In 1941, the passenger-cargo ships ASAKA and AWATA MARUs were requisitioned from the Nippon Yusen Kaisha (NYK) Line by the IJN and converted to armed merchant cruisers at Mitsubishi's Nagasaki shipyard. Both were rerated as transports in 1943. ASAKA MARU was bombed and sunk by USN carrier aircraft in 1944. AWATA MARU was torpedoed and sunk by an American submarine in 1943.
|Dimensions:||Length 478', beam 61', draft 26'|
|Propulsion:||1 Mitsubishi-Sulzer diesel, 1 shaft, 8,000 shp, 19 knots.|
|Armament:||4 x (140-mm/(5.5-inch)/50 cal. single mount guns, two twin mount Type 96 25-mm AA, one quadruple mount, four single mount 13.2-mm MGs, three single mount 7.7-mm MGs. Four 533-mm (21-inch) torpedo tubes (2x2).|