Mr. Pruyn to Mr. Seward

No. 13.]

Sir: I have the satisfaction to transmit herewith, No. 1, a convention for the reduction of duties, concluded with the Japanese government. The form has been changed, as it was desired to avoid the necessity of exchange of ratifications, instead of which the ministers are to send me a letter forthwith formally sanctioning the action of their plenipotentiary, of which they have already informally approved.

Agreements as to future negotiations for bonded warehouse system are yet to be signed; also in reference to Osacca and other incidental points.

I will send original Japanese and Dutch versions, certified, by way of California, or by first good private opportunity.

Meanwhile I should be pleased to receive from the Treasury Department any printed rules in its possession for regulation of bonded warehouses.

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, &c., &c., &c.

Convention for the purpose of encouraging and facilitating the commerce of the citizens of the United States in Japan.

After due deliberation, his excellency Robert H. Pruyn, minister resident of the United States in Japan, and his excellency Sibata Sadataro, governor of foreign affairs, both having full powers from their respective governments, have agreed on the following articles, viz:

Article I.

The following articles, used in the preparation and packing of teas, shall be free of duty: sheet lead, ratan, gypsum, solder, oil for painting, firing pans, matting, indigo, and baskets.

[Page 480]

Article II.

The following articles shall be admitted at the reduced duty of five per cent.: machines and machinery; drugs and medicines; (Note.—The prohibition of the importation of opium, according to the existing treaty, remains in full force;) iron, in pigs or bars; sheet iron and iron ware; tin plates; white sugar, in loaves or crushed; glass and glass ware; clocks, watches and watch chains; wines, malted and spirituous liquors.

Article III.

The citizens of the United States importing or exporting goods shall always pay the duty fixed thereon, whether such goods are intended for their own use or not.

Article IV.

This convention having been agreed upon a year ago, and its signature delayed through unavoidable circumstances, it is hereby agreed that the same shall go into effect at Kanagawa on the 8th of February next, corresponding to the first day of the first month of the fourth Japanese year of Bunkiu-Né, and at Nagasaki and Hakodadi on the 9th day of March next, corresponding to the first day of the second month of the fourth Japanese year of Bunkiu-Né.

Done in quadruplicate, each copy being written in the English, Japanese, and Dutch languages, all the versions having the same meaning, but the Dutch version shall be considered as the original.

In witness whereof, the above-named plenipotentiaries have hereunto set their hands and seals, at the city of Yedo, the 28th day of January, of the year of our Lord 1864, and of the independence of the United States the 88th, corresponding to the 20th day of the 12th month of the third year of Bunkio-Né of the Japanese era.

[l. s.]