition only ended when the twenty-five successive two-man displayed their immense strengths and wild qualities.”  The Japanese side yielded to almost all of Perry`s demands, with the exception of a trade agreement modelled on previous U.S. treaties with China, which Perry later sought to postpone.
The main controversy has focused on the choice of ports to open, perry Nagasaki being firmly opposed. The contract, written in English, Dutch, Chinese and Japanese, was signed on 31 March 1854 at the present-day Kaika Hiroba (Port Opening Square) Yokohama, a site adjacent to the present-day Yokohama Archives of History.  In the short term, the United States was satisfied with the agreement, with Perry achieving its primary objective of breaking Japan`s sakoku policy and creating the reasons for the protection of American citizens and a possible trade agreement. On the other hand, the Japanese were forced into this trade and many saw it as a sign of weakness. The Tokugawa Shogunate could indicate that the treaty had not been signed by the Shogun, or even by one of its troops, and that it had, at least temporarily, ruled out the possibility of an immediate military confrontation.  A treaty between Japan and the United States. After three years of negotiations, the U.S. Commodore Perry reached an agreement with the Tokugawa Shogunat, opened two ports to American ships, allowed the appointment of a consul and guaranteed better treatment for the castaways.
The Treaty of Kanagawa was followed in two years by similar agreements with Great Britain, Russia and the Netherlands and, in 1858, the broader Edo Treaty with the United States, marking the beginning of regular political and economic sexual relations between Japan and Western nations. Outside, the treaty resulted in the treaty between the United States and Japan, the “Harris Treaty” of 1858, which allowed the introduction of foreign concessions, extraterritoriality for foreigners and minimum import taxes for foreign goods. The Japanese got confused under the “unequal contractual system” that characterized Asian and Western relations during this period.  The Treaty of Kanagawa was followed by similar agreements with the United Kingdom (Anglo-Japanese Friendship Treaty, October 1854), the Russians (Treaty of Shimoda, February 7, 1855) and the French (Treaty of Friendship and Trade between France and Japan, October 9, 1858). An interesting feature is the omission of a Japanese signature on the English version of the contract. Perry`s letter to the Minister of the Navy, which is also in the archives, provides an explanation: “It will be taken into account that the practice normally followed for the posting of contract signatures was derogated on this occasion and, for reasons attributed by the Japanese, that their laws prohibit the subjects of the Empire from putting their names in each document written in a foreign language.” The lack of a signature shows that Perry`s determination to achieve the mission`s objectives was mitigated by the willingness to compromise on the usual issues.