Mr. Portman to Mr. Seward

No. 65.]

Sir: I have the honor to inform you that I arrived here on the 4th instant, and on that day addressed a letter to the Sorogio at Osacca announcing my arrival.

Since then two conferences have been held with the leading men of the Tycoon’s government, minutes of which I herewith transmit, (enclosures Nos. 1 and 2.) I also transmit (No. 3) copy of the convention signed by Earl Russell and Japanese envoys in London on the 6th of June, 1862, as constituting, in connexion with the treaties, the groundwork for the negotiations now in progress. Having been made acquainted with the contents of your letter to Sir Frederick Bruce of the 15th of August, in which you announce your disposition in anticipation of the ratification by the Senate of the convention of the 22d October, 1864, to co-operate in the plans proposed by her Britannic Majesty’s government, I feel assured that you will be pleased to approve of my action.

The information thus far elicited is of great importance, and in guidance in further negotiations I trust that it will be the means of leading to important results, which I shall, no doubt, be able to communicate in extenso at an early day.

I have the honor to be, sir, very respectfully, your most obedient servant,

A. L. C. PORTMAN, Chargé d’ Affaires ad interim in Japan.

Hon. William H. Seward, Secretary of State, Washington.

No. 1.


Present: Sir Harry S. Parkes, K. C. B., her Britannic Majesty’s envoy extraordinary and minister plenipotentiary; A. L. C. Portman, esq., chargé d’affaires ad interim of the United States; D. de Graeff van Polsbroek, esq., his Netherlandish Majesty’s consul general and political agent; Vice-Admiral G. St. Vincent King, C. B., commander-in-chief; Abe Bungo No Kami, member of the Sorogio; Yamaguchi Suruga No Kami, ometske of the Tycoon; Inowuye Mondo No Sho, governor of Osacca.

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The Japanese minister explained to the foreign representatives the circumstances that had prevented his meeting them on the 9th instant, as had been at first arranged.

An interview between the Mikado and Tycoon had been held on that day at Kioto, (Miaco,) and this necessitated his (the minister’s) attendance in that city. He had left the following day and had travelled all night in order to be here this morning.

The British minister thanked Abe Bungo No Kami for his exertions, and explained the arrangements made for his reception, first by the representatives then present, and afterwards by the French minister, who was prevented by indisposition from leaving his vessel. As to the delay which had occurred at Kioto, it was hoped that this would in the end contribute to the despatch of business, and that it denoted that the foreign questions had been well considered at Kioto, and that the Mikado and Tycoon had arrived at a satisfactory understanding with each other on those points.

Japanese ministers. The Tycoon’s interview of the 9th was a very satisfactory one, and no effort is spared by him to effect a complete understanding with the Mikado on the subject of foreign relations. Unfortunately, this result cannot be immediately attained, in consequence of the evil influences which the Tycoon has to encounter.

Foreign representatives. We hope, however, that the Tycoon has succeeded in obtaining that formal approval of the treaties which his ministers more than a year ago pledged themselves to the foreign representatives to procure. If this has been done, then, as observed in a letter of the 4th instant, our business may be greatly expedited.

Japanese ministers. This official sanction of the Mikado is still withheld, in consequence of the intrigues with which the Tycoon has to contend. Choshu’s affair is one of these.

Foreign representatives. We regret to hear such a cause assigned, as it shows that the Tycoon’s influence must be very limited if he cannot overcome such difficulties. As to Choshu, we have now reason to believe that he has become friendly to foreigners, and that the Tycoon no longer meets with opposition in that quarter to the execution of the treaties.

Japanese ministers. It may be true that Choshu now appears to be friendly disposed toward foreigners; but he still retains his enmity to the Tycoon and seeks to complicate affairs at Kioto. The Tycoon’s object has been to bring about an understanding with all parties by degrees, and thus gradually create a general opinion in favor of the treaties.

Foreign representatives. We trust to hear from you that the Tycoon’s efforts have been successful.

Japanese ministers. Unfortunately, the result has not been entirely satisfactory. Considerable improvement has, however, been made, and the various parties in the country are beginning to understand that the treaties must be observed. It is very difficult, however, for a people like the Japanese to change an opinion they have so long held.

Foreign representatives. We should feel obliged if you would describe definitely what difficulties are now experienced by the Tycoon’s government in the execution of the treaties, Japanese ministers. The Japanese people, who do not understand the foreign question, are very slow indeed in comprehending the situation. When the Tycoon proposes amicable relations with foreigners, persons step in to make difficulties, and persuade the Mikado that Japan ought to have no foreign relations whatever. The Tycoon has great difficulty in controlling these people.

Foreign representatives. Be so good as to give us the names of those obstructive parties.

Japanese minister. I am unable to give you names, or to do more than refer in these general terms to the existence of unfavorable influences. There are people, however, who secretly complicate affairs and oppose foreign intercourse. Choshu is one of these.

Foreign representatives. Choshu’s hostility is an affair of the past, and the foreign governments cannot take into account those secret and indescribable hostile influences to which you so vaguely refer. If these exist, it is the duty of the ruling powers of the country to see that they are promptly suppressed. The governments of the treaty powers are at all events determined to insist upon the faithful execution of their treaties, and if the Tycoon wishes to be regarded as the governing power in Japan, he must be able to enforce their observance. The information we receive as to the feeling of the Daimios and influential people towards the treaties is of a very different kind to that supplied by the Tycoon’s government. We find professions of friendship where the latter would lead us to expect direct hostility.

Japanese minister. The Tycoon is exerting himself, and with success, to suppress all hostile action. Were the sanction of the Mikado to the treaties once obtained, everything would go on smoothly.

Netherlands consul general. I was at Simonoseki this year, and received earnest assurances from Choshu’s officers that he is not unfriendly to the treaties. On the contrary, I was told that he was anxious to open Simonoseki to foreign trade. I was further told that the real reason of the breach between the Tycoon and Choshu was the convention he made with the admirals last year—in a word, Choshu alleges that he is attacked by the Tycoon, not on account of his previous hostility to foreigners, but because he has lately shown himself to be well disposed towards them.

Japanese minister. Choshu’s disloyalty to the Mikado has not yet been atoned for. He attacked the Mikado and is still his enemy. Choshu’s friendly professions to foreigners are made solely with a view to his own interest.

[Page 270]

Netherlands consul general. When Choshu fired on foreign vessels he did so in accordance with orders from the Tycoon, copies of which he furnished to the admirals. In these orders the Tycoon declared that foreign relations were to cease, and that foreigners were to be expelled from the country.

Foreign representatives. We must now enter on the particular business that is before us. The Japanese minister is doubtless familiar with the convention of 1864, and also with the agreement made by the Japanese envoys with Earl Russell, in London, in 1862. By that agreement her Britannic Majesty’s government consented that Hiogo and other places should remain closed for five years, on certain conditions which the Japanese minister must be aware have not been fulfilled. Therefore, in the terms of that agreement, her Britannic Majesty’s government can insist upon the opening of Hiogo at once if they see fit to do so. According to the convention of 1864, the Tycoon bound himself to pay an indemnity of $3,000,000 or to open a port. The Tycoon, after considering the subject for nearly six months, decided upon paying the indemnity; but at the time that he informed the representatives of his choice, he applied for a considerable postponement of the date fixed for payment. This application has been communicated by the representatives to their respective governments, and instructions have now been received. They are to the effect that the governments of the four powers are not satisfied with these repeated delays and evasions on the part of the Tycoon’s government, and they are determined upon requiring the punctual payment of the indemnity if the Tycoon should still prefer this condition to the alternative which we now have to propose. These are based on the desire of our governments to furnish another proof of their friendliness to the Tycoon, by convincing him that it has never been their wish to exact money from his government, but to improve our relations with Japan. These relations can be better promoted by the extension of commerce than by the payment of indemnities. Our governments are, therefore, willing to remit to the Tycoon two-thirds of the money stipulated in the convention of October 22, 1864, in return for the immediate opening of Hiogo and Osacca to trade, the formal consent of the Mikado to the treaties, and the regularization of the tariff on a basis of five per cent. In virtue of the London convention of 1862, the opening of Hiogo and Osacca might be demanded at any moment, and a revision of the tariff can be claimed under the treaty itself. A formal announcement by the Mikado of his approval of the treaties is, therefore, the only additional measure that is now asked, and this is simply a mark of friendship, which ought to be granted without hesitation, and which the Japanese ministers promised to obtain upwards of a year ago. We greatly regret to hear that this has not been obtained, and are naturally led to inquire why. We are justified in supposing that it is not withheld at the instigation of a strong hostile party, because we have received friendly assurances from some of the reputed leaders of that party, and also because the minister himself is unable to name a single Daimio or person of influence who takes a part against foreigners. At the same time it would not be surprising to find that foreign intercourse was regarded in a distasteful light by Mikado and Daimios, if it be true that the Tycoon, as is alleged, involves them in its burdens, and yet deprives them of participation in its advantages. It is possible that the disunion which is reported to exist between the Mikado and Tycoon, and between the Tycoon and certain of the Daimios, may be occasioned by disputes among themselves, in which foreigners have no concern. Such causes, however, cannot be allowed by the foreign governments to interfere with the exercise of the treaty privileges. In the proposed arrangements, which we have now met to discuss, an opportunity is offered to the Tycoon of proving whether he is really well disposed towards those governments with whom he has made treaties, and is willing to improve and extend his relations with them.

Japanese minister. I am aware that the opening of Hiogo and Osacca was postponed on certain conditions. The Tycoon’s government greatly regret that they have not been able to keep those conditions, but this result is not attributable to unfriendly feelings on their part towards the foreign governments, but to the obstacles they encounter among their own people.

Foreign representatives. We should be glad if you would describe these obstacles.

Japanese ministers. The Daimios were at one time hostile. They have ceased to be so now, in so far that they no longer wish to engage in open conflict with the foreigners; but their opinions are still divided on the subject of foreign trade, and they would be glad to see it stopped. I cannot give you, as you request, the names of any of the Daimios; indeed, the opinions I refer to are those rather of sections of the population than of individual Daimios.

Foreign representatives. We are glad to gather from your remarks some confirmation of the statements we have heard elsewhere, that the Daimios are adopting more intelligent views respecting foreign relations, and are laying aside their old unreasonable hostility. This state of things should materially facilitate the adoption of a liberal policy by the Tycoon’s government.

Japanese ministers. But if Hiogo and Osacca were opened at this moment, the old feeling would return and the people’s minds would be much disturbed.

Foreign representatives. In our opinion, such an assertion cannot be maintained. We have never found the people unfriendly, and if the Daimios have ceased to be actively hostile, as the Japanese minister himself states is the case, we cannot see why the opening of the ports named in the third article of the treaty should be longer deferred. The foreign governments [Page 271] will not be content to go on waiting if they think that the delay is occasioned by faulty administration on the part of the Tycoon.

Japanese minister. Affairs are by no means in a settled condition. The Mikado’s approval of the treaties is still withheld, and must be obtained before any new ports can be opened. The Tycoon must proceed very gradually in this matter. If, in order to show his friendship to the foreign powers, he were suddenly to open new ports and cause fresh troubles to break out, neither foreign nor native interests would be benefited. I hope that the representatives will understand that the Tycoon’s government has great difficulty to contend with.

Foreign representatives. You keep us so entirely in the dark as to the nature of these alleged difficulties that it is not possible for us to understand them. On the other hand, the information that reaches us from other quarters is of such an opposite character that we may be excused from doubting whether these difficulties have any real existence. These indefinite statements have been so often repeated by the Tycoon’s government during the last six years that we can no longer place any reliance on them. It is clear that the Tycoon’s government either occasions these difficulties themselves or are powerless to prevent them. Do you wish us to understand that the Tycoon’s government positively prefer punctual payment of the indemnity to accepting the alternative conditions now proposed?

Japanese ministers. We are quite prepared to pay the indemnity in punctual quarterly instalments, as stipulated in the convention. We would rather pay this money, and even a much larger sum, than open new ports. This cannot be done while the present troubles continue, while Choshu remains unpunished, or until various improvements in our government are effected, such as the construction of a navy, better batteries, &c. We wish also to change the present wrong system in regard to the trade of the Daimios. At present a Daimio can only trade at the open ports through the custom-house officers, and not by means of his own agents. We are considering how an improved system can be introduced.

Foreign representatives. The restrictions placed on the trade of the Daimios is one of the breaches of the treaty on the part of the Tycoon’s government of which we complain. The treaty powers consider that the fulfilment of these treaties is the first duty on the part of the Tycoon’s government, and should take precedence of the erection of batteries, &c, which are not needed to protect the country against a foreign enemy. When does the Tycoon’s government propose to open Hiogo and Osacca?

Japanese minister. Not before Choshu has been punished. We are aware that we are bound to open these and other ports in the beginning of 1868, and we trust to be able to do so about or possibly before that time.

Foreign representatives. The foreign governments conceded the postponement of the opening of Hiogo and other ports on certain conditions. As these conditions have not been kept, the foreign governments have a perfect right to insist upon the opening of these ports when they think proper. (Paragraph in London convention referring to this point then read.) The Japanese minister will therefore understand that the period of the opening of these ports does not rest entirely with the Tycoon, and that it is quite within the competence of the foreign powers to withdraw the concessions made in 1862 whenever they see fit to do so.

Japanese ministers. We regret that we have not kept all the conditions of the London agreement of 1862, but we trust that the foreign governments will indulgently consider the difficulties of our position.

Foreign representatives. We cannot hold out the hope that the indulgence of the foreign governments in respect to Hiogo will be much longer continued. How can the foreign governments take into consideration the alleged difficulties of the Tycoon so long as it is impossible to understand in what these consist, and the Tycoon’s ministers withhold all explanation respecting them? The reticence of the Tycoon’s ministers is an old subject of complaint. Again, the foreign governments must be satisfied that their indulgence is not abused by the Tycoon’s government. What good reason can the latter give for not having removed those restrictions on trade and intercourse which they are bound to do by the London agreement? The very first condition, the revocation of the old law outlawing foreigners, has not yet been complied with.

A discussion here arose among the Japanese as to the correct translation into their language of that passage in the London convention of 1862 which relates to the last-named subject. After advancing several contradictory statements, the Japanese minister finally declared that the law in question had been repealed twenty or thirty years ago, and that the revocation had again been repeated at a later date, which he could not remember. He would satisfy himself on that point, and inform the foreign representatives.

Foreign representatives. The revocation of this old law is only one of the various conditions of the London agreement. Most of the restrictions on trade which should have been abolished both by the agreement and by treaty still exist, and I must repeat that on this ground alone the foreign governments can at any time claim the opening of Hiogo and Osacca irrespective of the payment of the indemnity of the convention of 1864.

Netherlands consul general. And I must distinctly remind the Japanese minister that the Netherlands government can demand the opening of Hiogo at any moment, as, although they gave their consent to the postponement agreed to by her Britannic Majesty’s government, that concession was never formally communicated to the ministers of the Tycoon.

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Foreign representatives. We are anxious that the Japanese minister should carefully consider the proposals that have been made to him. If they are rejected by the Tycoon’s government, and the speedy opening of Hiogo and Osacca refused, we shall have to represent to our respective governments our belief as to whether the Tycoon’s government have good reasons for this refusal. Our governments will then consider whether they will insist upon their right to demand the opening of this and other ports on the ground of the non-fulfilment of the conditions of the London agreement of 1862. If, therefore, the Japanese ministers delay the opening of these ports, they may find themselves called upon to yield the point without being able to secure the advantage now offered them of a remission of two-thirds of the indemnity. The foreign governments can demand both the opening of Hiogo and Osacca and the payment of the indemnity, and yet are willing at the present time to forego the latter if the Tycoon’s government will give a proof of friendliness and of their wish to encourage trade by voluntarily opening the ports themselves. The Japanese ministers should, therefore, clearly see that their advantage lies in giving favorable consideration to the proposals now made to them. We cannot perceive that the opening of Hiogo and Osacca, under present circumstances, can be either difficult or injurious to the Tycoon. On the contrary, by conceding this point promptly, he will strengthen the friendship of the foreign powers, may secure the remission of $2,000,000, and may avoid finding himself in the position of having to open the port unconditionally, upon the demand which the foreign governments, under the agreement of London, are entitled at any time to make. The foreign governments wish to support that of the Tycoon, but they expect to find their friendship and consideration reciprocated. They have reason to believe that this would be done by those Daimios who have expressed themselves anxious to cultivate relations; and the ministers of the Tycoon should bear in mind that there is nothing in the treaties which forbid intercourse with these Daimios at their own ports.

Japanese minister. These arguments place the subject in a new light, and I shall be glad to give them my best consideration. To enable me to do this, I should wish to adjourn this conference until to-morrow at 10 o’clock.

The conference then terminated.

No. 2.


Present: Sir Harry S. Parkes, K. C. B., her Britannic Majesty’s envoy extraordinary and minister plenipotentiary; A. L. C. Portman, esq., charge d’affaires ad interim of the United States; D. de Graeff van Polsbroek, esq., his Netherlandish Majesty’s consul general and political agent; Vice-Admiral George St. Vincent King, C. B., naval commander-in-chief; Idlumi No Kami, a vice-minister and member of the second council, accompanied by a Pometske of high rank.

The vice-minister stated that he had been sent by the Tycoon to meet the foreign representatives in the place of Abe Bungo No Kami, who was prevented by indisposition from keeping the engagement he had made with them on the 11th instant. O. Sasaware Ike No Kami, member of the Sorogio, had also been directed to accompany him, but was prevented, like Abe Bungo No Kami, by sickness, from doing so.

Foreign representatives. It is unfortunate that we should have to deal on each occasion with a fresh envoy.

Japanese ministers. The Tycoon received Abe Bungo No Kami’s report of the conference, on the 11th, with the foreign representatives, and perfectly understood the arguments urged by the latter, and the justice of them. He had some idea of the foreign question before, but has now, for the first time, fully understood it, and is of opinion that it merits grave consideration. The Tycoon earnestly wishes a satisfactory adjustment, and will proceed to Kioto without delay to deliberate with the Mikado, whose sanction is necessary to the steps that have to be taken. Abe Bungo No Kami promised to bring to-day a decisive answer to the proposal of the representatives; but as the Tycoon is unable, himself, to come to a determination, without previously obtaining the approval of the Mikado, he will proceed to Kioto for that purpose. We hope the representatives will wait a few days to admit of our obtaining a final answer.

Foreign representatives. Are we to understand these remarks to mean that the Tycoon has not yet explained to the Mikado the state of foreign relations, or applied for the approval of the treaties?

Japanese ministers. The Tycoon may have spoken with the Mikado in general terms about foreign relations, but the difficulty as to the sanction of the latter to the treaties still exists. It is with the view of obtaining this sanction that the Tycoon now proposes to visit Kioto.

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Foreign representatives. But the Tycoon has only just returned from Kioto, where he staid a week, and his interview with the Mikado was assigned as the cause of the delay which occurred in sending Abe Bungo No Kami to meet the foreign representatives.

Japanese ministers. That is true; but the late audience had more reference to the affairs of Choshu than to foreign relations.

Foreign representatives. How long will it take to learn the result of this second audience?

Japanese ministers. As the Tycoon will be unable to leave until the day after to-morrow, and will take two days to go up and the same time to return, and as the negotiations at Kioto will take some time, we wish you to delay your departure for fifteen days.

Foreign representatives. As the Tycoon has so much difficulty in explaining matters at, Kioto, perhaps it would be as well if the representatives were to accompany him there.

Japanese ministers. That would seriously complicate matters; it would alarm the people and provoke the violence of the hostile party. The Tycoon himself will really proceed to Kioto for the purpose of fully explaining matters in person to the Mikado.

Foreign Representatives. Are we positively to understand that during the year that has elapsed since the Tycoon undertook to obtain the Mikado’s sanction to the treaties he has done nothing to effect this measure?

Japanese ministers. That is not so. The Tycoon has always been endeavoring to arrive at this result; but in consequence of the many difficulties he has had to contend with, he has not hitherto been able to succeed.

Foreign representatives. Can the Tycoon himself secure the Mikado’s sanction to the treaties, or does it depend on the Mikado’s pleasure to give or withhold it?

Japanese ministers. The Tycoon will explain the matter fully to the Mikado, and will use every endeavor to obtain this sanction.

Foreign representatives. If the Tycoon represents matters clearly to the Mikado, will the Mikado then give his sanction?

Japanese minister. The Tycoon will represent affairs in such a manner that the Mikado will be compelled to give his sanction to the treaties.

Foreign representatives. As to Hiogo and the other ports and places named in the treaty, is it necessary for the Mikado’s consent to be first given before these can be opened?

Japanese minister. Yes, the Tycoon must first obtain the Mikado’s consent.

Foreign representatives. In the event, however, of the Mikado’s consent being refused, can the Tycoon, in the exercise of his own authority, open these ports?

Japanese ministers. The Tycoon will certainly succeed on this occasion in obtaining the Mikado’s consent.

Foreign representatives. On the subject of the revision of the tariff, must the Tycoon also first refer to Kioto for the Mikado’s orders?

Japanese ministers. Matters relating to the customs need not be referred to the Mikado, as they are not considered to be of sufficient importance. Formerly the Tycoon had the power as ruler of the empire to open ports, but now that the state of affairs has changed the Mikado’s consent must first be obtained.

Foreign representatives. You of course do not intend us to infer from these remarks any inability on the part of the Tycoon to give effect to the engagements he has contracted?

Japanese miinisters. The Mikado must first give his sanction to the treaties that have already been concluded. This is required to enable the Tycoon to faithfully carry out his Obligations. It is to the absence of this sanction that any failure on the Tycoon’s part to fulfil his obligations is to be attributed, and also all the troubles in respect to foreign relations which have hitherto occurred. I regret that formerly the sanction of the Mikado to the treaties was not required, because the Tycoon himself held sovereign powers, (literally, was the King Oi of the country;) but in the present state of affairs, he cannot enter into any new treaties or even carry out all the engagements of those already made without the approval of the Mikado.

Foreign representatives. If that be the state of affairs it is of vital importance to the Tycoon to obtain the Mikado’s approval. Unless he does so and proves to foreign governments that he is really charged with the conduct of foreign affairs, his position will become as subordinate as that of an ordinary Daimios.

Japanese ministers. This is perfectly true, and it is precisely because the Tycoon understands this contingency, that he now intends to leave at once for Kioto in order to settle this point with the Mikado.

Foreign representatives. The Tycoon, however, and the Mikado also, must clearly understand that whether the treaty powers have in future to deal either with one or the other, they will insist upon the strict fulfilment of the treaties. If the Tycoon wishes to be regarded as the governing power, he must be careful to take whatever steps are necessary to make his power complete. From what the Japanese minister says, this sanction of the Mikado to the Tycoon’s past acts and his authority for the future control of foreign affairs appears indispensible, and we trust in his own interest that he will succeed in obtaining it. We wish to put a question as to that clause of the London agreement of 1862 which provides that the Daimios may trade at the open ports through their own agents. The necessary [Page 274] permission appears, however, to have been withheld. Is this attributable to the Tycoon’s action?

Japanese minister. The Tycoon can give this permission, but it would not be convenient to exercise Ms right in this respect as long as the Mikado withholds his consent to the treaties. So many complications are occasioned by the want of this consent, that we consider the time has come when it cannot longer be deferred, and the Tycoon will now come to a definite understanding with the Mikado.

Foreign representatives. We do not comprehend the necessity for these repeated delays in effecting this understanding, or, considering the proximity of Kioto, why such a protracted interval as fifteen days should be required on the present occasion. We cannot consent to wait so long.

Japanese minister. I am unable to state the exact time the Tycoon will require to obtain the Mikado’s sanction to the treaties, but he is most anxious that no time should be lost. Matters have now been brought to a crisis, and your arrival with ships in these waters leads the Tycoon to suppose that you may wish to go on to Kioto yourselves unless he can effect a satisfactory arrangement.

Foreign representatives. It is indispensable that we should ascertain what powers the Tycoon really possesses—whether the government of the country is in his hands, and whether he is the friend to foreign governments which he professes to be. If he cannot satisfy us on these points, we shall then have to consider how and where we are to seek the real government—whether at Kioto or elsewhere.

Japanese ministers. The Tycoon, in order to keep up friendly relations with the treaty powers, and indeed to maintain the existence of his government, must obtain the Mikado’s sanction to the treaties. If he fails in this, then he will lose his power and sink into a position something resembling that of a Daimio. I hope, therefore, that the foreign representatives will wait here for fifteen days, as that time is really necessary for the Tycoon’s negotiations with the Mikado.

Foreign representatives. We regret that the Tycoon has not made greater efforts during the year that has elapsed, since the foreign representatives in October last urged upon him, both in writing and through the Sorogio, the gravity of the situation.

Japanese minister. The Tycoon, in consequence of internal dissensions, has hitherto been unable to direct his whole attention to foreign relations; but seeing that moderate measures are of no avail, he will now insist upon obtaining the Mikado’s consent without further delay.

Foreign representatives. We will consider the time that we will agree to wait for the Tycoon’s reply, but as we have waited here ten days already, we certainly cannot consent to remain fifteen days more. We might possibly agree to a delay of eight or ten days at the outside, and in the interval we may find it convenient to visit Simonoseki or other places in the Inland Sea.

Dutch consul general. An agent of a Daimio called upon me in 1858 to inquire if his master could enter into direct trading relations with Holland, as he himself wished and was ready to do so.

Japanese minister. There are other Daimios who would probably wish to do the same, but the Tycoon cannot give them permission to open their ports without the Mikado’s consent.

Foreign representatives. To judge from the representations said to have come from the several Daimios, they believe they can dispense with this permission and consider that they have the right to control their own trade, foreign or otherwise, in their own territories.

Japanese minister. I am sorry to hear that such representations should have been made. It would be contrary to a mandate from Kioto, which forbids the Daimios to open their ports. Having informed you of the necessity the Tycoon is under to go to Kioto to discuss the confirmation of the treaties by the Mikado, I wish to take my leave.

Foreign representatives. We cordially hope that success may attend the Tycoon’s negotiations. The foreign governments will have to judge of his power and good will by Ms actions. Again, however, let us warn you that the treaties he has concluded must be faithfully kept by the ruling power of Japan, in whomsoever it may be vested.

The conference then terminated.

No. 3.

It has been represented to her Britannic Majesty’s minister in Japan by the ministers of the Tycoon, and to her Majesty’s government by the envoys who have been sent to England by the Tycoon, that difficulties are experienced by the Tycoon and his ministers in giving effect to their engagements with foreign powers having treaties with Japan, in consequence of the opposition offered by a party in Japan which is hostile to all intercourse with foreigners.

Her Majesty’s government having taken these representations into consideration, are prepared, [Page 275] on the conditions hereinafter specified, to consent to defer for a period of five years, to commence from the 1st of January, 1863, the fulfilment of those portions of the third article of the treaty between Great Britain and Japan, of the 26th of August, 1858, which provides for the opening to British subjects of the port of Neegata, or some other convenient port on the west coast of Hiogo, on the first day of January, 1866, and of the port of Hiogo on the first day of January, 1863; and for the residents of British subjects in the city of Yedo from the first day of January, 1862, and in the city of Osacca from the first day of January, 1863.

Her Majesty’s government, in order to give to the Japanese ministers the time those ministers consider necessary to eoable them to overcome the opposition now existing, are willing to make these large concessions of their right under treaty, but they expect that the Tycoon and his ministers will in all other respects strictly execute at the ports of Nagasaki, Hakodadi, and Kanagawa, all the other stipulations of the treaty. That they will publicly revoke the old law outlawing foreigners, and that they will specially abolish and do away with—

1st. All restrictions, whether as regards quantity or price, on the sale by Japanese to foreigners of all kinds of merchandise, according to article XIV of the treaty of the 26th of August, 1858.

2d. All restrictions on labor, and more particularly on the hire of carpenters, boatmen, boats and coolies, teachers, and servants, of whatever denomination.

3d. All restrictions whereby Daimios are prevented from sending their produce to market, and from selling the same directly by their own agents.

4th. All restrictions resulting from attempt on the part of the custom-house authorities and other officials to obtain fees,

6th. All restrictions limiting the classes of persons who shall be allowed to trade with foreigners at the ports of Nagasaki, Hakodadi, and Kanagawa.

6th. All restrictions imposed on free intercourse of a social kind between foreigners and the people of Japan.

In default of the strict fulfilment by the Tycoon and his ministers of these conditions, which, indeed, are none other than those they are already bound by treaty to fulfil, her Majesty’s government will, at any time within the aforesaid period of five years, commencing from the 1st of January, 1863, be entitled to withdraw the concessions in regard to the ports and cities made by this memorandum, and to call upon the Tycoon and his ministers to carry out, without delay, the whole of the provisions of the treaty of August 26, 1858, and specifically to open the aforesaid ports and cities for the trade and residence of British subjects.

The envoys of the Tycoon accredited to her Britannic Majesty announce their intention, on their return to Japan, to submit to the Tycoon and his ministers the policy and expediency of opening to foreign commerce the port of T’susima, in Japan, as a measure by which the interests of Japan will be materially promoted, and they engage to suggest to the Tycoon and his ministers to evince their good will to the nations of Europe, and their desire to extend commerce between Japan and Europe by reducing the duties on wines and spirits imported into Japan, and by permitting glassware to be inserted in the list of articles on which an import duty of five per cent, is levied, and thereby remedying an omission inadvertently made on the conclusion of the treaty. And they further engage to recommend to the Tycoon and his ministers to make arrangements for the establishment at Yokohama and Nagasaki of warehouses, in which goods coming from abroad may be deposited under the control of Japanese officers, without payment of duties, until such time as the importers shall obtain purchasers for such goods, and be prepared to remove them on payment of the import duties.

Her Britannic Majesty’s principal secretary of state for foreign affairs and the envoys of the Tycoon have accordingly signed this memorandum, which will be transmitted by the former to her Majesty’s representative in Japan, and by the latter to the Tycoon and his ministers, as an evidence of the arrangement made between them on the sixth day of June, .1862.


(Signatures of the three Japanese envoys.)