In 1941, the IJN wanted fleet oilers for their carrier task force, because they had only the eight old, low-speed tankers. The IJN prepared sixteen Kawasaki-type tankers to solve this. However, they did not have facilities for gasoline. The IJN intended to build four Kazahayas (Ship # 304-307). However, all naval arsenals were crowded at the outbreak of war. The IJN bought one of the same type of merchant tanker made by Harima with the Kazahaya naval budget.