Japanese economic miracle
The Japanese economic miracle is known as Japan's record period of economic growth between the post-World War II era to the end of the Cold War. During the economic boom, Japan became the world's second largest economy. By the 1990s, Japan's demographics began stagnating and the workforce was no longer expanding as it did in previous decades, despite per-worker productivity remaining high; this economic miracle was the result of post-World War II Japan and West Germany benefiting from the Cold War. It occurred chiefly due to the economic interventionism of the Japanese government and due to the aid and assistance of the U. S. Marshall Plan. After World War II, the U. S. established a significant presence in Japan to slow the expansion of Soviet influence in the Pacific. The U. S. was concerned with the growth of the economy of Japan because there was a risk after World War II that an unhappy and poor Japanese population would turn to communism and by doing so, it can ensure that the Soviet Union would control the Pacific.
The distinguishing characteristics of the Japanese economy during the "economic miracle" years included: the cooperation of manufacturers, suppliers and banks in knit groups called keiretsu. The Japanese financial recovery continued after SCAP departed and the economic boom propelled by the Korean War abated; the Japanese economy survived from the deep recession caused by a loss of the U. S. continued to make gains. By the late 1960s, Japan had risen from the ashes of World War II to achieve an astoundingly rapid and complete economic recovery. According to Mikiso Hane, the period leading up to the late 1960s saw "the greatest years of prosperity Japan had seen since the Sun Goddess shut herself up behind a stone door to protest her brother Susano-o's misbehavior." The Japanese government contributed to the post-war Japanese economic miracle by stimulating private sector growth, first by instituting regulations and protectionism that managed economic crises and by concentrating on trade expansion.
Japanese economic miracle refers to the significant increase in the Japanese economy during the time between the end of World War II and the end of the Cold War. The economical miracle can be divided into four stages: the recovery, the high increase, the steady increase, the low increase. Though destroyed by the nuclear bombardment in Hiroshima and Nagasaki, other Allied air raids on Japan, Japan was able to recover from the trauma of WWII, managed to become the second largest economic entity of the world by the 1960s. However, after three decades, Japan had experienced the so-called "recession in growth", as the United States had been imposing economic protection policy in oppressing Japanese production and forcing the appreciation of the Japanese yen. In preventing further oppression, Japan improved its technological advances and raised the value of the yen, since to devalue, the yen would have brought further risk and a possible depressing effect on trade; the appreciation of the yen led to significant economic recession in the 1980s.
To alleviate the influence of recession, Japan imposed a series of economical and financial policy to stimulate the domestic demand. The bubble economy that took place in the late 1980s and early 1990s and the subsequent deflationary policy destroyed the Japanese economy. After the deflationary policy, the Japanese economy has been through a time of low increase period which has lasted until today. For more detailed information regarding this period, see Economic history of Japan and Lost Decade. Japan was harmed in WWII. For instance, during wartime, "the Japanese cotton industry was brought to its knees by the end of the Second World War. Two-thirds of its prewar cotton spindles were scrapped by wartime administrators, bombing and destruction of urban areas had caused a further loss of 20 percent of spinning and 14 percent of weaving capacity". Nonetheless, the ability of recovery astonished the world, earning the title of "Japanese Economic Miracle". By and large, every country has experienced some degree of industrial growth in the postwar period, those countries that achieved a heavy drop in industrial output due to war damage such as Japan, West Germany and Italy, have achieved a most rapid recovery.
In the case of Japan, industrial production decreased in 1946 to 27.6% of the pre-war level, but recovered in 1951 and reached 350% in 1960. One reason for Japan's quick recovery from war trauma was the successful economic reform by the government; the government body principally concerned with industrial policy in Japan was the Ministry of International Trade and Industry. One of the major economic reforms was to adopt the "Inclined Production Mode"; the "Inclined Production Mode" refers to the inclined production that focus on the production of raw material including steel and cotton. Textile production occupied more than 23.9% of the total industrial production. Moreover, to stimulate the production, Japanese government supported the new recruitment of labour female labour. By enhancing the recruitment of female labour, Japan managed to recover from the destruction; the legislation on recruitment contains three components: the restriction placed on regional recruitment and relocation of workers, the banning of the direct recruitment of new school leavers, the direct recruitment of non-school leave
The Sengoku period is a period in Japanese history marked by social upheaval, political intrigue and near-constant military conflict. Japanese historians named it after the otherwise unrelated Warring States period in China, it was initiated by the Ōnin War, which collapsed the Japanese feudal system under the Ashikaga shogunate, came to an end when the system was re-established under the Tokugawa shogunate by Tokugawa Ieyasu. During this period, although the Emperor of Japan was the ruler of his nation and every lord swore loyalty to him, he was a marginalized and religious figure who delegated power to the shōgun, a noble, equivalent to a generalissimo. In the years preceding this era the Shogunate lost influence and control over the daimyōs. Although the Ashikaga shogunate had retained the structure of the Kamakura shogunate and instituted a warrior government based on the same social economic rights and obligations established by the Hōjō with the Jōei Code in 1232, it failed to win the loyalty of many daimyōs those whose domains were far from the capital, Kyoto.
Many of these Lords began to fight uncontrollably with each other for control over land and influence over the shogunate. As trade with Ming China grew, the economy developed, the use of money became widespread as markets and commercial cities appeared. This, combined with developments in agriculture and small-scale trading, led to the desire for greater local autonomy throughout all levels of the social hierarchy; as early as the beginning of the 15th century, the suffering caused by earthquakes and famines served to trigger armed uprisings by farmers weary of debt and taxes. The Ōnin War, a conflict rooted in economic distress and brought on by a dispute over shogunal succession, is regarded as the onset of the Sengoku period; the "eastern" army of the Hosokawa family and its allies clashed with the "western" army of the Yamana. Fighting in and around Kyoto lasted for nearly 11 years, leaving the city completely destroyed; the conflict in Kyoto spread to outlying provinces. The period culminated with a series of three warlords, Oda Nobunaga, Toyotomi Hideyoshi, Tokugawa Ieyasu, who unified Japan.
After Tokugawa Ieyasu's final victory at the siege of Osaka in 1615, Japan settled down into several centuries of peace under the Tokugawa shogunate. The Ōnin War in 1467 is considered the starting point of the Sengoku period. There are several events which could be considered the end of it: Nobunaga's entry to Kyoto or abolition of the Muromachi shogunate, the Siege of Odawara, the Battle of Sekigahara, the establishment of the Tokugawa Shogunate, or the Siege of Osaka; the upheaval resulted in the further weakening of central authority, throughout Japan regional lords, called daimyōs, rose to fill the vacuum. In the course of this power shift, well-established clans such as the Takeda and the Imagawa, who had ruled under the authority of both the Kamakura and Muromachi bakufu, were able to expand their spheres of influence. There were many, whose positions eroded and were usurped by more capable underlings; this phenomenon of social meritocracy, in which capable subordinates rejected the status quo and forcefully overthrew an emancipated aristocracy, became known as gekokujō, which means "low conquers high".
One of the earliest instances of this was Hōjō Sōun, who rose from humble origins and seized power in Izu Province in 1493. Building on the accomplishments of Sōun, the Late Hōjō clan remained a major power in the Kantō region until its subjugation by Toyotomi Hideyoshi late in the Sengoku period. Other notable examples include the supplanting of the Hosokawa clan by the Miyoshi, the Toki by the Saitō, the Shiba clan by the Oda clan, in turn replaced by its underling, Toyotomi Hideyoshi, a son of a peasant with no family name. Well-organized religious groups gained political power at this time by uniting farmers in resistance and rebellion against the rule of the daimyōs; the monks of the Buddhist True Pure Land sect formed numerous Ikkō-ikki, the most successful of which, in Kaga Province, remained independent for nearly 100 years. After nearly a century of political instability and warfare, Japan was on the verge of unification by Oda Nobunaga, who had emerged from obscurity in the province of Owari to dominate central Japan, when in 1582 Oda was assassinated by one of his generals, Akechi Mitsuhide.
This in turn provided Toyotomi Hideyoshi, who had risen through the ranks from ashigaru to become one of Oda's most trusted generals, with the opportunity to establish himself as Oda's successor. Toyotomi consolidated his control over the remaining daimyōs and, although he was ineligible for the title of Sei-i Taishōgun because of his common birth, ruled as Kampaku. During his short reign as Kampaku, Toyotomi attempted two invasions of Korea; the first spanning from 1592 to 1596 was successful but suffered setbacks to end in stalemate. When Toyotomi died in 1598 without leaving a capable successor, the country was once again thrust into political turmoil, this time Tokugawa Ieyasu took advantage of the opportunity. Toyotomi had on his deathbed appointed a group of the most powerful lords in Japan—Tokugawa, Maeda Toshiie, Ukita Hideie, Uesugi Kagekatsu, Mōri Terumoto—to govern as the Council of
The Asuka period was a period in the history of Japan lasting from 538 to 710, although its beginning could be said to overlap with the preceding Kofun period. The Yamato polity evolved during the Asuka period, named after the Asuka region, about 25 km south of the modern city of Nara; the Asuka period is characterized by its significant artistic and political transformations, having their origins in the late Kofun period but affected by the arrival of Buddhism from China. The introduction of Buddhism marked a change in Japanese society; the Asuka period is distinguished by the change in the name of the country from Wa to Nihon. The term "Asuka period" was first used to describe a period in the history of Japanese fine-arts and architecture, it was proposed by fine-arts scholars Sekino Tadasu and Okakura Kakuzō around 1900. Sekino dated the Asuka period as ending with the Taika Reform of 646. Okakura, saw it as ending with the transfer of the capital to the Heijō Palace of Nara. Although historians use Okakura's dating, many historians of art and architecture prefer Sekino's dating and use the term "Hakuhō period" to refer to the successive period.
The Yamato polity was distinguished by powerful great clans or extended families, including their dependents. Each clan was headed by a patriarch who performed sacred rites for the clan's kami to ensure the long-term welfare of the clan. Clan members were the High Nobility, the Imperial line that controlled the Yamato polity was at its pinnacle; the Asuka period, as a sub-division of the Yamato period, is the first time in Japanese history when the Emperor of Japan ruled uncontested from modern-day Nara Prefecture known as Yamato Province. The Yamato polity was concentrated in the Asuka region and exercised power over clans in Kyūshū and Honshū, bestowing titles, some hereditary, on clan chieftains; the Yamato name became synonymous with all of Japan as the Yamato rulers suppressed other clans and acquired agricultural lands. Based on Chinese models, they developed a central administration and an imperial court attended by subordinate clan chieftains but with no permanent capital. By the mid-seventh century, the agricultural lands had grown to a substantial public domain, subject to central policy.
The basic administrative unit of the Gokishichidō system was the county, society was organized into occupation groups. Most people were farmers; the Soga clan intermarried with the imperial family, by 587 Soga no Umako, the Soga chieftain, was powerful enough to install his nephew as emperor and to assassinate him and replace him with the Empress Suiko. Suiko, the first of eight sovereign empresses, is sometimes considered a mere figurehead for Umako and Prince Regent Shōtoku Taishi; however she wielded power in her own right, the role of Shōtoku Taishi is exaggerated to the point of legend. Shōtoku, recognized as a great intellectual of this period of reform, was a devout Buddhist and was well-read in Chinese literature, he was influenced by Confucian principles, including the Mandate of Heaven, which suggested that the sovereign ruled at the will of a supreme force. Under Shōtoku's direction, Confucian models of rank and etiquette were adopted, his Seventeen-article constitution prescribed ways to bring harmony to a chaotic society in Confucian terms.
In addition, Shōtoku adopted the Chinese calendar, developed a system of trade roads, built numerous Buddhist temples, had court chronicles compiled, sent students to China to study Buddhism and Confucianism, sent Ono no Imoko to China as an emissary. Six official missions of envoys and students were sent to China in the seventh century; some remained twenty years or more. The sending of such scholars to learn Chinese political systems showed significant change from envoys in the Kofun period, in which the five kings of Wa sent envoys for the approval of their domains. In a move resented by the Chinese, Shōtoku sought equality with the Chinese emperor by sending official correspondence, addressed, "From the Son of Heaven in the Land of the Rising Sun to the Son of Heaven of the Land of the Setting Sun." Some would argue that Shōtoku's bold step set a precedent: Japan never again accepted a "subordinate" status in its relations with China, except for Ashikaga Yoshimitsu, who accepted such a relationship with China in the 15th century.
As a result, Japan in this period received no title from Chinese dynasties, while they did send tribute. From the Chinese point of view, the class or position of Japan was demoted from previous centuries in which the kings received titles. On the other hand, Japan loosened its political relationships with China and established extraordinary cultural and intellectual relationships. About twenty years after the deaths of Shōtoku Taishi, Soga no Umako, Empress Suiko, court intrigues over succession led to a palace coup in 645 against the Soga clan's monopolized control of the government; the revolt was led by Prince Naka no Ōe and Nakatomi no Kamatari, who seized control of the court from the Soga family and introduced the Taika Reform. The Japanese era corresponding to the years 645–649 was thus named Taika, referring to the Reform, meaning "great change"; the revolt leading to the Taika Reform is called the Isshi Incident, referring to the Chinese zodiac year in which the coup took place
Japanese currency has a history covering the period from the 8th century to the present. After the traditional usage of rice as currency medium, Japan's currency was characterized by an early adoption of currency systems and designs from China before developing a separate system of its own. Before the advent of the 7-8th century CE, Japan used commodity money for its exchanges, it consisted of material, compact transportable and had a recognized value. Commodity money was a great improvement over simple barter, in which commodities were exchanged against others. Ideally, commodity money had to be accepted portable and storable, combined and divided in order to correspond to different values; the main items of commodity money in Japan were rice grains and gold powder. This contrasted somewhat with countries like China, where one of the most important item of commodity money came from the Southern seas: shells. Since however, the shell has become a symbol for money in many Chinese and Japanese ideograms.
The earliest coins to reach Japan were Chinese Ban Liang and Wu Zhu coins as well as the coins produced by Wang Mang during the first centuries of the first millennium, these coins have been excavated all over Japan but as Japan's economy wasn't sufficiently developed at the time it is likely that these coins were more to be used as precious objects rather than a means of exchange as rice and cloth served as the main currency of Japan at the time. The first coins produced in Japan are called the mumonginsen and the copper alloy Fuhonsen which were all introduced in the late seventh century, these currencies were based on the Chinese system and were therefore based on the Chinese units of measurement. In modern times the usage of Fuhonsen has been interpreted as charms rather than currency but recent discoveries have uncovered that these copper coins were in fact the first government-made coinage of Japan. Japan's first formal currency system was the Kōchōsen, it was exemplified by the adoption of the Wadōkaichin.
It was first minted in 708 CE on order of Japan's 43rd Imperial ruler. "Wadōkaichin" is the reading of the four characters printed on the coin, is thought to be composed of the era name Wadō, which could alternatively mean "happiness", "Kaichin", thought to be related to "Currency". The pronunciation of "Kaichin" sounds similar to "happiness" in Chinese "开心"; this coinage was inspired by the Tang coinage named Kaigentsūhō, first minted in Chang'an in 621 CE. The Wadokaichin had the same specifications as the Chinese coin, with a diameter of 2.4 cm and a weight of 3.75g. The main items of commodity money in Japan were arrowheads, rice grains, gold powder, as well as hemp cloth; this contrasted somewhat with countries like China, where one of the important items of commodity money came from the Southern seas: shells. Since however, the shell has become a symbol for money in many Japanese ideograms. Japan's contacts with the Chinese mainland became intense during the Tang period, with many exchanges and cultural imports occurring.
The first Japanese embassy to China is recorded to have been sent in 630, following with Japan, who adopted numerous Chinese cultural practices. The importance of metallic currency appeared to Japanese nobles leading to some coin minting at the end of the 7th century, such as the Tomimotosen coinage, discovered in 1998 through archaeological research in the area of Nara. An entry of the Nihon Shoki dated April 15, 683 mentions: "From now on, copper coins should be used, but silver coins should not be used", thought to order the adoption of the Tomimotosen copper coins; the first official coinage was struck in 708. The Wadōkaichin soon became debased, as the government issued coins with progressively lesser metallic content, local imitations thrived. In 760, a reform was put in place, in which a new copper coin called Mannentsūhō was worth 10 times the value of the former Wadōkaichin, with a new silver coin named Taiheigenbō with a value of 10 copper coins, as well as a new gold coin named Kaikishōhō with a value of 10 silver coins.
Silver minting was soon abandoned however. A variety of coin types are known, altogether 12 types, including one coin type in gold; the Kōchōsen Japanese system of coinage became debased, with its metallic content and value decreasing. By the middle of the 9th century, the value of a coin in rice had fallen to 1/150th of its value of the early 8th century. By the end of the 10th century, compounded with weaknesses in the political system, this led to the abandonment of the national currency, with the return to rice as a currency medium; the last official Japanese coin emission occurred in 958, with low quality coins called Kangendaihō, which soon fell into disuse. The last Kōchōsen coins produced after the Wadōkaichin include: From the 12th century, the expansion of trade and barter again highlighted the need for a currency. Chinese coinage came to be used as the standard currency of Japan, for a period lasting from the 12th to the 17th century. Coins were obtained from China through "Wakō" piracy.
Coins were imported from Annam and Korea. As the Chinese coins were not in sufficient number as trade and economy expanded, local Japanese imitations of Chinese coins were made from the 14th century imitations of Ming coins, with inscribed nam
The Russo-Japanese War was fought during 1904-1905 between the Russian Empire and the Empire of Japan over rival imperial ambitions in Manchuria and Korea. The major theatres of operations were the Liaodong Peninsula and Mukden in Southern Manchuria and the seas around Korea and the Yellow Sea. Russia sought a warm-water port on the Pacific Ocean for maritime trade. Vladivostok was operational only during the summer, whereas Port Arthur, a naval base in Liaodong Province leased to Russia by China, was operational all year. Since the end of the First Sino-Japanese War in 1895, Japan feared Russian encroachment on its plans to create a sphere of influence in Korea and Manchuria. Russia had demonstrated an expansionist policy in the Siberian Far East from the reign of Ivan the Terrible in the 16th century. Seeing Russia as a rival, Japan offered to recognize Russian dominance in Manchuria in exchange for recognition of Korea as being within the Japanese sphere of influence. Russia refused and demanded Korea north of the 39th parallel to be a neutral buffer zone between Russia and Japan.
The Japanese government perceived a Russian threat to its plans for expansion into Asia and chose to go to war. After negotiations broke down in 1904, the Japanese Navy opened hostilities by attacking the Russian Eastern Fleet at Port Arthur, China, in a surprise attack. Russia suffered multiple defeats by Japan, but Tsar Nicholas II was convinced that Russia would win and chose to remain engaged in the war. Russia ignored Japan's willingness early on to agree to an armistice and rejected the idea to bring the dispute to the Arbitration Court at The Hague; the war concluded with the Treaty of Portsmouth, mediated by US President Theodore Roosevelt. The complete victory of the Japanese military surprised world observers; the consequences transformed the balance of power in East Asia, resulting in a reassessment of Japan's recent entry onto the world stage. It was the first major military victory in the modern era of an Asian power over a European one. Scholars continue to debate the historical significance of the war.
After the Meiji Restoration in 1868, the Meiji government endeavored to assimilate Western ideas, technological advances and ways of warfare. By the late 19th century, Japan had transformed itself into a modernized industrial state; the Japanese wanted to be recognized as equal with the Western powers. The Meiji Restoration had been intended to make Japan a modernized state, not a Westernized one, Japan was an imperialist power, looking towards overseas expansionism. In the years 1869–73, the Seikanron had bitterly divided the Japanese elite between one faction that wanted to conquer Korea vs. another that wanted to wait until Japan was more modernized before embarking on a war to conquer Korea. Worse, the Western Powers were conquering small pieces of China and China had dominated Korea with its military for centuries; the Japanese were doing what they could to emulate the West in every way possible, including conqering and occupying its neighbors. In much the same way that Europeans used the "backwardness" of African and Asian nations as a reason for why they had to conquer them, for the Japanese elite the "backwardness" of China and Korea was proof of the inferiority of those nations, thus giving the Japanese the "right" to conquer them.
Inouye Kaoru, the Foreign Minister, gave a speech in 1887 saying "What we must do is to transform our empire and our people, make the empire like the countries of Europe and our people like the peoples of Europe", going to say that the Chinese and Koreans had forfeited their right to be independent by not modernizing. Much of the pressure for an aggressive foreign policy in Japan came from below, with the advocates of "people's rights" movement calling for an elected parliament favoring an ultra-nationalist line that took it for granted the Japanese had the "right" to annex Korea, as the "people's right" movement was led by those who favored invading Korea in the years 1869–73; as part of the modernization process in Japan, Social Darwinian ideas about the "survival of the fittest" were common in Japan from the 1880s onward and many ordinary Japanese resented the heavy taxes imposed by the government to modernize Japan, demanding something tangible like an overseas colony as a reward for their sacrifices.
Furthermore, the educational system of Meiji Japan was meant to train the schoolboys to be soldiers when they grew up, as such, Japanese schools indoctrinated their students into Bushidō, the fierce code of the samurai. Having indoctrinated the younger generations into Bushidō, the Meiji elite found themselves faced with a people who clamored for war, regarded diplomacy as a weakness; the British Japanologist Richard Storry wrote the biggest misconception about Japan in the West was that the Japanese people were the "docile" instruments of the elite, when in fact much of the pressure for Japan's wars from 1894 to 1941 came from below, as ordinary people demanded a "tough" foreign policy, tended to engage in riots and assassination when foreign policy was perceived to be pusillanimous. Though the Meiji oligarchy refused to allow democracy, they did seek to appropriate some of the demands of the "people's rights" movement by allowing an elected Diet in 1890 (with limited powers and an equally
History of Japanese foreign relations
History of Japanese foreign relations deals with the international relations in terms of diplomacy and political affairs from about 1850 to 2000. The kingdom was isolated before the 1850s, with limited contacts through Dutch traders; the Meiji Restoration was a political revolution that installed a new leadership, eager to borrow Western technology and organization. The government in Tokyo monitored and controlled outside interactions. Japanese delegations to Europe brought back European standards which were imposed across the government and the economy. Trade flourished, as Japan industrialized. European-style imperialism and colonialism were borrowed, as in the late 19th century Japan defeated China, acquired numerous colonies, including Formosa and Okinawa; the rapid advanced in Japanese military prowess stunned the world in 1904-1905 when it decisively defeated Russia and gained recognition as a world power. Imperialism continued as it took control of Korea, began moving into Manchuria, its only military alliance was with Great Britain.
1902-1923. In the First World War, it joined the Allies, seized many German possessions in the Pacific and in China. Japan put heavy pressure on China. Although the political system was formally democratic, the Army seized control in Japan. Indeed in the 1930s, separatist Army elements in Manchuria shaped foreign-policy; the League of Nations criticized Japan's takeover of Manchuria in 1931, so it withdrew. It joined the Axis alliance with Germany, But there was little close cooperation between the two nations until 1943. Japan opened a full-scale war in China, in 1937, taking control of the major cities and economic centers with a long record of atrocities. Two puppet regimes were nominally in charge in Manchuria. Military confrontations with the Soviet Union were disappointing to Japan, it turned its attention to the south. American economic and financial pressures, joined by Britain and the Netherlands, climaxed in the cut off of vitally needed oil supplies in 1941. Japan declared war, in three months scored spectacular successes against the United States and the Netherlands, as well as continuing the war with China.
The Japanese economy could not support the large-scale war effort with the rapid buildup of the American navy. By 1944, Japan was on the defensive, as its Greater East Asia Co-prosperity Sphere collapsed, its navy was sunk, American bombing started to devastate major Japanese cities; the final blow came in August 1945 with the Russian invasion. Japan surrendered, was occupied by the Allies, or more by the United States, its political and economic system was rebuilt on the basis of greater democracy, no military capability, a weakening of traditional monopolistic corporations. Japan was a minor player in international affairs in the late 1940s, but its economy revived in part as a supply base for the Korean War. Non-involvement became the central focus of Japanese foreign policy, together with rapid growth of its industrial exports. By the 1990s, with the second largest economy in the world behind the United States, reached a peak, leveled off economically, it retained close relations with the United States, which provided it with military protection.
South Korea and other countries in the Western Pacific traded on a large scale with Japan, but still resented the wartime atrocities. See Military history of Japan Beginning with the Meiji Restoration of 1868, which established a new, centralized regime, Japan set out to "gather wisdom from all over the world" and embarked on an ambitious program of military, social and economic reforms that transformed it within a generation into a modern nation-state and major world power; the Meiji oligarchy was aware of Western progress, "learning missions" were sent abroad to absorb as much of it as possible. The Iwakura Mission, the most important one, was led by Iwakura Tomomi, Kido Takayoshi and Ōkubo Toshimichi, contained forty-eight members in total and spent two years touring the United States and Europe, studying every aspect of modern nations, such as government institutions, prison systems, the import-export business, shipyards, glass plants and other enterprises. Upon returning, mission members called for domestic reforms that would help Japan catch up with the West.
European powers imposed a series of "unequal treaties" in the 1850s and 1860s that gave privileged roles to their nationals in specially designated treaty ports. Representative was the 1858 Treaty with the United States, called the "Harris Treaty." It opened the ports of Kanagawa and four other Japanese cities to trade, And provided for the exchange of diplomats. It granted extraterritoriality to foreigners, So that they govern themselves and were not under the control of Japanese courts or authorities. There were numerous trading stipulations favorable to the Americans; the Dutch and Russians followed suit with their own treaties, backed up by their own powerful naval forces. The unequal treaties were part of the series imposed on non-Western countries, such as Persia 1857, Turkey 1861, Siam 1855, China 1858; the inequality was not quite as severe as suffered by these other countries, but it rankled so much that ending the inequality became a priority, achieved in the 1890s. The humiliation was not as bad as China suffered.
On the other hand, the new treaties, provided for tariffs on imports from Europe.