No. 63.
Mr. Hubbard to Mr. Bayard.

No. 383.]

Sir: I have the honor to inclose herewith, for the information of the Department of State, a copy of a note received from his excellency the minister for foreign affairs, in reply to my note of the 30th ultimo in pursuance of your instruction (circular) dated July 9, 1887.

The Department will observe that in this instanceas in all similar propositions heretoforethe Japanese Government, while earnestly professing a desire to enter into separate reciprocal conventions for mutual considerations of benefit to be received by the high contracting parties through such conventions, yet declare that, under the favored nation clause of the existing treaties, it can not be done by their Government [Page 1938]in the comprehensive sense intended by the invitation of the United States Government, conveyed by your instruction.

The note herewith of the minister for foreign affairs fully explains the status of this Government in response to my note acquainting that minister of the desire of my Government in the premises.

I have, etc.,

Richard B. Hubbard.
[Inclosure with No. 383.Translation.]

Count Inouye Kaoru to Mr. Hubbard.

No. 7637.]

Sir: I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of your excellency’s note of the 30th ultimo, in which you inclosed copies of a communication from the honorable he Secretary of State of the United States and two acts of Congress, approved June 26, 1884, and June 19, 1886, respectively, and invited His Imperial Japanese Majesty’s Government to unite with your excellency’s Government in a measure looking to the reciprocal abolition of tonnage and light dues upon vessels employed in the trade between the ports of Japan and those of the United States.

While His Imperial Japanese Majesty’s Government warmly appreciate the friendly spirit that inspired the invitation, and fully recognize the enlightened and liberal aim of the Government of the United States in the endeavor to ameliorate the condition) of shipping, they are, nevertheless, prevented by their conventional engagements with other powers from accepting the invitation in its most comprehensive sense.

I have not, however, failed to observe, as pointed out by Mr. Bayard, that the act of Congress, in accordance with which the invitation was issued, is broad enough to cover a reduction as well as a total extinction of tonnage and equivalent charges on navigation. In order, therefore, that vessels interested may, to a limited extent at least, avail themselves of the benefits of the law, I beg to assure your excellency that vessels of the United States engaged in the foreign trade of Japan are in all respects placed upon an exact equality with national vessels engaged in the same trade and upon the same footing as the vessels of the most favored nation. No tonnage or light dues whatever are levied in the ports of Japan upon American vessels, but in lieu thereof, and in lieu of all similar charges, an entrance fee of $15 and a clearance fee or $7 at each entry and clearance, irrespective of burthen, is collected from American vessels in common with all other foreign going ships.

I avail, etc.,

Count Inouye Kaoru.