Mr. Hubbard to Mr. Bayard.
Tokio, March 20, 1888. (Received April 21.)
Sir: Referring to your instruction No. 186, dated February 4, concerning the desire of Japan to enter into a convention for the abolition of tonnage or other equivalent charges on merchant vessels plying between [Page 1941]the ports of the United States and Japan, and in which instruction you directed me, at the instance of the honorable the Secretary of the Treasury, to ascertain the amount of tax or taxes equivalent to tonnage or lighthouse dues imposed in Japan on American vessels, I have the honor to inclose herewith a copy of the reply from the Japanese minister for foreign affairs to my note making said inquiries.
It will be observed that Count Okuma says that nearly all the information desired by the honorable Secretary of the Treasury is contained in the communication addressed to me by Count Ito on this subject on the 15th of September, 1887, a copy of which note I had the honor to inclose to the Department of State in my dispatch No. 383 of September 24, 1887.
I beg, therefore, to invite the Department’s attention to the following extract from the note of Count Ito referred to:
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 lien thereof and in lieu of all similar charges an entrance fee of $15 and a clearance fee of $7 at each entry and clearance, irrespective of burden, is collected from American vessels in common with all foreign going ships.
I beg also to call the Department’s attention to the closing paragraph of the note from Count Okuma which I have the honor to inclose herewith:
In order, however, that full and complete answers may be made to Mr. Fairchild’s inquiries, I beg to supplement Count Ito’s reply by the assurance that no higher fees or dues of any kind or nature are imposed on vessels of the United States than are imposed on Japanese vessels, and that no higher import or export duties are levied on the cargoes of vessels of the United States than are levied on the cargoes of Japanese vessels.
I have, etc.,