Simonoseki Indemnities : October 22, 1864
Convention signed at Yokohama October 22, 1864
Senate advice and consent to ratification February 21, 1866
Ratified by the President of the United States April 9, 1866
Proclaimed by the President of the United States April 9, 1866
Terminated in July 1874 upon fulfillment of its terms (1)

14 Stat. 665; 18 Stat. (2) 459; Treaty Series 187

The Representatives of the United States of America, Great Britain, France, and the Netherlands, in view of the hostile acts of Mori Dalzen, Prince of Nagato and Suwo, which were assuming such formidable proportions as to make it difficult for the Tycoon faithfully to observe the Treaties, having been obliged to send their combined forces to the Straits of Simonoseki, in order to destroy the batteries erected by that Daimio for the destruction of Foreign vessels and the stoppage of Trade;-and the Government of the Tycoon on whom devolved the duty of chastising this rebellious Prince, being held responsible for any damage resulting to the interests of Treaty Powers, as well as the expenses occasioned by the expedition.

The Undersigned Representatives of Treaty Powers, and Sakai Hida no Kami, a member of his second Council invested with Plenipotentiary powers by the Tycoon of Japan, animated with the desire to put an end to all reclamations concerning the acts of aggression and hostility committed by the said Mori Daizen since the first of these acts in June 1863 against the Flags of divers Treaty Powers, and at the same time to regulate definitively the question of indemnities of war of whatever kind in respect to the allied expedition to Simonoseki, have agreed and determined upon the four articles following:-

1. The amount payable to the Four Powers is fixed at Three Millions of Dollars. This sum to include all claims of whatever nature for past aggressions on the part of Nagato-whether indemnities-ransom for Simonoseki, or expenses entailed by the operations of the allied squadrons.

2. The whole sum to be payable quarterly in instalments of one sixth or half a Million Dollars, to begin from the date when the Representatives of said Powers shall make known to the Tycoon's Government the ratification of this Convention and the instructions of their respective Governments.

3. Inasmuch as the receipt of money has never been the object of the said Powers, but the establishment of better relations with Japan, and the desire to place these on a more satisfactory and mutually advantageous footing is still the leading object in view, therefore, if His Majesty the Tycoon wishes to offer in lieu of payment of the sum claimed, and as a material compensation for loss and injury sustained, the opening of Simonoseki, or some other eligible Port in the Inland Sea, it shall be at the option of the said Foreign Governments to accept the same, or insist on the payment of the indemnity in money under the conditions above stipulated.

4. This Convention to be formally ratified by the Tycoon's Government within fifteen days from the date thereof.(2)

In token of which, the respective Plenipotentiaries have signed and sealed this Convention in quintuplicate with English, Dutch and Japanese versions, whereof the English shall be considered the original.

Done at Yokohama this 22nd day of October 1864,-corresponding to the 22nd day of the 9th month of the First year of Gengi.

SAKAI HIDA No KAMI [ideographic signature]

Minister Resident of the United States in Japan

H B M's Envoy Extrd. & Minister Plenipotentiary in Japan

Ministre ple'nip're de S. M. L'Empereur des Francais, au Japon

H N M's Consul General & Political Agent in Japan


(1) Japan paid the United States $785,000 in fulfillment of the terms of the convention. For an act of Congress of Feb. 22, 1883, directing the President to return $785,000.87 to Japan, see 22 Stat. 421. Back

(2) By a letter of Nov. 4, 1864, the American Minister Resident of the United States in Japan was informed by the Japanese Ministers that their government had "undertaken to give effect to" the convention of Oct. 22, 1864 (Papers Relating to Foreign Affairs (Diplomatic Correspondence), 1864, pt. III, pp. 587-588), by a letter of Dec. 4, 1865, the Japanese Minister for Foreign Affairs announced that the Mikado's ratification of the convention was promulgated on Dec. 1, 1865 (1866 Diplomatic Correspondence (II) 193-194). Back

Treaties and Other International Agreements of the United States of America 1776-1949
Compiled under the direction of Charles I. Bevans LL.B.
Assistant Legal Advisor Department of State
Volume 1 Multilateral 1776-1917
Department of State Publication 8484
Washington, DC : Government Printing Office, 1969

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