From the year 1639 on, the Tokugawa pursued a policy of almost pure seclusion from the outside world. The only contact was through Dutch sailors who had the Tokugawa’s permission to land in Edo once a year. This policy was abandoned only when US Commodore Matthew Perry forced Japan to sign a “message of peace” from the US government while cannon was aimed at Japanese soil. This enabled the US government to construct a refueling depot for US trade and warships. This act hastened the return of the emperor to true power in the nation once again and it was he who originally sent the imperial Iwakura on missions all over the world to create ties to other governments and to study and learn of the West’s achievements and their strengths, thus steering Japan on a one way course to Modernization.