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THE HISTORY MUSEUM:. JAPANESE OCCUPATION. Map of H.K. What ?. The Invasion of H.K It was also called: “The Battle for H.K ’’ «The   Fall of H.K » . When ?. It lasted 17 days from the 8 th to the 25 th of December 1941.

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The history museum



Japanese occupation

  • The Invasion of H.K

  • It was also called:

    • “The Battle for H.K ’’

    • «The  Fall of H.K »

Japanese occupation

  • It lasted 17 days from the 8th to the 25th of December 1941.

  • Therefore the invasion was launched the same time as the attack on Pearl Harbor.

  • Japanese occupation

    The H.k, British, Canadian, Indian troops, under the command of major- gener. MaltBy, defended h.k

    The Japanese troops, under the command of takashi sakai, attacked h.k


    Japanese occupation

    • On the same morning as the attack on U.S soil, the Japanese forces suddenly attacked and obliterated the Hong Kongese air force: the strategic military move was a success.

    Air strike

    • After that, the first Hong Kongese land to fall under Japanese occupation was the New Territory: it marked the beginning of the end of the short Hong Kongese resistance. Indeed, after that, major general Maltby ordered a retreat to Hong Kong island to postpone the inevitable surrender of the governor of Hong Kong, Sir Mark Aitchison Young.

    After the invasion
    After the invasion

    Only 3 days after the fall of H.K, the Japanese organized a parade in Stanley to celebrate their new victory. Indeed they were one step closer to achieving their dream: to control a unified Asia doubted the “Greater East Asia Co-Prosperity Sphere”. Now they welcomed « Captured territory of H.K » into the fold.

    Parade through H.K

    Japanese institution
    Japanese institution

    • As soon as the «  Governor’s office of the ‘Captured territory of H.K’ » was erected, the Japanese tried to impose their own way of running the city, while winning the Chinese people’s hearts. They did this by creating the Chinese Representative Council & the Chinese Co-Op Council, and propaganda

    Life under japanese rule
    Life underJapaneserule

    • Firstly, the Hong Kongese population was submitted to Japanese culture, language, and etiquette. Indeed, all traces of Hong Kong way of life were replaced by elements of a more Japanese lifestyle. For example, all Chinese “enemy” banks were closed, a prestigious Japanese school opened: the “East Asia Academy”, but it didn’t welcome any students, the Japanese military yen was put in circulation…

    • Secondly, life with a Japanese foot on your throat can be a hard life, suffocating. Indeed, the population experienced a devastating anguish, due to privation, that lingered in the lives of brave Honk Kongese during the whole occupation. During all that time, the population lived without public transport, fuel, happiness… On the other hand they had a depressing depression, a lot of loathsome labor, an insane inflation, and ridiculously rare ration cards that allowed you 242 grams of meat a day…

      • There are those however that were least bothered than others by Japanese invasion. The rich business men for example : they got together to create cartels to protect their business.

      • There are those, however, that had it harder than the others. The Prisoners Of War for example : there were 9000 of them, or the guerilla resistance troops formed by ZengSheng in 1939.

    Japanese occupation

    Dongjiang Guerillas fighting in trenches

    A hand-out of a Japanese language learning radio program

    Japanese soldiers arrested the western bankers and kept them in a Chinese hotel.

    A picture of honk kong during the occupation
    A picture of Honk kong during the occupation

    After they left

    • After 3 years and 8 months of misery the Japanese occupation of Hong Kong ended in 1945, but by then the Hong Kongese population already dwindled from 1.6 million to 600,000. When the United States dropped an atomic bomb on Hiroshima on 6 August 1945, and the USSR launched the Manchurian Strategic Offensive Operation, a decisive counter attack, the Japanese left H.K.

    The document of surrender was signed by Japan on 15 September

    The British cruiser HMS Swiftsure, entering Victoria Harbour through North Point on 30 August 1945

    Hong Kong was handed over by Imperial Japanese Army to the Royal Navy on 30 August 1945; British control over Hong Kong was thus restored. The "30 August" was declared as the "Liberation Day", and had been a public holiday in Hong Kong until 1967. Later, the length of the Japanese stay became a metonym for the occupation : the invaders have forever imprinted this period in the Chinese minds, and have associated it with painful memories.

    Japanese occupation

    Liberation of Hong Kong in 1945. Picture taken at the Cenotaph in Central, Hong Kong.

    Celebration of a "New Hong Kong" after Japanese occupation

    2 years after the occupation
    2 years after the occupation… Cenotaph in Central, Hong Kong.

    Pictures of the museum
    Pictures of the museum Cenotaph in Central, Hong Kong.