The Imperial Japanese Army (IJA) initially purchased foreign tanks for evaluation during World War I, and began developing its own indigenous designs during the late 1920s.
Due to the war with China, Japan produced a large number of tanks. Although initially the Japanese used tanks to good effect in their campaigns, full-scale armored warfare did not occur in the Pacific and Southeast Asian theaters as it did in Europe, and tank development was neglected in favor of naval activities. The best Japanese designs were never used in combat as they were kept back in expectation of defending the Japanese Home Islands.
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