The Japanese Minister to Acting Secretary of State Adee.
Washington , March 27, 1905 .
Sir: I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of your note No. 190, of the 24th instant, informing me that the Navy Department has acquainted you with a communication from the commandant of the Mare Island Navy-Yard transmitting a letter from the commander of the dismantled Russian ship Lena requesting that one of the seamen of the Lena, Nicholas Starikoff, who had been recruited in the compulsory service by mistake, be given permission to return to Russia; that from the indorsements accompanying the communication it appears that there was a mistake made three years ago by which Starikoff was drawn for the five years’ compulsory service and [Page 593] that he took the place of another man whose name should have been drawn; and that the officers and men of the Russian ship Lena being paroled in fulfillment of the neutrality of the United States, your government is disposed, in the exceptional circumstances recited in this case, to discharge Nicholas Starikoff from his parole, provided that course is agreeable to my government.
In reply, I beg to state, under instructions, that the Imperial Government entertains no objection to the proposal of the United States Government to permit Nicholas Starikoff, one of the seamen of the Lena now interned in San Francisco, to return to Russia, in the exceptional circumstances recited in your note, provided the said Nicholas Starikoff be made to give parole before the United States authorities to the effect that he will not take part in the war now being waged between Japan and Russia as long as it lasts, or, in case this can not be done, he may be made to give parole to the same effect before the Japanese consul at San Francisco. Should the latter course be preferred, I should like to be fully informed as to how and when the man shall appear before the said consul, in order that I may give him necessary instructions on the subject.