History of U.S. Consular Activities in Hokkaido

History of Consular Activities in Hokkaido, 1865 to the present

Consular Activities in Hakodate

  • 1854: Hakodate opened to American vessels under Treaty of Kanagawa.
  • 1865: Elisha E. Rice, first U.S. Consul; Jan.18, 1865 – Nov. 2, 1870
  • 1870: Ambrose C. Dunn, Consul; Nov. 3, 1870 – May 15, 1871
  • 1871: Nathan Emory Rice, Vice Consul; May 16,1871 – Jul. 14, 1871
  • 1871: Elisha E. Rice, Consul; Jul. 15, 1871 – Oct.6, 1871
  • 1871: George E. Rice, Vice Consul; Oct. 7, 1871 – Mar. 31, 1872
  • 1872: John Hart Hawes, Consul; Apr. 1, 1872 – Nov. 6, 1875
  • 1875: Merriman C. Harris, Vice Consul; Nov. 6, 1875 – Oct. 5, 1876
  • 1876: Consulate redesignated as a Consular Agency
  • 1877: Merriman C. Harris, Consular Agent; Jan.3, 1877 – Feb. 12, 1879
  • 1879: John H. Duss, Consular Agent; Feb. 12, 1879 – Aug. 25, 1880
  • 1880: William C. Davisson, Consular Agent; Aug. 25, 1880 – Sept. 19, 1882
  • 1882: Lee W. Squier, Consular Agent; Sept. 19, 1882 – Jul. 18, 1883
  • 1883: Post was closed and the consular agent position was vacant for the next two decades
  • 1904: Edward Julian King, Consular Agent; Mar.2, 1904 – Sept. 30, 1918
  • 1918: The State Department officially closed the Consular Agency at Hakodate on November 15, 1918.

Consular presence moves to Sapporo

For the next three decades, there was no U.S. consular presence in Hokkaido. Although Hakodate was still a thriving port, when World War II ended, Sapporo, the capital of the prefecture, was the logical choice for the new Consulate. Before the peace treaty was concluded, U.S. diplomatic presence returned as the Sapporo Branch, Office of the U.S. Political Adviser (POLAD) to the Supreme Commander, Allied Forces, Japan.

  • 1950: William L. Magistretti was appointed POLAD (Political Advisor) at Sapporo in January, and served until October. Richard Finn succeeded him, and served until February, 1951, when he in turn was succeeded by David L. Osborn. Office located in the Ito house (Kita 5-jo Nishi 8-chome).
  • 1952: Peace Treaty took effect on April 28, 1952, and the POLAD Office became the American Consulate, Sapporo.
  • 1955: The American Consulate, Sapporo moved to Kita 1-jo Nishi 13-chome.
  • 1961: Consular District was expanded to include Iwate, Akita and Aomori, the three northern prefectures in Honshu.
  • 1975: Consular District was expanded to include Miyagi Prefecture in Honshu.
  • 1978: The American Consulate moved to its current building near Maruyama Park.
  • 1986: Consulate was upgraded to Consulate General on November 21.