Mr. Bingham to Mr. Fish.
August 4, 1875. (Received
Sir: On the 31st ultimo, I received from his
excellency Terashima Munenori, the Japanese minister for foreign affairs,
the inclosed communication in relation to the fisheries of Japan, together
with the fishing regulations adopted by his government, copies of which
communication and of the regulations (translated) I have the honor to
inclose herewith, (inclosure 1.)
You will observe the general terms in which fishing is prohibited, both as to
the distance from the shore and the coast to which the prohibition applies.
It seems to me desirable that the regulations should be more definite in
these particulars, and J shall avail myself of an early opportunity to
confer with my colleagues and with the foreign minister upon the
The recent exchange of territory between Russia and Japan the north has not
yet been officially communicated to me, and hence I am in doubt as to the
territory included within the regulations.
I beg leave to submit the matter to your consideration, and to request of the
Department such instructions in relation thereto as may be deemed advisable.
I especially ask the attention of the Department to the second and third
regulations, providing for the search and seizure of our vessels on the high
I am, &c.,
[Inclosure 1 in No.
Mr. Terashima to
the 31st, the 7th month
of the 8th year of Meiji.
Your Excellency: With reference to illegal
fishing by foreign vessels in the waters adjacent to the Hokkaido and to
the other neigh boring islands under the jurisdiction of the Japanese
Empire, I had the honor to inform your excellency, in my letter dated
17th of the 5th month of last year, that it was proposed to take
measures for the sustaining Of the exclusive rights of Japan to and for
the protection of those fisheries.
The rules and regulations ordering these fisheries have been determined
upon as you will find them in the accompanying document, and I beg leave
to request your excellency to promulgate them to your countrymen.
With respect and consideration,
Japanese Majesty’s Minister for Foreign
To His Excellency J. A. Bingham,
Envoy Extraordinary and Minister Plenipotentiary
of the United States.
[Inclosure to inclosure in No.
Proposed regulations concerning the taking animals
by fishing, by hunting, or otherwise, on the shores of and off the
coasts of all the islands of Hokkaido and of those adjacent thereto
wider the jurisdiction of the empire of Japan.
- Every foreign vessel is prohibited from taking fish or other
marine animals, either by the use of hooks and lines, or of nets, by
shooting them, or in any other way whatever, within reach of a
cannon-shot from the shore of any of the coasts of all the islands
of Hokkaido and of those adjacent thereto belonging to this
- It shall be the duty of the Japanese officers specially appointed
for the purpose to warn the vessel to leave the place when they have
cause to believe her to be violating or to be preparing to violate
this prohibition; and if a foreign vessel be found to have violated
this prohibition, the said officers shall have the right to board
such foreign vessel and to examine her cargo.
- Whenever any foreign vessel has violated the prohibition contained
in the first article, and whenever she shall refuse to leave the
place or to allow the examination of her cargo, as mentioned in the
second article, it shall be lawful for the officers mentioned in the
above article to bring such vessel into the nearest open port, where
she shall be placed in charge of the consul of her nationality, and,
upon examination, if she be proved guilty, she shall be condemned to
make proper reparation.