April 8, 1879

Washington, D.C.


A Proclamation.


Whereas a convention between the United States of America and His Majesty the Emperor of Japan, revising certain portion of existing commercial treaties and further extending commercial intercourse between the United States and Japan, was concluded and signed by their respective plenipotentiaries at the city of Washington on the 25th day of July, in the year of our Lord 1878, the English text of which convention is, word for word, as follows:  Convention revising certain portions of existing commercial treaties and further extending commercial intercourse between the United States and Japan.


The President of the United States of America, and his Majesty the Emperor of Japan, both animated with the desire of maintaining the good relations which have so happily subsisted between their respective countries, and wishing to strengthen, if possible, the bond of friendship, and to extend and consolidate commercial intercourse between the two countries by means of an additional convention, have for that purpose names as their respective plenipotentiaries; that is to say, the President of the United States, William Maxwell Evarts, Secretary of State of the United States, and His Majesty the Emperor of Japan, Jushie Yoshida Kiyonari, of the order of the Rising sun, and of the Third Class, and His Majesty’s Envoy Extraordinary and Minister Plenipotentiary to the United States of America, who, after reciprocal communication of their full powers, found in good and due form, have agreed upon the following articles:




It is agreed by the Yedo on the 25th day of June, 1866, or the 13th of the fifth month of the second year of Kelo, by the respective representatives of the United States, Great Britain, France, and Holland on the one hand and Japan on the other, together with the schedules of tariff on imports and exports and the bonded warehouse regulations, both of which are attached to the said convention, shall hereby be annulled and become inoperative as between the United States and Japan under the condition expressed in Article X of this present convention; and all such provisions of the treaty of 1858, or  the fifth year of Ansci, signed at Yedo, as appertain to the regulations of harbors, customs, and taxes, as well as the whole of the trade regulations which are attached to the said treaty of 1858, of the fifth year of Ansci, shall also cease to operate.


It is further understood and agreed that from the time when this present convention shall take effect the United States will recognize the exclusive power and right of the Japanese government to adjust the customs tariff and taxes and to establish regulations appertaining to foreign commerce in the open ports of Japan.




It is, however, further agreed that no other or higher duties shall be imposed on the importation into Japan of all articles of merchandise from the United States than are or may be imposed upon the life articles of any other foreign country; and if the Japanese government should prohibit the exportation from, or importation into, its domains of any particular article or articles, such prohibition shall not be discriminatory against the products, vessels, or citizens of the United States.




It is further agreed that as the United States charge no export duties on merchandise shipped to Japan, no export duties on merchandise shipped in the latter country for the United States shall be charged after this treaty shall go into effect.




It is further stipulated and agreed that, so long as the first three sentences which are comprised in the first paragraph of article 6 of the treaty of 1858, or the fifth year of Ansci, shall be in force, all claims by the Japanese government for forfeitures or penalties for violations of such existing treaty as well as for violations of the customs, bonded warehouse, and harbor regulations, which may under this convention, from time to time, be established by that government, shall be sued for in the consular courts of the United States, whose duty it shall be to try each and every case fairly, and render judgment in accordance with the provisions of such treaty and of such regulations, and the amount of all forfeitures, and fines shall be delivered to the Japanese authorities.




It is understood and declared by the high contracting parties that the right of controlling the coasting trade of Japan belongs solely and shall be strictly reserved to the government of that Empire.




It is, however, agreed that vessels of the United States arriving at any port of Japan open to foreign commerce, may unload, in conformity with the customs laws of that country, such portions of their cargoes as may be desired, and that they may depart with the remainder, without paying any duties, imposts, or charges whatsoever, except for that part which shall have been landed, and which shall be so noted on the manifest.  The said vessels may continue their voyage to one or more open ports of Japan; there to land the part or residue of their cargoes desired to be landed at such port or ports.  It is understood, however, that all duties, imposts, or charge whatsoever, which are or may become chargeable upon the vessels themselves, are to be paid only at the first port where they shall break bulk or unload part of their cargo; and that at any subsequent port used in the same voyage only the local port charges shall be exacted for the use of such port.




In view of the concessions made by the United States in regard to the customs tariff, and the customs and other regulations of Japan, as above stipulated in Article I, the government of Japan will, on the principle of reciprocity, make the following concessions, to wit:  That two additional ports (whereof one shall be Shimo-no-seki, and the other shall be hereafter decided upon by the contracting parties jointly), from the date when the present convention may go into effect, shall be open to citizens and vessels of the United States for the purposes of residence and trade.




It is also agreed that, as the occasion for Article V of the treaty of 1858, or the fifth year of Anaci, between the two countries is considered to have passed away, that article shall, after the present treaty shall have gone into effect, be regarded as no longer binding.




It is further agreed that such of the provisions of the treaties or conventions heretofore concluded between the two countries and not herein expressly abrogated as conflict with any provisions of the present convention are hereby revoked and annulled;   that the present convention shall be considered to be and form a part of the existing treaties between the two countries;  that the revision of such portions of the said treaties as are not modified or revoked by the present convention, as also the revision of the present convention itself, may be demanded hereafter by either of the high contracting parties;  and that this convention, as well as the previous treaty as modified thereby, shall continue in force until, upon such a revision of the whole, or any part thereof, it shall be otherwise provided.




The present convention shall take effect when Japan shall have concluded such conventions or revisions of existing treaties with all the other treaty Powers, holding relations with Japan as shall be similar in effect to the present convention and such new conventions or revisions shall also go into effect.


The present convention shall be ratified and the ratifications shall be exchanged at Washington as soon as may be within fifteen months from the date hereof.


In faith whereof the above-named Plenipotentiaries have hereunto set their  hands and seals, at the city of Washington, this 25th day of July, 1878, or 25th day of the seventh month of the eleventh year of Meiji.





And whereas the said convention has been duly ratified on both parts, and the respective ratifications of the same were exchanged in the city of Washington on the 8th day of April 1879.


Now, therefore, be it known that I, Rutherford B. Hayes, President of the United States of America, have caused the said convention to be made public, to the end that the same and every clause and article thereof may be observed and fulfilled with good faith by the United States and the citizens thereof.


In witness whereof I have hereunto set my hand and caused the seal of the United States to be affixed.


Done at the city of Washington, this 8th day of April, in the year of our Lord 1879, and of the Independence of the United States the 103d.


By the President:




Secretary of the State.


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