In the 1934 Second Reinforcement Program the Tsurugizaki class of of high speed oilers was ordered. As the Japanese Navy was limited by the naval treaties it wanted ships that could be rapidly converted into carriers once war came. These oilers had reinforced hulls which would facilitate later conversion.
It was decided that the Tsurugizakis would be better as submarine tenders and the designs were changed.
Originally had diesel engines but these were replaced by destroyer steam turbines.
A funnel was located at the stern and could be lowered during flight operations.
There were two elevators located in the flight deck. The Shōhō class also had two catapults.
The hangar was 350' long.