An interesting and unusual cover, pictured above, originated from Peking in 1920 and was addressed to the Czechoslovak Legation in Tokyo.
A special reduced rate for letters to Japan existed between the 5th August 1910 and 31st December 1922, and this was 3 cents per 15 gm.
On the other hand there was an 'Ordinary Express' service available only after the inclusion on the international tariff as from September 1914, following membership of the UPU. being obtained.
This cover was accepted at this express rate of 12 cents. With the franking on this cover totalling 18 cent. one has to assume that it exceeded the basic weight of 15gm.
It is interesting to note that from 1st January 1923 the' Ordinary Express' fee was removed from the tariff for Japan/Korea due to the 'Registered Express' fee being reduced to 10 cents. Eventually on the 9th December 1935 the 'Ordinary Express' fee was re-introduced at 5 cents.
Reference: Postage Rates of China 1867-1980 Pingwen Sieh and J. Lewis-Blackburn.
Derek R. Page