No. 188.
Mr. Bingham to Mr. Fish.

No. 346.]

Sir: On the 8th instant I received from Mr. Terashima, for the information of our Government, certain statistics of mines, shipping, productions, &c., of Japan. In these statistics, among other things, I learn that there are in this empire 1,200 miles of telegraphic lines in operation, with 59 offices; also, 32 miles of railway opened in 1872 and 1874; also another railway to be opened in June next, connecting Osaca with Kioto, the ancient capital of the Mikado.

This statement shows further that there are in the service of the government 28 war-vessels, one of which is iron-clad; and that within the current year there are to be added to this fleet five additional vessels, one of which is to be iron-clad and two partially armored. It also appears that there were in the merchant-service of Japan, in 1874, 124 vessels, to which several have been added.

Of agricultural productions the following is shown as the product of 1873: Rice, 115,000,000 bushels; supposed value, $115,000,000. Wheat, 36,000,000 bushels; supposed value, $36,000,000. Tea, first quality, 20,750,000 pounds; supposed value, $500,000. Raw silk, 750,000 pounds; supposed value, $1,202,337. Silk, 1,000,000 pounds; value unknown. Tama silk, 3,000,000 pounds; value unknown. Floss silk, value, $83,629. Cotton, 13,000,000 pounds; value, $508,201. Silkworm eggs exported, value, $2,810,090.

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When you consider that the land is cultivated almost exclusively by hand, and that every blade of the rice is set by hand after it first springs from the seed, it is very noticeable that so much should be grown. With the aid of our machinery for planting, gathering, and threshing the grain, Japan could, with the same number of persons employed, produce fourfold the amount above stated of rice and wheat.

It also appears by this official statement that there are leased mines in this empire of gold, silver, copper, tin, iron, lead, arsenic, copperas, mica, coal, petroleum, kaoline, alum, sulphur, rock-salt, marble, fireclay, mineral resin, &c., 2,155 in number. The report is not intelligible as to the quantity or value of the minerals produced.

I have, &c.,