No. 407.
Mr. De Long to Mr. Fish.

No. 482.]

Sir: I have the honor to inform you that some weeks since my German colleague, Baron Von Brandt, forwarded unofficially to me for consideration a draft of regulations which he proposed submitting to his colleagues for consideration, and subsequently to this government, for the government of foreigners traveling or doing business in the interior of this empire, (inclosure No. 1.) Subsequently, at a meeting of the diplomatic corps, these regulations were considered, when it was resolved to address this government a joint note upon the subject of opening the country freely to foreign trade and travel, and at the same time to submit a plan therefor in the form of a code of regulations.

This course of action was followed, and on the 27th of last month we addressed and forwarded a print letter on the subject, (inclosure No. 2,) and also a code of proposed regulations, (inclosure No. 3.) To this letter no reply has as yet been received, but it is believed by us all that in a few days’ time we shall be able to agree with this government upon a plan nearly, if not quite, similar to the one we have proposed, and that Japan in a few weeks will be declared open to foreign trade and travel.

I regret my inability to assist in concluding this interesting business.

I am, &c.,

[Inclosure 1 in No. 482.]

Draft of regulations.

  • Art. 1. Foreigners not in the employ of the Japanese government, wishing to travel in the interior, must address themselves, through their legations or consulate, to the Japanese authorities in order to obtain a passport. The foreign officer at Tokei, and the Kenrei, or their assistants, will be authorized to issue passports.
  • Art. 2. To dismissed or disabled seamen, and foreigners without means of livelihood, or having suffered a condemnation for crime or misdemeanor, or for the Ill-treatment of Japanese, permission to travel in the interior will not be granted, and the foreign legations and consulates will not present any demand in favor of such persons.
  • Art. 3. Every foreigner, before obtaining a passport from the Japanese authorities, will have to deposit with them the sum of $300. Only the paid officials of the foreign legations and consulates, merchant consulates excepted, will be exempt from this obligation. This sum will serve to reimburse the Japanese government any expenses which may have been occasioned to them by the misbehavior of the foreigner, necessitating his arrest and transport to the nearest consulate of his nation.
  • Art. 4. The deposit will be returned to the foreigner ten days after he has handed back the passport to the Japanese authorities, unless claims have been presented against him in the interval, in which case the deposit will be held back until a decision has been given by the proper authorities. A deduction of $10 will be made from the above-mentioned deposit for every day the foreigner has retained the passport over and above the time for which it has been issued, and a deduction of $50 will be made in case the passport has been lost.
  • Art. 5. Foreigners being found without a passport in the interior will be subject to arrest by the Japanese authorities and to a fine of $100 first, and of $500 in every subsequent case.
  • Art. 6. The Japanese government will take the necessary steps to prevent foreigners from going outside of the treaty limits without first informing the consul of their nation of their intention to do so, as well as of the place where they are going to reside. Any infringement of this rule by a foreigner will be punishable by a fine not exceeding $100.
  • Art. 7. The passport must show, besides the name and a full description of the person to whom it is granted, the part or parts of Japan the hearer will be allowed to travel, and the time for which it has been issued. The annexed copy shows the form adopted.
  • Art. 8. Foreigners traveling in the interior will be at liberty to make contracts or buy merchandise, and have the merchandise bought or contracted for carried to one of the open ports without having to pay higher tolls or dues than those to be paid by Japanese merchants; but they will not be allowed to take goods into the country for sale or for samples. Sample-books, or samples of a size that they can be conveniently carried by a person on their body, are excepted from this prohibition.
  • Art. 9. Every foreigner traveling in the interior will have to observe all municipal laws and regulations referring to the use of roads, vehicles, &c., the use of fire-arms, or the right of fishing or shooting. He will have to pay the same road, ferry, &c., tolls as the Japanese, but he will be exempt from any local or other taxes.
  • Art. 10. In all claims of a Japanese against a foreigner arising on questions of boat, horse, or other means of transport and coolie-hire, of payment for board and lodging, or of a similar kind, the claim having originated outside of the treaty limits, and the foreigner being himself outside of said limits, the local Japanese authorities shall have the right to hear and summarily decide such claims. In every case, however, the local Japanese authorities will be bound to forward a full report of the case to the foreign office, so as to enable the latter to judge and decide any reclamations against the former decisions which might be presented to them by the proper foreign authorities.
  • Art. 11. Foreigners having, while traveling in the interior, committed a crime, or being guilty of indecent or riotous conduct, will be arrested by the Japanese authorities and brought to the nearest open port or place, where they will be handed over to the consul of their nation.
  • Art. 12. The Japanese government engage to take the necessary measures to prevent cruelty or undue severity being shown in the arrest and transport of foreign offenders.
  • Art. 13. The expenses arising from such arrest or transport will, in case of the guilt of the foreigner, be made good to the Japanese government out of the sum deposited by the offender at the receipt of his passport, or in case he should be without a passport the judgment will provide for the repayment of their expenses to the Japanese government.
  • Art. 14. The provisions of this arrangement will take effect on and from——.
[Inclosure 2 in No. 482.]

Letter of the foreign representatives.

In your excellency’s reply of the 7th ultimo to the note identique of the foreign representatives of the 26th July on the subject of foreigners traveling in the interior of Japan, your excellency was so good as to assure the latter that on the return of his excellency Iwakura, the embassador plenipotentiary, who was expected to arrive here in three or four weeks, your excellency would be glad to consult the foreign representatives as to the regulations and measures which might best suit the convenience of their respective governments in regard to the question above named. As the embassador plenipotentiary arrived in Yedo on the 13th instant, the undersigned feel that your excellency will now expect them to recur to this subject.

In order, therefore, to commence the discussion on which your excellency is doubtless prepared to enter, and in accordance with the assurance contained in the note identique of the foreign representatives of the 26th July, that they are quite prepared to establish rules for the governance of their countrymen while in the interior, which shall effectually guard against disorder or public inconvenience, the undersigned now beg to place before your excellency a draught of regulations which they agree in considering to be well adapted to this end, and which they now wish to discuss with your excellency. In doing so they should observe that there are some points connected with these arrangements which the undersigned have not thought it necessary to specify in this draft of regulations, but upon which it is important that a clear understanding should be arrived at. Thus they consider that neither the members of the legations or of the consulates should be required to deposit security on applying for passports. The immunities which attach to members of the legations are so clearly laid down in international law, that no question can arise as to what is suitable in their case, and the undersigned consider that, in view of the position of consular officers in Japan, the same principles might in courtesy be applied to [Page 650] them in regard to travel in the interior. In exercising the power of arresting foreigners, which would be given to the Japanese authorities, under the circumstances named in these regulations, it seems desirable to point out that by ill-usage and undue severity, the undersigned mean such practices as beating the prisoners, binding them with cords, or providing them with unwholesome accommodations or bad food. The use of force of the kind named must surely be unnecessary in the case of foreigners traveling singly or in small parties in the interior of Japan. The undersigned also consider that forcible arrest should not be unnecessarily resorted to. It can only be needed when the foreigner refuses to proceed with the Japanese officers to the nearest treaty port, and it may be presumed that he would seldom aggravate his offense by committing the additional one of offering resistance to the officers. In conducting a foreigner in custody from the interior to a treaty port, in order that he may be prosecuted before his consul, the Japanese officers should be careful to bring with them such evidence as would be necessary to prove the charge. It is possible that other points may occur to the undersigned as worthy of mention in the course of their negotiations with your excellency on this subject, but they hope to find that they have facilitated those negotiations by placing a draught of regulations in your excellency’s hands, and they have now to request your excellency to join with them in proceeding with the consideration of this question in order that a settlement of it may be promptly effected.

The undersigned avail themselves, &c.

[Inclosure 3 in No. 482.]

Draft of regulations.

Foreigners may travel for their pleasure or for purposes of trade to all parts of the interior under passports which will be issued upon the demand of their respective ministers or consuls by the Japanese authorities. Passports will not be demanded for seamen, or for any person who has no ostensible means of livelihood, or who has been convicted of felony, or twice convicted of misdemeanor.
The passport will not be transferable. It will give in full, the names and description, residence and nationality, of the person to whom it is granted, and will state the time for which it is issued. On the expiration of the time named in the passport it must be returned by the holder, through his minister or consul, to the proper Japanese authorities.
Upon application for a passport, the applicant shall deposit with his minister or consul, security to the amount of $200, which shall be returned to him ten days after the passport shall have been given up to the Japanese authorities, provided no claim or charge relative to his conduct while in the interior shall have been laid against him, otherwise the security shall be retained until the said charge or claim shall have been heard and decided by his consul.
If the holder of a passport transfer it to another person he shall forfeit the whole of his security. If, owing to any culpable or avoidable cause, he fail to return the passport as soon as it has expired, he may forfeit either the whole or such portion of his security as maybe deemed by his consul to be an adequate punishment for his neglect.
Any foreigner traveling in the interior beyond the treaty limits without a passport duly obtained, or with a passport which has expired, may be arrested by the Japanese authorities, and will be liable to a fine not exceeding $200, or to imprisonment not exceeding thirty days, on conviction before his consul.
Foreigners traveling in the interior shall enjoy the same facilities as Japanese for hiring persons, vehicles, or transport of any kind for the carriage of themselves or their merchandise, and shall not pay higher tolls than those which are paid by Japanese.
If a foreigner, while traveling beyond treaty limits, fail to pay or wishes to complain of any claim for horse or coolie-hire, transport, lodging, or entertainment of any kind, the local Japanese officer shall inquire into such claim or complaint, and shall state the amount that he considers due. The foreigner shall thereupon pay that amount, and if he refuse to do so he may be arrested by the Japanese authorities; but if the foreigner be dissatisfied with the amount named by the local officer he may pay the same under protest, and in that ease the local officer will be bound to furnish them with a written statement of the claim, and the amount the officer has called upon the foreigner to pay, in order that the same may be reconsidered by the Japanese foreign minister, upon the demand of the diplomatic representative of the foreigner.
Every foreigner traveling in the interior must observe all local municipal laws or regulations which shall be made known to him, and if he fail to do so, or if he commits any crime or offense, or is riotous or disorderly, he may be arrested by the Japanese authorities.
Any foreigner arrested under these regulations by the Japanese authorities shall be immediately conveyed to the nearest treaty port and handed over to his consul, with a charge stating the offense he has committed; but he must not be subjected to ill-usage, or undue severity, either on the occasion of his arrest or while he remains in the hands of the Japanese authorities.
The expenses incurred by the arrest of any foreigner for any of the causes above named, or by his conveyance under arrest to a treaty port, will be made good to the Japanese government out of the security deposited by the said foreigner on receiving his passport, upon conviction of the offense charged.

In the case of any foreigner arrested in the interior without a passport, the judgment of the consul or minister shall include an order for the repayment by the offender of all expenses incurred by the Japanese government.