Having been given a mission by United States President Millard Fillmore in 1852, and having been pecking away at Asian diplomacy in various places, and having made overtures to the Edo powers in 1853, Commodore Matthew C. Perry was given permission to land at Kanagawa near what is now Yokohama, on 8 March 1854. During the following weeks he and his counterparts in Edo worked out what is called the Treaty of Kanagawa, opening Japan to American trade.
Ostensibly about trade in the general sense, the mission was largely about coal, since this was the dawn of the steamship era. Be that as it may, trade commenced.
Yeah there were some speed bumps on the road to understanding, but now the people of Japan even beat us in baseball sometimes, which is the definition of friends.
So we owe it to Commodore Perry and President Fillmore that we now have Daiso, Ghibli movies, manga, Akitas, sushi, red bean buns, and a host of other wonders! ^_^