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"Commodore Perry proceeded, in one of the most difficult, skillful, and significant naval/diplomatic missions ever recorded, to negotiate a trade treaty with the Japanese, hitherto absolutely opposed to opening their country to Western trade and influence."
I am not sure this is entirely accurate; it was a treaty negotiated with the Japanese looking down the barrels of quite a few guns. I would like to see a citation for this. Cripipper 13:50, 25 October 2007 (UTC)
Same problem with the sentence. It was an act of war, an aggression, not a diplomatic affair. You don't send 4 military ships, you don't use the threat of your firearms for a diplomatic mission. Add to this that it was not a negotiation, as Perry stated immediately that discussions would be made on his own terms only !
Moreover, the Japanese were not "absolutely opposed" to the opening of the country. There was actually a growing discontent among the japanese population about the seclusion of the country, a mood that was mainly crushed by the american aggression. It would be good to have a more critical, les partisan view of this section.