My latest at the National Interest takes note of Japan’s long-standing interest in disguising the nature of its carrier fleet:
As international subterfuge goes, this is really a mild case. But it’s hardly the first time that Japan has engaged in a bit of sleight-of-hand with respect to its carrier force. Prior to World War II, operating on limited funds and under the restrictions of the Washington Naval Treaty, the Imperial Japanese Navy (IJN) facilitated the construction of numerous ships designed for conversion into aircraft carriers. Many of these ships went on to play large roles in the campaigns of the Pacific War, although most were lost in the conflict.