"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] TREATY OF PEACE AND FRIENDSHIP BETWEEN THE EMPIRE OF JAPAN AND KINGDOM OF COREA. (Treaty of Peace and Friendship between the Empire of Japan and the Kingdom of Corea (Korea), Treaty of Kanghwa, Kokato Treaty)

[Place] Kokwa
[Date] February 26, 1876
[Source] Kyujoyakuisan, Dai 3 kan (Chosen, Ryukyu), pp.1-8.
[Full text]

Signed at Kokwa, in Japanese and Chinese, February 26, 1876 (9th year of Meiji).

Ratified March 22,1876.

Promulgated March 22, 1876

The Governments of Japan and Chosen being desirous to resume the amicable relations that of yore existed between them, and to promote the friendly feelings of both nations to a still firmer basis have for this purpose appointed their Plenipotentiaries, that is to say: --the Government of Japan, Kuroda Kiyotaka, High Commissioner Extraordinary to Chosen, Lieutenant-General, and Member of the Privy Council, Minister of the Colonization Department, and Inouye Kaoru, Associate High Commissioner Extraordinary to Chosen, Member of the Genroin; and the Government of Chosen, Shin Ken, Han-Choo-Su-Fu-Ji, and In-Ji-Sho, To-So-FuFuku-So-Kwan, who according to the powers received from their respective Governments, have agreed upon and concluded the following Articles:--


Chosen being an independent state enjoys the same sovereign rights as does Japan.

In order to prove the sincerity of the friendship existing between the nations, their intercourse shall henceforward be carried on in terms of equality and courtesy, each avoiding the giving of offence by arrogance or manifestations of suspicion.

In the first instance all rules and precedents that are apt to obstruct friendly intercourse shall be totally abrogated and, in their stead, rules, liberal and in general usage fit to secure a firm and perpetual peace, shall be established.


The Government of Japan, at any time after fifteen months from the date of the signature of this Treaty, shall have the right to send an Envoy to the Capital of Chosen, where he shall be admitted to confer with the Rei-So-Han-Sho, on matters of a diplomatic nature. He may either reside at the Capital or return to his country on the completion of his mission.

The Government of Chosen in like manner shall have the right to send an Envoy to Tokio, Japan, where he shall be admitted to confer with the Minister for Foreign Affairs, on matters of a diplomatic nature. He may either reside at Tokio or return home on the completion of his mission.


All official communications addressed by the Government of Japan to that of Chosen shall be written in the Japanese language, and for a period of ten years from the present date, they shall be accompanied by the Chinese translation. The Government of Chosen will use the Chinese language.


Sorio in Fusan, Chosen, where an official establishment of Japan is situated, is a place originally opened for commercial intercourse with Japan, and trade shall henceforward be carried on at that place in Treaty, whereby are abolished all former usages, such as the practice of Sai-ken-sen (junks annually sent to Chosen by the late Prince of Tsusima to exchange a certain quantity of articles between each other).

In addition to the above place, the Government of Chosen agrees to open two ports, as mentioned in Article V. of this Treaty, for commercial intercourse with Japanese subjects.

In the foregoing places Japanese subjects shall be free to lease land and to erect buildings thereon, and to rent buildings, the property of subjects of Chosen.


On the coast of five provinces, viz: Keikin, Chiusei, Zenra, Keisho, and Kankio, two ports, suitable for commercial purposes, shall be selected, and the time for opening these two ports shall be in the twentieth month from the second month of the ninth year of Meiji, corresponding with the date of Chosen, the first moon of the year Heishi.


Whenever Japanese vessels either by stress of weather or by want of fuel and provisions cannot reach one or the other of the open ports in Chosen, they may enter any port or harbour either to take refuge therein, or to get supplies of wood, coal and other necessities or to make repairs; the expenses incurred thereby are to be defrayed by the ship’s master. In such events, both the officers and the people of the locality shall display their sympathy by rendering full assistance and their liberality in supplying the necessities required. If any vessel of either country be at any time wrecked or stranded on the coasts of Japan or of Chosen, the people of the vicinity shall immediately use every exertion to rescue her crew, and shall inform the local authorities of the disaster who will either send the wrecked persons to their native country or hand them over to the officer of their country, residing at the nearest port.


The coast of Chosen having hitherto been left unsurveyed are very dangerous for vessels approaching them, and in order to prepare charts showing the positions of islands, rocks and reefs, as well as the depth of water, whereby all navigators may be enabled safely to pass between the two countries, any Japanese mariner may freely survey said coasts.


There shall be appointed by the Government of Japan an officer to reside at each of the open ports in Chosen for the protection of Japanese merchants resorting there, provided that such arrangement be deemed necessary. Should any question interesting to both nations arise, the said officer shall confer with the local authorities of Chosen and settle it.


Friendly relations having been established between the two contracting parties, their respective subjects may freely carry on their business without any interference from the authorities of either Government, and neither restriction nor prohibition shall be made on trade. In case any fraud be committed or payment of debt be refused by any merchant of either country, the authorities of either one or of the other Government shall do their utmost to bring the delinquent to justice and to enforce recovery of the debt.

Neither the Japanese nor the Chosen Government shall be held responsible for the payment of such debt.


Should a Japanese subject residing at either of the open ports of Chosen commit any offence against a subject of Chosen, he shall be tried by the Japanese authorities. Should a subject of Chosen commit any offence against Japanese subject, he shall be tried by the authorities of Chosen. The offenders shall be punished according to the laws of their respective countries. Justice shall be equitably and impartially administered on both sides.


Friendly relations having been established between the two contracting parties, it is necessary to prescribe trade regulations for the benefit of the merchants of the respective countries.

Such trade regulations, together with detailed provisions, to be added to the Articles of the present Treaty to develop its meaning and facilitate its observance, shall be agreed upon at the Capital of Chosen, or at Kokwa Fu in the country within six months from the present date by Special Commissioners appointed by the two countries.


The foregoing eleven Articles are binding from the date of the signing hereof and shall be observed by the two contracting parties, faithfully and invariably, whereby perpetual friendship shall be secured to the two countries.

The present Treaty is executed in duplicate and copies will be exchanged between the contracting parties.

In faith whereof, we the respective Plenipotentiaries of Japan and Chosen have affixed our seals hereunto this twenty-sixth day of the second month of the ninth year of Meiji, and the two thousand five hundred and thirty-sixth year since the accession of Jimmu Tenno; and in the era of Chosen, the second day of the second moon{sic}of the year Heishi, and of the founding of Chosen, the four hundred and eighty-fifth year.



(Signed) SHIN KEN.

(Signed) IN-JI-SHO.