No. 733.
Mr. Hubbard to Mr. Bayard.

No. 419.]

Sir: I have the honor to inclose for the information of the State Department two copies of a late Imperial rescript promulgated on the 25th instant, intended, as expressed by the Government, to secure “the maintenance of public tranquility and to prevent disturbances opposed to the welfare of the people and to the nation’s political reforms.”

I have, etc.,

Richard B. Hubbard.
[Inclosure in No. 419.—Translation.]

imperial ordinance, no. 67.

I hereby sanction the following ordinance and order it to be duly proclaimed, deeming it necessary at the present juncture to the maintenance of public tranquility and to the prevention of disturbances opposed to the public weal and to the improvement of the administration and the progress of the nation.

[privy seal.] His Imperial Majesty’s Sign-Manual.


Ito Hirobumi,
President of the Cabinet.

Yamagata Aritomo,
Minister of State for Home Affairs.

Yamada Akiyoshi,
Minister of State for Justice.
  • Art. I. Secret societies and secret assemblies are hereby forbidden. Those violating this regulation are liable to be punished with minor imprisonment for a period of [Page 1064] not less than one month and not more than two years, together with a correctional fine of from 10 yen to 100 yen. Ringleaders and instigators shall be liable to punishment two degrees heavier than the above. The minister for home affairs is authorized to provide and enact suitable measures for obstructing the communication or union of the above-mentioned secret societies and meetings, in accordance with article 8 of the meeting regulations. Any person violating them shall be liable to the above penalties.
  • Art. II. It shall be competent for the police, without preliminary reference to higher authority, to put a stop to open-air assemblies or meetings, should they deem such a step necessary. Persons acting in violation of this order, or inciting others to disobey, of persons willingly attending such meeting or assembly, are liable to minor imprisonment for a period of not less than three months and not more than three years, together with a correctional fine of from 10 yen to 100 yen. Any person acting as a follower of the above is liable to a fine of from 2 yen to 10 yen. And any person carrying arms or causing arms, to be carried at such meetings or assemblies is liable to punishment two degrees heavier than the above.
  • Art. III. Any person or persons plotting or instigating disturbance, or who publish books or pictures designed to disturb the public peace, are liable to punishment under the criminal code and the press laws, and to the confiscation of all publications as well as the plant used in their publication. Ignorance of the import of such publications will not constitute a valid plea for exemption from the penalties imposed by this article.
  • Art. IV. Persons residing or sojourning within a radius of 3 ri round the Imperial palace or an Imperial place of resort, who plot or incite disturbance or who are judged to be scheming something detrimental to the public peace, may be ordered by the police or local authorities to leave the district within a fixed number of days or hours with the sanction of the minister for home affairs. Any person who does not depart within the stated time or day, or who after departure is again guilty of any of the aforesaid offences, is liable to a penalty of from one to three years’ minor imprisonment and to police surveillance for a period not exceeding five years. Such surveillance to be exercised within the district of their original registration.
  • Art. V. In the event of peace and good order in any place or district being imperilled by popular excitement or preparations pointing to disturbance, it shall be within the power of the cabinet to proclaim that district and to order that the following provisions, either wholly or in part, be applied within it for a fixed period:
    All public meetings, whether in the open air or otherwise, under whatsoever pretext they may be held, shall be illegal, unless previous sanction has been obtained from the police authorities.
    The publication of all newspapers and printed matter shall be illegal without a preliminary inspection by the police authorities.
    It shall be illegal to use, carry, or trade in guns, pistols, gunpowder, sword canes, etc., without special permission from the local authorities.
    The comings and goings of travellers shall be submitted to surveillance and a special passport system will be put in force.
  • Art. VI. Persons guilty of offences against these regulations are liable to minor imprisonment for a period of from one to two years, together with a fine of from 5 yen to 200 yen. Any one guilty of an offence against the criminal code, as well as against these special regulations, shall be further liable to punishment under that code.
  • Art. VII. This ordinance shall be put in force and effect from the day of its promulgation.