Ships furnished with a safe-conduct or license

About Ships furnished with a safe-conduct or license

Even in war, there were ships whose voyage was guaranteed to be safe. One was, of course, hospital ships based on international treaties, and the other was ships furnished with a safe-conduct or license. During the Pacific War, ships that were given safe-conduct or licenses included exchange ships and relief ships. Exchange ships were used to exchange diplomats and civilians left behind in enemy territory after the outbreak of war and return them to their home countries, while relief ships were ships that were requested by enemy countries to deliver comfort goods to prisoners of war. During the Pacific War, there were Japanese-American exchange ships twice (the first: Asama Maru and Conte Verde, next: Teia Maru), and Japanese-British exchange ship once (Kamakura Maru and Tatsuta Maru). Three relief ships (Hakusan Maru, Hoshi Maru, and Awa Maru) were also furnished. Unlike hospital ships, the voyage schedule was decided based on the mutual agreement between the governments in advance. The Japan-US exchange ships prepared by the allied force were M/S Gripsholm, and the Japan-UK exchange ships were S/S El Nil, City of Paris, and City of Canterbury. The Conte Verde was chartered from Italia, and the Teia Maru was from France. M/S Awa Maru was illegally sunk breaking the agreement by USS Queenfish (SS-393) and more than 2,000 crews and passengers were killed.

Data of Ships furnished with a safe-conduct or license

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History of Ships furnished with a safe-conduct or license

Click each thumbnail! (Sorry Japanese version is only available.)

Asama Maru

Conte Verde

Kamakura Maru

Tatsuta Maru

Teia Maru

Hakusan Maru

Hoshi Maru

Awa Maru


Photo Source:

  1. Asama Maru, Kamakura Maru, Tatsuta Maru, Teia Maru: 1 okunin no Showashi, special issue "Showa Senpakushi", Mainichi Shinbunsha
  2. Conte Verde: Ship of the world. Feb 2007. Kaijinsha
  3. Hakusan Maru: Senpakubukai "Yokohama". Senpakushiko No.20
  4. Hoshi Maru: Sea & Sky, Special issue "World Merchant Marine Directory"
  5. Awa Maru: Roger Dingman, Ghost of War (Japanese translation). Seizando Shoten