Mr. Hubbard to Mr. Bayard.
Tokio, Japan, October 10, 1887. (Received November 2.)
Sir: I have the honor herewith to inclose for the information of the Department of State, copies, respectively, of my note to Count Ito, and his reply thereto, relating to the fur-seal fisheries in Behring Sea.
I am requested to call the attention of my Government respectfully and especially to the proposed reciprocal protection of the sea-otter, and to enlarge the protected zone so as to embrace the known habitat of that animal.
I took occasion to say unofficially to Count Ito that I had no hesitation in giving him the hopeful assurance that my Government would co-operate with his excellency’s Government in the proposal to include sea-otter as well as fur seal in any reasonable arrangement which would prevent unregulated and indiscriminate slaughter of this valuable animal [Page 1847] in the waters of Behring Sea as well as on the coasts of Japan and in their conterminous waters. I shall have the honor to await, in deference to Count Ito’s expressed request, your instructions in response to the respectful proposition of the Japanese Government before entering upon any formal negotiations on this subject. On receipt of this dispatch by the Department of State, I have the honor to suggest that if the reply to my cablegram of the 29th ultimo has been mailed to this legation by the Department, that in that end a brief telegram signifying your willingness to include the sea-otter in the said negotiations would advance the negotiations and gratify this Government as well, who manifests a deep interest in securing an early arrangement by our respective governments for the better protection of the fur-seal and sea-otter fisheries in American and Japanese waters.
I have, etc.,