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Ansei Treaties

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Treaties of Amity and Commerce between Japan and the United States, Russia, France, the United Kingdom and the Netherlands, 1858.
The Ryōsen-ji Temple in Shimoda, where the US-Japan Treaty of Amity and Commerce, the first of the Ansei Treaties, was signed in July 1858.
Signature of the Franco-Japanese treaty in October 1858 in Edo, the last of the Ansei Treaties to be signed.

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.[1] The first treaty, also called the Harris Treaty, was signed by the United States in July 1858, with France, Russia, Britain and the Netherlands quickly followed within the year: Japan applied to the 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 the 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 legal system.
  • Fixed low import-export duties, subject to international control, thus preventing the Japanese government from asserting control over 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:

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Auslin, p.1


  • Auslin, Michael R. (2004). Negotiating with Imperialism: The Unequal Treaties and the Culture of Japanese Diplomacy. Cambridge: Harvard University Press. ISBN 978-0-674-01521-0; OCLC 56493769

Further reading[edit]

  • Omoto Keiko, Marcouin Francis (1990) Quand le Japon s'ouvrit au monde (French) Gallimard, Paris, ISBN 2-07-076084-7
  • Polak, Christian. (2001). Soie et lumières: L'âge d'or des échanges franco-japonais (des origines aux années 1950). Tokyo: Chambre de Commerce et d'Industrie Française du Japon, Hachette Fujin Gahōsha (アシェット婦人画報社).
  • __________. (2002). 絹と光: 知られざる日仏交流100年の歴史 (江戶時代-1950年代) Kinu to hikariō: shirarezaru Nichi-Futsu kōryū 100-nen no rekishi (Edo jidai-1950-nendai). Tokyo: Ashetto Fujin Gahōsha, 2002. ISBN 978-4-573-06210-8; OCLC 50875162

See also[edit]