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History, Politics & Society
World War 2
Pearl Harbor
Japan in WW2

How was the relation between the US and the Japanese before Pearl Harbor?

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February 10, 2011 1:17AM

Japan used to be a closed country and would only allow trade with China and the Dutch. They viewed Americans as barbarians.

The U.S. had natural interests in the Pacific. They wanted to use Japan as a place to resupply on their way to China.

To open Japan the U.S. used Blackship Diplomacy. Naval leader Matthew C. Perry traveled to Japan by way of the traditional Atlantic route with 4 American Gunships and a letter from the President. Japan recognized force and Japan was opened. 2 ports would be open for American whalers and have 2 "embassies" or places to stay. This was referred to the Treaty of Peace and Amnesty.

In 1858 Townsend Harris came to Japan to negotiate trade. The Treaty of Amity and Commerce was signed and other countries like Britain and Russia could trade with Japan now.

The western impact caused a collapse of the Japanese government.