Mr. Bingham to Mr. Fish.
Tokei, October 8, 1874. (Received November 16.)
Sir: I have the honor to transmit herewith, for your information, a copy of a notification by the Japanese government to Chinese subjects resident in Japan (inclosure 1) informing them that in the event of [Page 769] war between Japan and China they shall not be harmed by this government unless they engage in trade contraband of war, act as spies, or do other injury to this country. I have also the honor to inclose a copy of another notification (inclosure 2) which has reference to the Japanese expedition to Formosa, the occurrences there between the Japanese forces, and the efforts at negotiation by the ministers sent to China by Japan, &c. It is to be observed in this last notification that while it is said that the Emperor desires a peaceful result by negotiation, it is clearly stated therein that preparations are being made for war in the event of a failure to settle the difficulties by negotiation. A notice appearing in the papers that Mr. Wasson, the American citizen mentioned in my dispatches of April last, was recently in Nagasaki, awaiting orders to report to General Saigo, the Japanese commander in Formosa, I took occasion to request the minister for foreign affairs, by a dispatch of date the 1st instant, (inclosure 3,) to notify Mr. Wasson of the fact hitherto communicated to you, that he (Wasson) was detached from that service and should not proceed to Formosa. I have the honor to further inform you that in the latter part of September I received from Mr. Seward, at Shanghai, a dispatch of date the 1st ultimo, inclosing a note identically agreed upon by the foreign consuls at Shanghai for the protection of foreign commerce, &c., in the event of hostilities between Japan and China, (inclosures 4 and 5.) To this communication I replied in a letter (inclosure 6) dated the 2oth ultimo. 1 respectfully submit the same for your consideration, hoping that my action may meet your approval, and especially desiring your instructions in the matter. I have this evening received a communication from the minister for foreign affairs asking me what Chinese, if any, are in the service of this legation, and requesting me to notify him in future if any Chinese shall be employed at the legation or discharged therefrom. To this I have replied that there are no Chinese in the employ of the legation at present, and that should any be employed therein or discharged therefrom in the future I shall inform him.
I am, &c.,