The Imperial Japanese Army felt that it needed an independent escort carrier or assault ship for transporting aircraft and troops. Also the ship needed to be able to have aircraft take off in support of Army troops.
The Akitsu Maru class ships were made up of former passenger liners.
Twenty 46' landing craft could also be carried in lieu of aircraft.
The boiler uptakes were routed to a single funnel on the starboard side.
There was a crane aft that would lift aircraft from below the flight deck.
There were ten 3" field guns that were supposedly used for supporting shore landings.