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A Guide To The Emergence Of Japan’s Modern Shipping Industries

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Chapter Summary

To a large extent shipping is a service industry which reflects the circumstances under which it operates. This is certainly true in the case of Japan. The establishment of the Nippon Yusen Kaisha (NYK) and Osaka Shosen Kaisha (OSK) provided Japan with two large shipping companies whose operations were very similar to those of many British firms. The vast majority of their ships were purchased in Britain until well into the twentieth century, and many British deck officers and engineers were employed. The Shipbuilding Promotion Law of 1896 encouraged the construction of iron and steel vessels of over 1000 tons, and soon thereafter the 6172-gross ton Hitachi Maru was constructed by Mitsubishi at its Nagasaki yard. Nonetheless, it was still cheaper to import vessels which were usually of a better standard, so the government brought in a Navigation Promotion Law in 1899 to provide larger operating subsidies for domestically-produced ships.

Keywords: Hitachi Maru; Japan; Mitsubishi; Nagasaki; Navigation Promotion Law; Nippon Yusen Kaisha (NYK); Osaka Shosen Kaisha (OSK); Shipbuilding Promotion Law



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