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Gyokusen-ji Buddhist Temple in Shimoda City was the first US Consulate General in Japan.

Matthew Perry, an American naval officer came to Uraga, Kanagawa Prefecture, Japan, with four battle ships to hand a diplomatic message from the President of the United States. This message, demanding Japan to open its borders to the US, was addressed to the shogun. The then Tokugawa Shogun prolonged the answer, hence Perry once withdrew to Hong Kong and came back to Uraga with nine battle ships six months later. The shogun was obliged to conclude a treaty, named Kanagawa treaty, with the US. At long last, Japan gave up the national isolation policy in1854. Based on this treaty, Japan and the US reached the agreement to establish Japan’s first US Consulate General in Shimoda, located on the southern tip of the Izu Peninsula. Perry’s squadron moved to Shimoda from Uraga immediately, and started the negotiation with Japan to make the detailed rules of Kanagawa treaty. They stayed in Shimoda for 70 days to do so. The first photo shows the place of Shimoda where Perry landed. An old painting in the second photo depicts Japanese and the US representatives assembling in the grounds of Ryosen-ji Temple in Shimoda, where both the countries drew up the bylaws for the establishment of the consulate. The third photo is Ryosen-ji Temple in Shimoda, the first US Consulate General in Japan established in 1856.

Licensed tour guide, travel consultant,

Masahisa Takaki.

全国通訳案内士 高木聖久。


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