The Japanese Minister to Acting Secretary of State Peirce.

No. 32.]

Sir: I have the honor to inform you that three Japanese merchants, viz, Nobe Ichitaro, Yagabe Ghiuzaburo, and his son Gyo, who had been traveling in the northern part of Korea for the purpose of commerce, were captured by some Russian cavalrymen on May 1, 1904, at the district of Kisen in the province of Ping-an-do, Korea, and on the suspicion of espionage, they were sent to Russia and have since then been kept in a place called “Mezwetz” (?) as prisoners of war.

The Imperial Government, being convinced that the above-mentioned Japanese are bona fide merchants and had no connection whatever with the Japanese army or navy at the time of their capture, [Page 603] instruct me to request the good offices of the United States Government in instructing Ambassador Meyer to obtain from the Russian Government their release at the earliest possible moment.

Accept, etc.,

K. Takahira.