[MUNUC 36] JCC Bakumatsu Japan, 1860: The Daijō-kan Government MEIJI

GROUP: Hybrid



  • Veda Swaminathan (she/her)
  • Shiv Sawhney (he/him)
  • Akshay Joglekar (he/him)
Email Committee Chair

An increasing presence of Western powers reaches a breaking point for Japan with the incursion of Commodore Matthew Perry’s ships in Japanese waters in 1853. After roughly two and a half centuries of relative isolation under the Tokugawa shogunate, it has become increasingly obvious that Japan can no longer remain isolated. With these monumental developments and the increasing pressure to open itself to trade, the question now becomes this: how will Japan enter the world stage? Old powers are challenged by new ideas, and with compounding threats from foreign influence, increasing civil unrest, a disruption of the balance between shoguns and feudal lords, and the collapse of Japan’s monetary system, the nation is thrown into chaos.

As Japan enters one of its most tumultuous eras, this committee finds itself in a precarious position. The looming presence of the Shogunate, a centuries-old military order which governs the islands of Japan, remains a dominant presence and a threat to the wave of democratic reforms (mainly focused on Westernization, industrialization, and the abolishing of feudal titles) which revolutionaries seek to instill. Further threats come from other nations demanding open markets and prompt meditation on how best to ensure that Japan is always properly defended going forwards. As delegates representing members of the Daijō-kan Government, there are many questions to ponder. Between the collapse of Japan’s monetary policy, oppressive treaties with foreign powers, and growing citizen unrest, how will this budding government work to move Japan forward and out from under the thumb of the Shogunate? Will the Daijō-kan prevail, or will the growing chaos and power of the Shogunate prove to overcome the stirrings of democracy? The first four sessions of this committee will consist of crisis-style debate, while the final session will consist of writing a treaty between the two sides of the JCC in General Assembly format.