Japan-Mexico Treaty of Amity, Commerce, and Navigation (日墨修好通商条約)
Japan-Mexico Treaty of Amity, Commerce, and Navigation is a treaty concluded between Japan and Mexico on November 30, 1888. It was the first equal treaty for Japan (with a non-Asian country), which did not include extraterritoriality but tariff autonomy, and the first treaty with an Asian country for Mexico.
It was negotiated between Munemitsu MUTSU, the Japanese plenipotentiary serving in Washington, D.C. at the time, and Romero, the Mexican Minister to the United States.
Background to the establishment of the treaty
Japan had unequal treaties, known as the Ansei Five-Power Treaties, that were imposed by the United States (the Treaty of Peace and Amity between the United States of America and the Empire of Japan and the Treaty of Amity and Commerce between the United States and Japan), the Netherlands (the Dutch-Japan Treaty of Peace and Amity), Russia (the Treaty between the Russian Empire and the Empire of Japan), Great Britain (the Anglo-Japanese Friendship Treaty and the Anglo-Japanese Treaty of Amity and Commerce) and France (the Treaty of Peace and Amity between France and Japan), and had another one with Yi Dynasty Korea (the Treaty of Ganghwa, imposed by Japan) while the Japan-Qing Treaty of Friendship was the only equal treaty that Japan had at the time.
The Japanese government was hoping to renegotiate the unequal treaties with the Western countries and solve the issues concerning extraterritoriality (consular jurisdiction) and tariff autonomy by concluding the first equal treaty with a non-Asian country as a precedent. Unexpectedly, Japan chose Mexico with which Japan had had a diplomatic relation before its national isolation with the aid of a governor-general of the Spanish-owned Philippines. Mexico was also considering having a diplomatic exchange with Japan or Qing to start international trading with East Asia.
In 1891, Japan and Mexico exchanged their ministers after the conclusion of the treaty. In 1897, Japanese immigrants traveled to Mexico.
The Meiji Government offered a land for a diplomatic mission to Mexico in reward for the conclusion of the treaty. This is why the Mexican Embassy in Japan is located in Nagata-cho today. There is no other stand-alone embassy in Nagata-cho.