Diary entries by Clarence McElroy during his trip to Asia.
6th Tax on every RR [railway] ticket 7 Brewers & Distiller tax 7 Custom duties (?)
Each municipality can tax as much as 50% of Gov. tax & it includes vehicles & many other things.
The Governmt owns 4600 of the 5000 miles of RR [railroad] having recently bought the roads & are to issue bonds but has not yet done so. Experiment has not yet been tried here enough to say if it is successful Gov. owns all telegraph & telephone & has a monopoly & will not allow private men to compete. Gov. also gets good revenue from the tobacco monopoly. Telegraph & telephone ----- over expenses a net profit. In the Govermt Stamps are required on all documents & tax on suits graded according to amount. Do not have the jury system. Land can be owned by Japanese but not by foreigners, they can only lease for a long time. They have a singular custom about Family Council & Head of families
Spent the morning a the Court House a large two story building. I went all through it up stairs & down. It has very man offices with Japanese at work meeting & apparently doing business. Also went to the Court Room which was pretty well filled with spectators. I got down ------ bits about 11 o’clock when the judges all came in dressed in big black robes embroidered on coller [collar] & shoulders & all wore cloth caps. Beside the 3 judges constituting this Court were five(?) others dressed like the judges. One was the Prosecutor, but I don’t know who the other was. All five set on an elevated platform or bench like our American Supreme Court & all kept on their caps. After they were seated five men were brought in & sat down in the docks. First ---- of the five stood up before the judges, bowed. The presiding judge then read from a book for about 5 minutes & the two sat down & the other ---- stood up. I suppose these men had been tried & convicted & sentence was being passed upon them. The court then adjourned & every body left. All Japanese today were looking at the sky to see the “day star” for luck. I could not see the star, but could see the moon of course it was not as bright as in the night, but it was as distinct.
Japan, Courts, Judiciary