"The World and Japan" Database (Project Leader: TANAKA Akihiko)
Database of Japanese Politics and International Relations
National Graduate Institute for Policy Studies (GRIPS); Institute for Advanced Studies on Asia (IASA), The University of Tokyo

[Title] Tariff Convention between Japan, France, Great Britain, Netherlands and the United States of America.

[Date] June 25, 1866.
[Source] Kyujoyakuisan, Dai 1 kan, Kakkokunobu, Dai 1 bu, pp. 45-57.
[Full text]

Signed at Yedo, in Japanese, French, English and Dutch, on the 25th day of June, 1866 (13th day, 5th month 2nd year of Keiou).

The Representatives of Great Britain, France, the United States of America and Holland, having received from their respective Governments identical instructions for the modification of the Tariff of Import and Export Duties contained in the Trade Regulations annexed to the Treaties concluded by the aforesaid Powers with the Japanese Government in 1858, which modification is provided for by the VIItb of those Regulations;-

And the Japanese Government having given the said Representatives, during their visit to Osaka in November 1865, a written engagement to proceed immediately to the Revision of the Tariff in question, on the general basis of a duty of five per cent. on the value of all articles Imported or Exported;-

And the Government of Japan being desirous of affording a fresh proof of their wish to promote trade and to cement the friendly relations which exist between their country and foreign nations;

His Excellency MIDZUNO IDZUMI NO KAMI, a Member of the Gorojiu and a Minister of Foreign Affairs, has been furnished by the Government of Japan, with the necessary powers to conclude with the Representatives of the abovenamed four Powers, that is to say;

Of Great Britain,

Sir HARRY S. PARKES, Knight Commander of the Most Honorable Order of the Bath, Her Britannic Majesty's Envoy Extraordinary and Minister Plenipotentiary in Japan;

Of France,

Monsieur LEON ROCHES, Commander of the Imperial Order of the Legion of Honor, Minister Plenipotentiary of His Majesty the Emperor of the French in Japan;

Of the United States of America,

A. L. C. PORTMAN Esquire, Charge d'Affairs ad interim;

And of Holland,

Monsieur DIRK DE GRAEFF VAN POLSBROEK, Knight of the Order of theNetherlands Lion, Political Agent and Consul General of His Majesty the King of the Netherlands;

The following Convention comprising Twelve Articles.


The contracting Parties declare in the names of their respective Governments that they accept, and they hereby do formally accept as binding upon the subjects of their respective Sovereigns, and the citizens of their respective countries, the Tariff hereby established and annexed to the present Convention.

This Tariff is substituted not only for the original Tariff attached to the Treaties concluded with the above-named four Powers, but also for the special Conventions and arrangements relative to the same Tariff, which have been entered into at different dates up to this time between the Governments of Great Britain, France, and the United States on one side, and the Japanese Government on the other.

The New Tariff shall come into effect in the port of Kanagawa (Yokohama) on the first day of July next, and in the ports of Nagasaki and Hakodate on the first day of the following month.


The Tariff attached to this Convention, being incorporated from the date of its signature in the Treaties concluded between Japan and the abovenamed four powers; is subject to revision on the first day of July 1872.

Two years, however, after the signing of the present Convention, any of the contracting parties on giving six months' notice to the others, may claim a re-adjustment of the duties on Tea*1* and Silk on the basis of five per cent. on the average value of these articles, during the three years last preceding.

On the demand also of any of the contracting parties, the duty on timber may be changed from an ad valorem to a specific rate six months after the signature of this Convention.


The Permit fee hitherto levied under the VIth Regulation attached to the abovenamed Treaties, is hereby abolished. Permits for the landing or shipment of cargo will be required as formerly, but will hereafter be issued free of charge.


On and from the first day of July next at the Port of Kanagawa (Yokohama) and on and from the first day of October next at the Ports of Nagasaki and Hakodate, the Japanese Government will be prepared to warehouse imported goods, on the application of the importer or owner, without payment of duty. The Japanese Government will be responsible for the safe custody of the goods, so long as they remain in their charge, and will adopt all the precautions necessary to render them insurable against fire. When the importer or the owner wishes to remove the goods from the warehouse, he must pay the duties fixed by the Tariff, but if he should wish to re-export them, he may do so without payment of duty. Storage charges will in either case be paid on delivery of the goods. The amount of these charges together with the regulations necessary for the management of the said Warehouses, will be established by the common consent of the contracting parties.


All articles of Japanese production may be conveyed from any place in Japan to any of the Ports open to foreign trade, free of any tax or transit duty other than the usual tolls levied equally on all traffic for the maintenance of roads or navigation.


In conformity with those articles of the Treaties concluded between Japan and Foreign Powers which stipulate for the circulation of foreign coin at its corresponding weight in native coin of the same description, dollars have hitherto been received at the Japanese Custom-house in payment of duties at their weight in Boos, (commonly called Itchiboos), that is to say, at a rate of Three hundred and eleven Boos per Hundred Dollars. The Japanese Government being, however, desirous to alter this practice and to abstain from all interference in the exchange of native for foreign coin, and being also anxious to meet the wants both of native and foreign commerce by securing an adequate issue of native coin, have already determined to enlarge the Japanese Mint so as to admit of the Japanese Government exchanging into native coin of the same intrinsic value, less only the cost of coinage, at the places named for this purpose; all foreign coin or bullion in gold or silver, that may at any time be tendered to them by foreigners or Japanese. It being essential, however, to the execution of this measure, that the various Powers with whom Japan has concluded Treaties, should first consent to modify the stipulations in those Treaties which relate to the currency, the Japanese Government will at once propose to those Powers the adoption of the necessary modification in the said stipulations, and on receiving their concurrence will be prepared from the first of January 1868 to carry the above measure into effect.

The rates to be charged as the cost of coinage shall be determined hereafter by the common consent of the contracting parties.


In order to put a stop to certain abuses and inconveniences complained of at the open Ports, relative to the transaction of business at the Custom-house, the landing and shipping of cargoes, and the hiring of boats coolies, servants, etc. the contracting parties have agreed that the Governor at each open port shall at once enter into negociations with the foreign Consuls with a view to the establishment, by mutual consent, of such regulations as shall effectually put an end to these abuses and inconveniences and afford all possible facility and security both to the operations of trade and to the transactions of individuals.

It is hereby stipulated that in order to protect merchandize from exposure to weather, these regulations shall include the covering in at each port of one or more of the landing places used by foreigners for landing or shipping cargo.


Any Japanese subject shall be free to purchase, either in the open Ports of Japan or abroad, every description of sailing or steam-vessel intended to carry either passengers or cargo; but ships of war may only be obtained under the authorization of the Japanese Government.

All foreign vessels purchased by Japanese subjects shall be registered as Japanese vessels on payment of a fixed duty of three Boos per ton for steamers and one Boo per ton for sailing vessels. The tonnage of each vessel shall be proved by the Foreign Register of the ship, which shall be exhibited through the Consul of the party interested, on the demand of the Japanese Authorities, and shall be certified by the Consul as authentic.


In conformity with the Treaties concluded between Japan and the aforesaid Powers, and with the special arrangements made by the Envoys of the Japanese Government in their note to the British Government of the sixth of June 1862, and in their note to the French Government of the sixth of October of the same year, all the restrictions on trade and intercourse between foreigners and Japanese alluded to in the said notes, have been entirely removed, and proclamations to this effect have already been published by the Government of Japan.

The latter, however, do not hesitate to declare thatapanese merchants, and traders of all classes are at liberty to trade directly, and without the interference of Government officers, with foreign merchants, not only at the open Ports of Japan, but also in all Foreign countries, on being authorized to leave their country in the manner provided for in Article X. of the present Convention, without being subject to higher taxation by the Japanese Government than that levied on the native trading classes of Japan in their ordinary transactions with each other.

And they further declare that all Daimios, or persons in the employ of Daimios are free to visit on the same condition, any foreign country, as well as all the open Ports of Japan, and to trade there with foreigners as they please, without the interference of any Japanese officer, provided always they submit to the existing Police regulations and to the payment of the established duties.


All Japanese subjects may ship goods to or from any open Port in Japan, or to and from the Ports of any Foreign Power, either in vessels owned by Japanese or in the vessels of any nation having a Treaty with Japan. Furthermore on being provided with Passports through the proper De partment of the Government, in the manner specified in the Proclamation of the Japanese Government dated the twenty third day of May 1866, all Japanese subjects may travel to any foreign country for purposes of study or trade. They may also accept employment in any capacity on board the vessels of any nation having a Treaty with Japan.

Japanese in the employ of foreigners may obtain Government passports to go abroad on application to the Governor of any open port.


The Government of Japan will provide all the Ports open to Foreign trade with such lights, buoys and beacons as may be necessary to render secure the navigation of the approaches to the said Ports.


The undersigned being of opinion that it is unnecessary that this Convention should be submitted to their respective Governments, for ratification, before it comes into operation, it will take effect on and from the first day of July, 1866.

Each of the Contracting Parties having obtained the approval of his Government to this Convention, shall make known the same to the others, and the communication in writing of this approval shall take the place of a formal exchange of Ratifications.

In WITNESS WHEREOF the abovenamed Plenipotentiaries have signed the present Convention and have affixed thereto their seals.

Done at Yedo in the English, French, Dutch, and Japanese languages this twenty-fifth day of June one thousand eight hundred and sixty-six.

(l.s.)Midzuno Idzumino Kami.

(l.s.)Harry S. Parkes,

Her Britannic Majesty's Envoy Extraordinary and Minister Plenipotentiary in Japan.

(l.s.)Léon Roches,

Ministre Plénipotentiaire de S. M. L'Empereur des Fran├žais au Japon.

(l.s.)A. L. C. Portman

Chargé d'Affairs a. i. of the United States in Japan.

(l.s.)D. de Graeff van Polsbroek,

Politiek Agent en Consul Generaal der Nederlanden.

{*1* Agreement relative to the duties of Silk and Tea concluded between Japanese Government and the Representatives of Great Britain, France, the United States of America, Italy and Germany on the 21st day, 4th month, 2nd year Meiji (1st June 1869) is hereinafter annexed but that Agreement never came into operation.}