What did Japan do in response to military pressure from Commodore Matthew Perry?

1 Answer
Nov 6, 2016

They politely entered unequal trade agreements with the U.S. They caved into the pressure of a possible destructive war with the U.S. to avoid a war.


Japan observed the chaos in China and were quite aware of the similar possible threat to themselves. In China the European powers were regularly destroying Chinese Armies and fortifications with relative small forces armed with modern weapons. They compelled China to enter binding International agreements to give up territory, resources and manufactured goods for a fraction of there former price.

It was called Gunboat Diplomacy but it was really armed robbery. The U.S. saw Japan as ripe new territory for exploitation and thought they'd get in first before the others thought of it. The U.S. was a rather small player in the Chinese thievery.

The Japanese saw clearly that they could not win and so pleasantly and politely endured the humiliation. They smiled and "negotiated" the stealing of their riches.

They were soon to join in with the Europeans and the U.S. on the general division of the spoils of China. They soon became the main occupiers of large parts of former Chinese territories. They modernized their economy and armed forces and defeated Russia in 1905. The defeated everyone for a while in 1941.