Memorandum by Mr. William T. Turner of the Division of Far Eastern Affairs

Conversation: Mr. Shun-ichiro Kawahara, Third Secretary, Japanese Embassy;
Mr. Dooman;
Mr. Turner.

Mr. Kawahara stated that he had reported to his Government the changes in the Polish treaty37 suggested by officers of this Division as desirable in the proposed consular convention, and that he had been authorized to reply that there was no objection to the inclusion in the proposed convention of a paragraph reading [Page 1057]

“The provisions of this treaty shall not preclude the exercise by a consular officer of any function conferred upon him by the sending state and not forbidden by the law or the practice of the receiving state.” (Page 2 of Department’s draft.38)

Mr. Kawahara stated that his Government desired that the wording of a suggested amendment to Article IV of the Department’s preliminary draft which provides that

“(consular officers) shall have the right to the protection of the government of the receiving state and to the assistance of the local authorities to assure the free exercise of their functions” (Page 3 of Department’s draft.)

be modified to read

“and they may ask for the protection etc.”

Mr. Dooman suggested that an additional phrase reading

“and if there is no objection under local law they shall receive the protection etc.”

be inserted in this clause.

Mr. Kawahara stated that with regard to the suggested provision to exempt officials exercising “essential governmental functions in the territory of the other High Contracting Party” from taxation (see page 8, Department’s draft), the Japanese Government would prefer to effect a separate arrangement toward the same end. Mr. Dooman remarked that exemption from taxation of such officials could only be effected by statute or treaty, and that it seemed to him that these exemptions could more expeditiously be provided for in a treaty. Mr. Kawahara stated that he would give the matter further attention.

Mr. Kawahara stated that the Japanese Government had no objection to including a provision permitting consular officers to take depositions, but that it was desired that the wording of the provision suggested in the Department’s preliminary draft (page 14), be amended to provide against compulsory testimony.

Mr. Dooman stated that the inquiries which Mr. Kawahara had made on his previous visit (see memorandum dated June 7, 1935) were being studied by the Department’s lawyers and that as yet no reply to them could be made. Mr. Kawahara stated that he feared that too much importance had been ascribed to these inquiries, and that he desired merely an informal reply.

Mr. Turner inquired whether the Embassy was preparing a preliminary draft of the convention. Mr. Kawahara stated that the Foreign Office was studying our treaty with Poland and was preparing a draft with suggested amendments for submission to the Department.

  1. Signed at Washington, June 15, 1931, Foreign Relations, 1931, vol. ii, p. 938.
  2. Not printed.