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United States Department of State / Papers relating to the foreign relations of the United States with the annual message of the president transmitted to Congress December 3, 1912

Japan,   pp. 634-648 PDF (5.2 MB)

Page 642

     [inclosure 4.] 
Statement to the Pmicss on return of the Special Ambassador to the United
 As publicly announced before I left Washington and repeated on my arrival
in Japan, the purpose of my recent mission was, on behalf of the President
and the people of the United States, to pay a tribute of respect to the memory
of the late Emperor; to manifest the appreciation of the American people
of the wonderful achievements under His Majesty's benign reign; and to express
the sympathetic American interest in the new Japan. 
 In fulfilling that high nmission I was received on all sides by the Court,
the officials, ' and the people of Japan in the spirit in whiclm I came.
I have the pleasantest recollections of the kindly reception that was everywhere
accorded me in Japan, both personally and as representative of the American
people, at a tinme of profound national mourning. 
File ~io. 895.52/10. 
The Vice Consul General at Seoul to the Secretary of State. 
No. 334.] Seoul, April 22, 1912. 
 Sin: I have the honor to enclose herewith translations,' made in this office,
of ordinances of the Government Genera.l of Chosen, as follows: 
Ordinance for Certification of Imniovables in Chosen (effective April 1,
' 1912). Ordinance for Registration of Imniovables in Chosen. (Date of enforcement
to be determined by the Governor General.) 
Registration Tax Ordinance (effective April 1, 1912). 
 These ordinances in no wise affect the validity of titles which have already
been certified. They merely provide for the maintenance by local officials
of comprehensive land records, and all future transactions must be carried
out in accordance with them. 
 Viewed broadly, these laws appear to be the latest move on the part of the
Government General to complete the work which has occupied the attention
of the Japanese authorities ever since their arrival in this country, i.
e., to establish some authoritative record of land rights. The first land
laws were promulgated by the. then Korean Government on October 31, 1906,
and supplemented by numerous other laws regarding the certification and registration
of rights in land. Finally, on August 24, 1910, a law providing for a thorough
investigation of the lands of the peninsula was enacted.2 This investigation
will, when finished, furnish a complete cadastre of Chosen. These mew ordinances
provide a means of keeping the cadastre up to date. They have, moreover,
the advantage of compelling uniformity of land records throughout the country,
a condition which has not obtained hitherto. 
 While these ordinances place considerable power in the hands of local officials,
there is provision for appeal to the courts, and it is not anticipated that
any injustice will result. 
 1 Not printed. 2 For. Rd. 1911, p. 328. 

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