A dams had made tenuous contact, through the reluctant medium of the Dutch at Hirado, with the Englishmen of the East India Company established at Bantam in Java a considerable period prior to the arrival of John Saris aboard the Clove. Saris' mission in the East Indies was primarily to assist Henry Middleton in settling E.I.C. trade at Surat, in the Gulf of Cambay, close to the Portuguese fortress of Diu. Secondary objectives were Mocha, in Yemen, and, should circumstances warrant, Japan. (Satow, 1900, x-xv). Saris' commission, Ernest Satow observed, is 'carelessly drawn', much of it being copied, with slight alterations, from the commissions issued for previous voyages of East India Company fleets.