Mr. Bingham to Mr. Evarts.
Tokei, Japan, September 16, 1878. (Received October 18.)
Sir: I have the honor to inclose herewith, for your information, the report of the Japanese minister of finance of the estimated revenues and expenditures of His Imperial Japanese Majesty’s Government for the fiscal year commencing July 1, 1878, and ending June 30, 1879.
The report shows the present liabilities of the government to be 375,000,000 yen, and proposes to provide for a reduction thereof of 20,000,000 yen per annum and its full payment in twenty-eight years.
The revenues for the current fiscal year are estimated at 53,275,900 yen, and the expenditure thereof at a like amount.
Of the estimated revenue for the year 40,373,935 yen is to be derived from land tax alone, while but 1,070,684 yen is estimated from imposts upon imports for the year.
And this system of raising more than three-fourths of the national revenue by a tax on the lands of the producers of the nation’s bread is the necessary result of the existing commercial restrictions imposed by treaties upon this empire and to perpetuate which is the manifest purpose, in my opinion, of some of the European states. It is to the honor of the United States of America that its government, under your just and enlightened action, has declared its-readiness to lift from the oppressed people of Japan this burden, too grievous longer to be borne.
I have, &c.,