Treaty of Amity and Commerce
It was a follow-up the Treaty of Kanagawa, with which Commodore Matthew Perry had secured fuel and provisions for U.S. ships and protection for shipwrecked sailors. However, the issue of negotiating trading rights was left to another U.S. envoy, Townsend Harris, who arrived in Japan in 1856. However, it took him two years to break down Japanese resistance to the deal, but with the threat of British demands for similar privileges, the Tokugawa Shogunate gave in and signed the "unequal treaty".
Ironically, it was this treaty, as well as the other treaties signed with Britain, France, Russia and the Netherlands that gave rise to the Meiji Restoration and the rapid modernization of Japan, which made the country not only the dominant Asian power by the end of the century, but a burgeoning super-power following victory in the 1904-05 Russo-Japanese War.
Articles of the Treaty 
The main articles of the treaty were the following:
|“|| ARTICLE I.
There shall henceforth be perpetual peace and friendship between the United States of America and His Majesty the Shogun of Japan and his successors.
Six months after the opening of Kanagawa, the port of Shimoda shall be closed as a place of residence and trade for American citizens. In all the foregoing ports and towns American citizens may permanently reside; they shall have the right to lease ground, and purchase the buildings thereon, and may erect dwellings and warehouses.
No wall, fence, or gate shall be erected by the Japanese around the place of residence of the Americans, or anything done which may prevent a free egress and ingress to the same.
From the lst of January, 1862, Americans shall be allowed to reside in the City of Edo; and from the 1st of January, 1863, in the City of Osaka, for the purposes of trade only. In each of these two cities a suitable place within which they may hire houses, and the distance they may go, shall be arranged by the American Diplomatic Agent and the Government of Japan.
The Japanese Government will cause this clause to be made public in every part of the Empire as soon as the ratifications of this Treaty shall be exchanged. Munitions of war shall only be sold to the Japanese Government and foreigners.
(The regulation was attached to the treaty, determining the tariffs to be paid on U.S. imports. A low rate of 5% on the value of good imported by the U.S., which was unfavorable for Japan, was set for machinery and shipping materials of all kinds, as well as raw materials such as lead, tin and zinc.)
The importation of opium is prohibited; and, any American vessel coming to Japan for the purposes of trade having more than four pounds weight of opium on board, such surplus quantity shall be seized and destroyed by the Japanese authorities. All goods imported into Japan and which have paid the duty fixed by this Treaty, may be transported by the Japanese into any part of the empire without the payment of any tax, excise, or transit duty whatever.
No higher duties shall be paid by Americans on goods imported into Japan than are fixed by this Treaty, nor shall any higher duties be paid by Americans than are levied on the same description of goods if imported in Japanese vessels, or the vessels of any other nation.
The Americans and Japanese shall not do anything that may be calculated to excite religious animosity. The Government of Japan has already abolished the practice of trampling on religious emblems.
The Treaty was ratified through the visit of the first Japanese Ambassador to the United States in 1860.