The Japan-Qing Treaty of Friendship (日清修好条規)

The Japan-Qing Treaty of Friendship was a treaty concluded between Japan and Qing on September 13, 1871. The commander-in-chief of Japan was a Okura-kyo (Minister of the Treasury), Munenari DATE, and that of Qing was a Governor General of Zhili, Li Hung Chang,.


While the issue on the diplomatic relations with Joseon Dynasty was stranded on a reef, Japan considered that the diplomatic relations with Qing which was a suzerain power of Korea should be concluded in priority to that, therefore, Sakimitsu YANAGIWARA and Yoshimoto HANABUSA were sent for the preliminary negotiations on July 27, 1870, followed by Date, a legitimate commander-in-chief, who led the negotiations to the final conclusions along with above mentioned Yanagiwara who had been appointed as a vice commander prior to it. Although it was an equal treaty, the contents were extreamly unique that the both countries approved each other the contents of the unequal treaty which both of them were respectively imposed by Europe and America. It was effective until the Sino-Japanese War broke out.

The details are as follows. Exchange of diplomatic envoys and stationing consuls in the both countries (Article 4 and 8). Approving each other's limited consular jurisdiction (Article 8, 9 and 13). Regarding trading relations, they approved each other the conditions for commerce (most-favored-nation treatments and agreed tariff rates) which were equal to that for the allied western powers.

Because of the uniquness of this treaty, a part of the allied western powers had a suspicion that they made a secret agreement on the military alliance, or had an opposing argument on the exterritoriality, so the ratification was delayed. But, the María Luz Incident or the Taiwan expedition increased the necessity of the ratification, so Taneomi SOEJIMA, a Chief of Foreign Ministry who had visited Qing to deal with the sequential issues exchanged the instruments of ratification which came into effect on April 30, 1873.

[Original Japanese]