Mr. Stevens to Mr. Evarts.
Tokei, Japan, May 13, 1879. (Received June 10.)
Sir: On the 2d instant, Shoken, the young prince of Loo Choo, accompanied by his suite, arrived at Yokohama in the steamer dispatched by the Japanese Government to bring his father, the ex-king, to this country. The latter alleged illness as a reason for not coming to Japan at the present time, and it was accordingly decided to bring his son in his stead.
On the 8th instant his excellency Sanjo Saneyoshi His Imperial Japanese Majesty’s prime minister, addressed an order to Prince Shoken in the following words: “For public reasons you are hereby ordered to remain in Tokei.”
It would seem from this that the Japanese Government is resolved to leave nothing undone toward completing the changes recently begun in the local government of the Loo Choo Islands. The inclosed extract from the Nichi Nichi Shimbun (translated for the Japan Daily Herald of the 5th instant) gives some account of the manner in which those changes have been effected. The islands have now been made, in due form, a ken of the empire; Japanese are installed in the chief offices; the King has only the rank of a Japanese noble (Kwazoku), while the principal gentry of the kingdom have become pensioned, samurai (shiz-oku). The subordinate local officials have been retained, and it is reported that there are no signs of discontent either among them or among the common people. The King and his advisers, who are more nearly affected by the new order of things, are, of course, dissatisfied with the change, but is is hardly probable that their discontent will assume any practical shape. Nor is it probable that China will actively interfere in behalf of the people whom she has hitherto, tacitly at least, recognized as dependents. His excellency H-ü-Chang, Chinese minister at this court, seems to have contented himself with remonstrating against the action taken by Japan, and still remains here, notwithstanding the determination he expressed some time ago to return to China if the Japanese Government persisted in the course it had adopted toward Loo Choo.
I have, &c.,