Mr. Pruyn to Mr. Seward.

No. 21.]

Sir: I have the honor to transmit herewith No. 1 original, and No. 1 translation, of a letter addressed to yon by the Japanese ministers for foreign affairs, which was handed to me on the occasion of my interview with them in company with Mr. Harris on the 5th instant.

I have the honor to be, sir, very respectfully, your most obedient servant,

ROBERT H. PRUYN, Minister Resident in Japan.

Hon. William H. Seward, Secretary of State, Washington.


To his excellency the secretary of State for foreign affairs of the States of America.

We have to state to your excellency that we learned that in compliance with the request of Townsend Harris, esquire, leave had been granted him by your government to return to his country. During a period of more than five years, since we entered into treaty relations, Townsend Harris, esquire, resided at our court as a diplomatic agent. He has a perfect knowledge of the state of affairs in our empire, and he has always been friendly, and made suitable arrangements without cold feeling. By so doing, our friendly relations, not only with your empire, but also with the other treaty powers, have been drawn more closely; this, in fact, is to be attributed to the efforts and the exertion of Mr. Harris, for which we are most grateful. And for this reason we expressed a desire to your excellency that he might continue to reside here for some years.

But this desire does not appear to have reached your government, as his successor has been selected, and Mr. Harris has been instructed to return, which we consider as a necessity to be regretted; and it is desirable that he may come back here.

However, as his successor has also been selected and sent by your government, there may be no difference between the former and the present minister; and we trust, therefore, that the present minister will also arrange everything in a friendly manner, as has been the case heretofore.


A true translation.