Minister Buck to the Secretary of State .
Tokio , October 14, 1901 .
Sir: I have the honor to report that in an interview on the 10th instant with Mr. Komura, the Japanese minister for foreign affairs, upon the subject of a copyright convention between the two countries, concerning which several notes were passed between this legation and the Japanese foreign office during the early part of this year, copies of which accompanied the dispatch of Mr. Wilson, then in charge of the legation, No. 563 of date of May 20 last, the minister stated some reasons why a convention had not been agreed upon by his Government. He also remarked that the last note of his predecessor on the [Page 979] subject—date of May last (copy of Mr. Wilson’s dispatch above mentioned)—was based on technical grounds. I suggested that he put in writing the substance of what he had said to me as sufficient ground upon which Japan, in his opinion, would be justified in not agreeing to a convention. He consented to do so and on the 12th instant I received a personal letter from him covering substantially the points he had made. Understanding that the mark “Private” upon the letter only meant that it should be considered wholly unofficial, I take the liberty to inclose a copy herewith.
In several interviews with Mr. Sone, the last minister of foreign affairs, temporarily in office, I was unable to get any definite expression in respect of a copyright convention. Having received this unofficial expression of Minister Komura, I presume no official reply to Mr. Wilson’s note of May 20 may be expected until it is known here how the State Department views the position taken by the minister. In fact it seems that he implies as much in the closing paragraph of his letter.
I have the honor, etc.,