Design of this stamp commemorated the 100th anniversary of the first treaty between the United States and Japan to promote good will and mutual understanding. Important to this treaty was the work of American businessman and diplomat Townsend Harris, who was influential in establishing U.S. commercial relations with Japan. In 1847 he left his family's successful dry goods business to become a trader in the Far East. After the opening of Japan to trade, Harris obtained an appointment as the first U.S. consul general in 1855. In the course of long negotiations, he persuaded the Japanese to sign a diplomatic and commercial treaty.