Alcock was appointed British Consul General in Japan in accordance with the terms of the Treaty concluded between Great Britain and Japan by Lord Elgin in 1858. In June 1859, he arrived in Japan by a Royal Naval ship (HMS Sampson). He decide d that, to be an effective repre sentative, he needed a h igher rank and assumed the tide of 'Plenipotentiary' . The Fo reign Office accepted this self-promotion and made him 'Minister Plenipotentiary' . After a few days in Nagas aki Alcock went on to Edo bay where he arrived on 26 June 1859 in time for the opening of trade on 1 July, as specified i n the Treaty of 1858. Despite obstruct ion from the Tokugawa Bakufu authorities he insisted on taking up residence in Edo and established his legation at To zenji, a temple in the suburb ofShinagawa. One of his first acts was to arrange for the exchange of ratifications of the 1858 treaty to be carried out with due pomp.