Meiji Era

Japan-Korea Treaty of Amity
The Japanese gunboat Un'yō ©Image Attribution forthcoming. Image belongs to the respective owner(s).
1872 Jan 1

Japan-Korea Treaty of Amity


The Japan-Korea Treaty of Amity was made between representatives of the Empire of Japan and the Korean Kingdom of Joseon in 1876. Negotiations were concluded on February 26, 1876.

In Korea, Heungseon Daewongun, who instituted a policy of increased isolationism against the European powers, was forced into retirement by his son King Gojong and Gojong's wife, Empress Myeongseong. France and the United States had already made several unsuccessful attempts to begin commerce with the Joseon dynasty during the Daewongun's era. However, after he was removed from power, many new officials who supported the idea of opening commerce with foreigners took power. While there was political instability, Japan used gunboat diplomacy to open and exert influence on Korea before a European power could. In 1875, their plan was put into action: the Un'yō, a small Japanese warship, was dispatched to present a show of force and survey coastal waters without Korean permission.

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