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Aircraft carriers in The Imperial Japanese Navy


In the 1920s, the Kaga (originally laid down as a battleship) and a similar ship, the Akagi (originally laid down as a battlecruiser) were converted to aircraft carriers to satisfy the terms of the Washington Naval Treaty.

From 1935-1938, Akagi and Kaga received extensive rebuilds to improve their aircraft handling capacity. Japan put particular emphasis on aircraft carriers. The Imperial Japanese Navy started the Pacific War with 10 aircraft carriers, the largest and most modern carrier fleet in the world at that time.

There were seven American aircraft carriers at the beginning of hostilities, only three operating in the Pacific; and eight British aircraft carriers, of which a single one operated in the Indian Ocean.

The IJN's two Shōkaku-class carriers were superior to any carrier in the world, until the wartime appearance of the American Essex-class.[39] A large number of these Japanese carriers were of small size, however, in accordance with the limitations placed upon the Navy by the London and Washington Naval Conferences.



Following the Battle of Midway, in which four Japanese fleet carriers were sunk, the Japanese Navy suddenly found itself short of fleet carriers (as well as trained aircrews), resulting in an ambitious set of projects to convert commercial and military vessels into escort carriers, such as the Hiyō.

Another conversion project, Shinano, was based on an incomplete Yamato-class super battleship and became the largest-displacement carrier of World War II. The IJN also attempted to build a number of fleet carriers, though most of these projects were not completed by the end of the war. One exception being the Taihō, which was the only Japanese carrier with an armored flight deck and first to incorporate a closed hurricane bow.
Following Japan's surrender to the Allies at the conclusion of World War II, and Japan's subsequent occupation, Japan's entire imperial military was dissolved in the new 1947 constitution which states, "The Japanese people forever renounce war as a sovereign right of the nation and the threat or use of force as a means of settling international disputes."
Japan's current navy falls under the umbrella of the Japan Self-Defense Forces (JSDF) as the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force (JMSDF).
Classes of aircraft carriers in The Imperial Japanese Navy
Aircraft carriers in The Imperial Japanese Navy

Akagi Fleet carrier; converted Amagi class battlecruiser
Akitsu Maru ( Imperial Japanese Navy)
Amagi Unryū class light fleet carrier

( Imperial Japanese Navy)
Chiyoda ( Imperial Japanese Navy)
Chuyo ( Imperial Japanese Navy)

Hiyō ( Imperial Japanese Navy)
Hiryū ( Imperial Japanese Navy)
Hōshō Flat-deck aircraft carrier

Kaga Converted Tosa-class fast battleship
Kaiyo Converted escort carrier
Unryū-class carrier
Kumano Maru ( Imperial Japanese Navy)

Myoho ( Imperial Japanese Navy)

Nigitsu Maru ( Imperial Japanese Navy)

Onuyo ( Imperial Japanese Navy)aircraft carrier

Ryuho ( Imperial Japanese Navy)
Ryūjō Light aircraft carrier

Shimane Maru ( Imperial Japanese Navy)
Shinano ( Imperial Japanese Navy)
Shinyo ( Imperial Japanese Navy)
Shōhō ( Imperial Japanese Navy)
Shōkaku ( Imperial Japanese Navy)
Sōryū ( Imperial Japanese Navy)

Taihō ( Imperial Japanese Navy)
Taiyō ( Imperial Japanese Navy)

Unryū ( Imperial Japanese Navy)
Unyo ( Imperial Japanese Navy)

Yamashiro Maru ( Imperial Japanese Navy)

Zuihō ( Imperial Japanese Navy)
Zuikaku ( Imperial Japanese Navy)

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