In total four letters were handed over to the Japanese: one from the US president to the Emperor of Japan, two from Commodore Perry to the Emperor. The fourth one was a Letter of Credence issued by the US Secretary of State to Perry. Accompanying these letters were translation copies in Chinese and in Dutch. Perry's Dutch interpreter Portman indicated to Tsunosuke the Japanese interpreter these documents. The Japanese side was represented by Prince of Iwami. Through the hands of interpreter he gave Perry a roll of documents which could be translated in English as follows:
"The letters of the President of the United States of North America, and copy, are hereby received, and will be delivered to the Emperor. It has been many times intimated that business relating to foreign countries cannot be transacted here in Urage, but at Nagasaki, nevertheless, as it has been observed that the Admiral, in his quality of ambassador of the President, would feel insulted by a refusal to receive the letter at this place, the justice of which has been acknowledged, the above mentioned letter is hereby received, in opposition to the Japanese laws. As this is not a place wherein to negotiate with foreigners, so neither can conference nor entertainment to be held. Therefore, as the letter has been received you can depart."1
After a silence of a few minutes, Perry through his interpreters informed the Japanese that he would leave Urage for Lew Chew and Canton in a few days. He would return to Japan perhaps in April or May next year. Then Perry rose to take leave, and in the formation as before he returned to the squadron with his men. This historical meeting lasted not more then 20 to 30 minutes. (to be continued)
1. Perry, Matthew Calbraith ed. by Sidney Wallach. Narrative of the Expedition of an American Squadron to the China Seas and Japan. NY: Coward-McCann, 1952, page 88.