Mr. Buck to Mr. Hay.
Tokyo, Japan, January 7, 1901.
Sir: Referring to my dispatch No. 526, of date the 14th ultimo, concerning the registration of immovables of United States citizens on property held under leases in perpetuity in the former foreign settlements in Japan for protection against third parties, especially the limitation in time for the registration of such immovables under ordinance No. 458, I have the honor to inclose herewith a copy of a note to the Japanese minister for foreign affairs upon that subject.
The note was written to remind the minister of our interviews in which I had expressed doubt whether, if a case in point should be brought before the courts, they would sustain in their rulings the construction put upon the clause apparently limiting the time to the 31st of December last, as given in his note to the British minister, and to put on record a reservation in my acceptance of the construction he had given the ordinance.
While I do not anticipate any case to arise in which, in consequence of fraud, a claim to any building will be set up by a third party, yet possibly one might arise, bringing in question whether owners of buildings not registered before January 1 of this year might not have lost priority of title against some claimant holding a subsequent title through fraud of the original owner.
I have, etc.,