The Perry Expedition
In 1853 to 1854, U.S. Commander Matthew Perry led a diplomatic expedition on U.S. naval ships to Japan. Perry was a senior officer in the Navy who had been assigned the leadership of this expedition to explore, survey and establish diplomatic relations and negotiate trade agreements with various nations of the region. Opening contact with the government of Japan was considered a top priority of US government and the real reason for Perry's expedition. The Tokugawa shogunate had isolated Japan from contact with the West and other outside powers since the early 17th century. It had resisted attempts by Americans and Europeans to establish business and diplomatic ties. On July 8, 1853, Perry sailed into an officially hostile, but militarily unprepared, Japan with four warships. He presented Japanese officials with a letter from U.S. President Millard Fillmore to the Emperor of Japan, proposing peace and friendship. The main objective was to establish a coaling base for US steams ships traveling in the Pacific. Perry left Japan with promises of friendship on both sides. Perry returned the next year, and on March 31, 1854, Japan entered into a treaty of peace, friendship, and trade with the United States. This was Japan's first official relationship with any Western nation other than Holland, since the first decades of the Edo period; it marked the beginning of the modern era in Japan. Perry published a three-volume account of the expedition, Narrative of the Expedition of an American Squadron to the China Seas and Japan, in 1856.
Kissinger's Shuttle Diplomacy
In the article 1972 I described the second Mercury major and sub-period thus:
"A major transition took place in US national life in 1972 that coincided with the beginning of the Mercury major period in the SAMVA USA chart on April 19, 1972. The period which lasted until April 19, 1989, saw the intense Cold War begin to be defused through increased dialogue and negotiations between the opposing sides, in a process known as Détente. Political decisions were made that soon ended the last cold war, the Vietnam war. The thaw in relations brought the joint US-Soviet Appollo-Soyuz mission into space. The mercurial Henry Kissinger came to the fore as a world class diplomat by introducing Shuttle Diplomacy."
Astrology of the event
The astrology of these events is clear and compelling. Men representing the energy of Mercury in the SAMVA USA chart rose to prominence during both instances of the major and sub-period of this planet. The circumstances were quite different, however, the energy impelling the events in both cases was a need at the highest level to talk to foreign counter-parties, to establish lines of communication for dealings with them. In both events, the underlying motive was of a commercial nature in the realm of real-politik. In the case of Japan, the need was to establish a "coaling base" for US steamships in the Pacific. In the case of the Middle East, as is the case today, peace in the region was important for steady flow of oil to the USA.
 Wikipedia entry on Matthew C. Perry
Why did the United States want to open Japan?
Wikipedia entry on Shuttle diplomacy