No. 376.
Mr. Bingham to Mr. Fish.

No. 191.]

Sir: I have the honor to acquaint you with the fact, as appears by the official communications of the diplomatic representatives of England and France and his excellency the Japanese minister for foreign affairs, (copies of which, as published in the Japan Herald of date the Kith instant, are herewith inclosed inclosures 1 and 2,) that those two powers have, of their own motion, concluded that the time has now arrived when the small British and French force now in Yokohama should be withdrawn” * * *

Whatever may have led to this action, it seems to me to be a timely recognition of the capacity and the right of Japan to furnish the needful force to maintain the peace within her own territory. This withdrawal of the foreign land force may well be taken as some indication that the two powers named considered this action on their part to be called for in their own interests.

I am, &c.,

[Inclosure 1 in No. 191.]

British and French ministers to the minister for foreign affairs.

[From the “Japan Herald,” February 16, 1875.]

Monsieur le Ministry: In conjunction with my colleague, the minister of France, I have the honor of informing your excellency that our governments consider that the [Page 788] time has now arrived when the small British and French force stationed at Yokohama should he withdrawn.

In making this communication we feel that we need not recur to the circumstances under which our governments found it necessary to send a force to Japan for the protection of their treaty-rights, and to continue such protection pending the re-establishment of order, and the constitution of a stable administration. The government of His Majesty the Tenno will doubtless remember that throughout a period of trouble and difficulty, inseparable from a revolution so remarkable as that which has occurred in Japan, the presence of this force has prevented the serious embarrassments which must have ensued if foreign life or property had been attacked before the restored government had succeeded in tranquillizing the country and in consolidating their authority. They will have seen that in proportion to the progress made in the attainment of these objects the allied force was gradually reduced, and they will now appreciate, we trust, the promptness with which the resolution of our governments to remove the remainder of that force has been taken on the termination of those difficulties which threatened, until toward the close of last year, to disturb the peace of Japan.

It affords our governments sincere satisfaction to be able to give His Majesty the Tenno this spontaneous proof of their good will, and also of the confidence they repose in the power and the desire of His Majesty’s government to insure due security to foreigners resident in Japan.

On our own part we have pleasure in observing that the task in which our troops have been engaged in this country has been performed in a manner which reflects honor upon themselves and upon Japan. We feel that the cordial relations which have been maintained between them and the Japanese officers and people throughout their stay, and the friendly services which they have mutually rendered each other, have materially contributed to the growth of good feeling between our respective nations.

I take this opportunity to renew to your excellency the assurance of my highest consideration.

His Excellency Terashima Munenori,
&c., &c., &c.

[Inclosure 2 No. 191.]

The minister for foreign affairs to French ministers.

[From the, Japan Herald,” February 16, 1875.]

Sir: It has given me much pleasure to peruse the detailed explanation which you have given me in your dispatch of the 27th ultimo of the circumstances under which your government and that of France have now resolved to withdraw entirely the force hitherto stationed at Yokohama for the protection of the treaty-rights of the subjects of your two countries.

Owing to the unsettled condition of this country before the revolution, those troops were sent here for the protection of your country’s subjects, but in consequence of the re-establishment of a national government by His Majesty the Tenno, and the increasing intimacy of our foreign relations, our nation, as actual experience has shown, has implicitly adhered to the policy of the government in these two respects. The time, therefore, has arrived when (your government and that of France) have resolved upon withdrawing your force altogether, a circumstance from which both our governments derive the highest satisfaction. I have no doubt that the cordiality of the relations between them will be still more enhanced by this measure.

I should also observe that it gives me much pleasure to recognize the good feeling which has marked the intercourse, with all classes of our people, of the troops which; are now to be removed, during the period of their stay here.

I need scarcely say that it is the hope of this government to maintain on the same cordial footing the existing friendship between the subjects of our respective countries.

I have, &c.,

Minister for Foreign Affairs.