Who Was the American Naval Officer Who Opened Japan up to Trade?


Quick Answer

United States Naval Officer Commodore Matthew Calbraith Perry negotiated a treaty that opened up Japan to trade with the United States of American on March 31, 1854. He negotiated with Japanese officials for months to facilitate trade between the two countries.

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Full Answer

Perry arrived off the coast of Japan, in Tokyo Bay, on July 31, 1853 and spent months waiting to propose his treaty to the Japanese emperor. Before the trade treaty was signed, Japan had been closed to international trade, with the exception of Dutch and Chinese dealings, for over 200 years. The United States wanted to open trade relations with Japan for coal to fuel whaling expeditions.

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