Ansei Treaties

The Ansei Treaties (Japanese:安政条約) or the Ansei Five-Power Treaties (Japanese:安政五カ国条約) are a series of treaties signed in 1858, during the Japanese Ansei era, between Japan on the one side, and the United States, Great Britain, Russia, Netherlands and France on the other. [Auslin, p.1] The first treaty, also called the Harris Treaty was signed by the United States in July 1858, with France, Russia, Great Britain, and Holland quickly following the US example within the year: Japan was forced to apply to other nations the conditions granted to the United States under the "most favoured nation" provision.


The most important points of these "Unequal Treaties" are:

* exchange of diplomatic agents.
* Edo, Kobe, Nagasaki, Niigata, and Yokohama’s opening to foreign trade as ports.
* ability of foreign citizens to live and trade at will in those ports (only opium trade was prohibited).
* a system of extraterritoriality that provided for the subjugation of foreign residents to the laws of their own consular courts instead of the Japanese law system.
* fixed low import-export duties, subject to international control, thus depriving the Japanese government control of foreign trade and protection of national industries (the rate would go as low as 5% in the 1860s.)


The five treaties known collectively as the Ansei Treaties were:

* The Treaty of Amity and Commerce (United States-Japan) on July 29, 1858.
* The Treaty of Amity and Commerce between the Netherlands and Japan on August 18, 1858.
* The Treaty of Amity and Commerce between Russia and Japan on August 19, 1858.
* The Anglo-Japanese Treaty of Amity and Commerce on August 26, 1858.
* The Treaty of Amity and Commerce between France and Japan on October 9, 1858.In 1854, for instance, Commodore Matthew Calbraith Perry forced open Japan, prompting Japan to sign the shameful "Ansei Treaties" that provided a system of "extraterritoriality" for foreign residents in that country, aptly detailed in Michael Auslin's Negotiating With Imperialism.

ee also

* List of treaties



* Auslin, Michael R. (2004) "Negotiating with Imperialism" Harvard University Press ISBN 0674022270

Further reading

* Omoto Keiko, Marcouin Francis (1990) Quand le Japon s'ouvrit au monde (French) Gallimard, Paris, ISBN 2070760847
* Polak, Christian (2001) Soie et Lumieres. L'Age d'or des échanges franco-japonais (des origines aux années 1950), 日仏交流の黄金期(江戸時代~1950年代), (French and Japanese), Chambre de Commerce et d'Industrie Française du Japon, Hachette Fujingaho.

ee also

* France-Japan relations (19th century)

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