Q+A 14 Inland River Operations Company

HF writes: I am trying to gather information about this company and not coming up with much. Apparently in mid-January 1942 (ie during the occupation of Hong Kong by the Japanese) the Inland River Operations Company resumed river steamers between Hong Kong, Macau and the Mainland.

I am not sure whether “resumed” meant the company existed pre-1942 or whether it was a new company that was formed to operate the ferries which then “resumed” service.

Can anyone provide further information about the Inland River Operations Company. Or indeed anything about ferries during the Japanese occupation of Hong Kong both within HK waters and those going further.

nb The featured image on the Home Page is of a Hong Kong and Canton steamer  of unknown date

This article was first posted on 1st January 2014.



  • Lawrence Tsui

    According to the Kweilin Intelligence Report of the BAAG KWIZ No. 68 in September 1944:

    Agents reported the steamer ‘Fat Shan’ (which operated between HK & Macao until sunk by a typhoon August 1971, killing many of its crew) was operating between HK & Canton during the War. The ship belonged to the HK,Macao Canton Steamboat Co, was renamed NanKai 201 (South Sea). Name was later changed to Koto Maru (HK Island Ship). Sailings were advertised in the Hong Kong News.

    Reports also said most of the tug boats were made to operate between HK & Canton carrying troops in the main.

    Various BAAG agents were actively observing all enemy shipping in HK and providing details of Japanese ships as well as the various dockyards, making detailed drawings of both. (See Lindsay Ride Papers at the AWM Series 10 Folder 16).

  • Hugh Farmer


    Again, very useful things to add to our growing knowledge about Hong Hong during the Japanese occupation. I’ve added what you sent to HK Industry during World War Two.

Leave a Reply to Hugh Farmer Cancel reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *