March 31, 1854 – Commodore Matthew Perry signs the Treaty of Kanagawa with the Japanese government, opening the ports of Shimoda and Hakodate to American trade. On March 31, 1854, the Convention of Kanagawa was concluded between Commodore Matthew C. Perry of the United States Navy and the Tokugawa shogunate. The treaty opened the Japanese ports of Shimoda and Hakodate to United States trade and guaranteed the safety of shipwrecked U.S. sailors; however, the treaty did not create a basis for establishing a permanent residence in these locations. The treaty did establish a foundation for the Americans to maintain a permanent consul in Shimoda. The arrival of the fleet would trigger the end of Japan’s 200 year policy of seclusion (Sakoku). Perry initially refused to deal with Japanese officials and demanded to speak with the Japanese Head of State. At the time, Shogun Tokugawa Ieyoshi was the de facto ruler of Japan; for the Emperor to interact in any way with foreigners was out of the question. Perry concluded the treaty with representatives of the Shogun, led by plenipotentiary Hayashi Akira (林韑?) and the text was reluctantly endorsed subsequently by Emperor Komei.