No. 200.
Mr. Bingham to Mr. Fish.

No. 425.]

Sir: By your instruction No. 228, of date the 15th of May last, I am requested to inform the Department whether Germany has made with Japan a treaty similar to that of the convention of 1866, concluded with the Governments of the United States, Great Britain, France, and the Netherlands, and, also, what other powers, if any, have concluded similar treaties with Japan. I have the honor to say, in reply to your inquiry, that, as I have always understood, of the other treaty powers, Belgium, Germany, Spain, Russia, Portugal, Peru, Denmark, Austria, Hungary, Italy, Norway, and Sweden have entered into treaties substantially similar to the said convention of 1866 with Japan. I have the honor to transmit herewith a volume of all the treaties made by the Western Powers with Japan for your information, another copy of which has been kindly promised me by the foreign office. I beg leave, in further answer to your instruction, to call your attention to the treaty made by Japan with North Germany, in the volume inclosed, pages 474–500, and especially to article 7 of the commercial regulations annexed to said treaty, on page 497, which adopts the convention of 1866 with certain reductions, a translation of which reductions will be found on pages 532, 533. This treaty was made in 1869 between North Germany and Japan, and went into operation on the 1st of January, 1870. You will notice by the official translation, on page 532, that, by this treaty, North Germany and Japan reduced the rates of duty prescribed by the convention of 1866 on certain cotton and woolen mixtures specified, some 20 per cent. It would seem that this change of [Page 381] the convention was made without the cooperation of either of the Western Powers who were parties to the convention of 1866. I infer from the notice given by Japan, on page 532, that the treaty of 1869 with North Germany having been agreed upon, this government assumed that the United States, Great Britain, France, and the Netherlands would comply with the request made in the official communication, (on page 532,) and issue a notification to their countrymen of the reductions agreed upon by the two contracting parties.

I inclose a translation of the seventh article of the convention, page 497, between North Germany and Japan.

I have, &c.,

[Inclosure in No. 425.—Translation.]

seventh regulation.

Duties shall be paid to the Japanese government on all goods landed in Japan according to the annexed tariff. The tariff on imports is in all respects the same as in the tariff convention of June 25, 1866, only the import duties on the following articles are reduced:*

Cotton singlets and drawers, per dozen, 25 cents.

Woolen singlets and drawers, per dozen, 80 cents.

Mixed (woolen and cotton) singlets and drawers, per dozen, 50 cents.

Any Japanese subject shall be free to purchase either in the open ports of Japan, or abroad, every description of sailing or steam vessel intended to convey either passengers or cargo; but ships of war may only be obtained under the authorization of the Japanese government.

All foreign vessels purchased by Japanese subjects shall be registered as Japanese vessels on payment of a fixed duty of 3 loos per ton per steamer, and 1 loo per ton per sailing-vessel. The tonnage of each vessel shall be proved by the foreign register of the ship, which shall be exhibited through the consul of the party interested on the demand of the Japanese authorities, and shall be certified by the consul as authentic.

Ammunition and arms can only be sold to the Japanese government and to foreigners.

  1. See communication on page 532 of Treaties and Conventions.