Chargé Wilson to the Secretary of State .

No. 453.]

Sir: I have the honor to confirm the legation’s cipher telegram of the 3d instant and to acknowledge the receipt of your instructions by cable received on the 5th, as follows:

[Telegram sent May 3, 1906.]

Sec. State, Washington:

Am I authorized to acknowledge in writing that the President’s ratification of the copyright convention applies equally to the Japanese text, which is not included in our instrument of ratification, and that the texts have equal force? The ratification prepared by the Japanese Government covers both texts.


[Telegram received May 5, 1906.]

Am. Legation, Tokyo:

Copyright convention. You are authorized to make in writing statement in your telegram May 3. Would be well also to include statement in protocol of exchange. Department was unable to reproduce Japanese text and followed precedents.


Upon the receipt of the department’s instruction No. 173, of March 9, wherewith were transmitted the President’s ratification of the copyright convention of November 10, his authorization empowering me to effect the exchange of ratifications, and a form of protocol for such exchange, I at once informed the minister for foreign affairs that I was prepared to carry out the exchange of ratifications so soon as should be convenient to the Japanese Government.

The delay which followed was due to the treaty’s being still under consideration by the privy council; and finally a difficulty arose from the fact that the Japanese text was not ratified by the President. From the first discussions of this point it was apparent that the minister for foreign affairs would be satisfied with a formal assurance that the intention was the same as if the Japanese text had been included in the instrument of ratification.

It is only recently, as you are aware, that the Japanese Government has made treaties wherein the Japanese version is not a mere translation but an authoritative text.

The protocol, which I have the honor to forward herewith, was drawn up and signed on the 10th instant, when the exchange of ratifications took place, as was reported in the following telegram of that date:

Sec. State, Washington:

Tenth. Ratifications copyright convention exchanged to-day.


I have the honor to transmit under separate cover the instrument whereby the Emperor of Japan has ratified the convention.

I have, etc.,

Huntington Wilson.
[Page 986]

protocol of exchange of ratifications.

The undersigned met together for the purpose of exchanging the ratifications of the convention between the President of the United States of America and His Majesty the Emperor of Japan regarding the protection of copyright in both countries, concluded and signed at Tokyo on the 10th day of November, 1905 (the 10th day of the 11th month of the 38th year of Meiji);

Before proceeding to that act, the undersigned, chargé d’affaires ad interim of the United States of America, duly authorized by his Government, declared that, although owing to an inadvertent omission to forward from the American legation at Tokyo an extra copy of the Japanese text and because of the impossibility of reproducing the said text at the Department of State, the ratification by the president of the said convention is made only to the English text, the said ratification will be considered by the Government of the United States valid in all respects as if the Japanese text had also been ratified;

The undersigned, His Imperial Japanese Majesty’s minister of state for education, having accepted the foregoing declaration, and the respective ratifications of the said convention having thereupon been carefully compared and found to be exactly conformable to each other, the said exchange took place this day in the usual form.

In witness whereof the undersigned have signed the present protocol of exchange and have affixed thereto their seals.

  • Huntington Wilson,
    Chargé d’Affaires ad interim of the United States of America.
  • N. Makino,
    His Imperial Japanese Majesty’s Minister of State for Education.