Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Documents in History: 1862 London Protocol

First Japanese Mission to Europe (1862)
With rising unpopularity of foreigners in Japan, causing violence, the Tokugawa Shogunate and the British government agreed in 1862 to postpone of the opening of the designated ports of the 1858 Anglo-Japanese Commercial Treaty. Explore the contents of the agreement bellow.

London Protocol, June, 1862
(Signed by Earl Russell and the Japanese Envoys, June 6, 1862.)

It has been represent 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 those representations into consideration, are prepared, on the conditions hereinafter specified, to consent to defer for a period of five years, to commence from the 1st of January, 1863, the fulfillment of those portions of the IIIrd Article of the Treaty between Great Britain and Japan of the 26th of August, 1858, which provide for the opening to British subjects of the port of Ni-igata or some other convenient port on the West Coast of Nipon on the 1st day of January, 1860, and of the port of Hiogo on the 1st day of January, 1863, and for the residence of British subjects in the city of Yedo from the 1st day of January, 1862, and in the city of Osaka from the 1st day of January, 1863.

Her Majesty’s Government, in order to give to the Japanese Ministers the time those Ministers consider necessary to enable them to overcome the opposition now existing, are willing to make these large concessions of their rights under Treaty; but they expect that the Tycoon and his Ministers will in all other respects strictly execute at the ports of Nagasaki, Hakodate, and Kanagawa, all the other stipulations of the Treaty; that they will publicly revoke the old law outlawing foreigners; and that they will specifically abolish and do away with –

1. – 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.

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

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

4. – All restrictions resulting from attempts on the part of the Custom-house authorities and other officials to obtain fees.

5. – All restriction limiting the classes of persons who shall be allowed to trade with foreigners at the ports of Nagasaki, Hakodate, and Kanagawa.

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

In default of the strict fulfillment by the Tycoon and his Ministers of these conditions, which, indeed, are no other than those which 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 26th, 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 Tsushima 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 goodwill 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 glass-ware to be inserted in the list of articles on which an import duty of 5 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 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 this 6th day of June, 1862.

(Signed) Earl Russell.
Takenouchi Shimotsuke no Kami
Matsudaira Yewami no Kami
Kiogoku Noto no Kami 

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