No. 416.
Mr. Fish to Mr. Bingham.

No. 18.]

Sir: Your dispatch No. 17, of the 17th of November, 1873, in relation to the” hunting regulations” recently promulgated by the government of Japan, has been received.

Your views in relation to the character of these local laws and regulations, as containing nothing which conflicts with the privileges secured to American citizens resident in that country under existing treaty regulations between the United States and Japan, are entirely in accord with the views entertained by this Department.

The right of the authorities of Japan to enact and promulgate laws for the government, security, and good order of its own people, cannot, of course, be questioned for a moment, and of the character and sufficiency of these laws, that government must be the sole judge. Citizens of the United States resident in Japan are expected and required to observe and obey such laws in the same manner and to the same extent that the like obligations rest upon the subjects of that empire. In regard to the enforcement of these laws, and the imposition of penalties for their infraction, citizens of the United States have secured to them, by the provisions of existing treaties, the right of being tried in [Page 659] the consular courts of their own nation, established in Japan, and according to the mode prescribed by the laws of the United States, and are protected from the infliction of any other penalties than those prescribed or warranted by the laws of their own country. So long as these privileges are recognized and respected by the government of Japan, there can be no cause of complaint on the part of this government in relation to the promulgation of any municipal law or regulation which the legislative authority of that country may deem necessary to its public interest and welfare.

I am, &c.,