No. 401.
Mr. De Long to Mr. Fish.

No. 439.]

Sir: I have the honor to inform you that this morning I received a note from one William H. Doyle, an American citizen, resident here, [Page 644] regarding the rights and privileges of Americans resident in this empire. (Inclosure No. 1.)

I immediately replied, (inclosure No. 2,) informing him that before giving him the desired information I should refer the matter to you.

Respectfully awaiting instructions, I have, &c.,

[Inclosure 1 in No. 439.]

Mr. Doyle to Mr. De Long.

Sir: Permit me, most respectfully, in behalf of myself and others interested therein, to beg the favor of an early answer to the following questions:

Is a citizen of the United States of America residing in Japan at liberty to surrender his extraterritoriality privileges as such citizen, and become subject to the municipal laws of Japan, in order to reside in the interior of Japan and outside of the settlements appointed by foreign residents and occupancy, and provided the government of Japan will permit such citizen so to reside in and be subject to the laws of Japan?
Is there any law or regulation of the United States government making it compulsory for the United States citizens residing in Japan to submit to the extraterritoriality jurisdiction of the United States government in Japan?
Should the government of Japan permit such citizen to live on the territory of Japan as an alien subject, subject to their laws by his own choice and election, in the same sense that a Japanese subject resides in America, is there any law of the United States to permit it, or would he forfeit his rights of citizenship in the United States?

I beg your excellency will make no objection to enlighten us on these points, and trust that you will pardon us the liberty I take in troubling you so much.

I have, &c.,

[Inclosure 2 in No. 439.]

Mr. De Long to Mr. Doyle.

No. 168.]

William H. Doyle, Esq.:

Your note of this date is at hand. The questions you propose to me are rather beyond my province to advise you about, at least Until after I shall have obtained the views of my Government. In the absence of any instructions, if called upon to act officially, I should hold any American citizen found upon Japanese soil as subject to the jurisdiction of American laws and American officers, and entitled to American protection, while the doctrine of extraterritoriality remains in force in our treaties with Japan. The American citizen here carries with him the protection of American law wherever he, goes; this privilege must be conditioned upon his being subject to the duties our laws enjoin upon him, at least until our Government has in some way been consulted and expressed its consent to withdraw this protection and release the individual from his obligations.

This view is concurred in by my colleagues, the representatives of the other treaty powers, and is enforced by them on their people here. I will, however, submit your inquiry and a copy of my reply to the Secretary of State for instruction, and when his reply thereto is received I will at once communicate with you.

I am, &c.,