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Characters / World Of Tanks Japan

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Tanks designed and produced by Imperial Japan and the Japanese Self-Defense Forces.

There are a few things all Japanese tanks have in common. They all have poor armor thicknesses, but the presence of sloped and rounded armor zones can lead to lucky bounces. They also combine good gun depression with guns that have excellent penetration and a good balance between alpha and Rate-of-Fire. In the first few tiers, the Japanese tanks can seem to prove to be a real turn off. They have somewhat poor aim times (though certainly not as poor as Russian tanks) and accuracy that can leave a good amount to be desired. Several Japanese tanks are incredibly huge, the higher tier heavies and the tier 7 medium in particular.


Currently, there are only one end-tier medium line and heavy line. Of the heavies, most tanks never were finished in reality, but were blueprints. And most are as big as the Maus!

Japanese Tank Crew Tropes:

  • Gratuitous English: One of the quotes for the announcer when destroying an enemy tank sounds like "Nice Shot".
  • Large Ham: One of the three hammiest announcers in the game, tied with France and China.
  • National Stereotypes: Their food consumable is onigris.

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    Japanese Light Tanks 
Japanese light tanks offer good speed and agility, culminating into the Type 5 Ke-Ho, which is small, fast, agile, and packs a surprising punch. However, to balance these overall good characteristics, the three light tanks in the Japanese line lack in armor even more so than their medium counterparts, and are not exactly specialized for scouting in general.


  • (T1) Renault Otsu > Ha-Go > Ke-Ni > Ke-Ho: Merges with the medium line at tier 5.

Renault Otsu

  • Underground Monkey: Basically just an up-armored Renault FT with a bigger engine. It's slightly less maneuverable for that, and has the same piddly gun as the French version (not that it makes a difference on its tier). An interesting tidbit: the engine is diesel-powered, making it less likely to betray the two-man crew to a fiery doom than its petrol-powered cousins.

Type 95 Ha-Go

Type 97 Te-Ke

Type 98 Ke-Ni

Type 98 Ke-Ni Otsu

Type 5 Ke-Ho

  • Pintsized Powerhouse: While it's only tier 4 and quite small, it is fairly mobile despite its relatively low top speed and has a choice between two fantastic guns - a 57mm gun with great penetration and damage for a light tank of its tier, or a 47mm with slightly less damage and penetration but a better aim time. Both guns are quite capable, and have good DPM.


    Japanese Medium Tanks 
In the diverging medium tank line, agility is traded for additional firepower and flexibility, a shining example being the Type 97 Chi-Ha, which while a bit cumbersome, possesses great firepower and accuracy for its tier, which enables it to play not only as a support medium but also a tank destroyer. The Medium tanks, along with their light tank cousins, are somewhat lacking in armor overall compared to their international peers, but often possess good HP for their tier, sometimes bordering on heavy-like HP.


  • (T2) Chi-Ni > Chi-Ha > Chi-He > Chi-Nu > Chi-To > Chi-Ri > STA-1 > Type 61 > STB-2
  • (T3) Type 89 I-Go/Chi-Ro


Type 97 Chi-Ha

Type 1 Chi-He

Type 3 Chi-Nu

  • Glass Cannon: Has a potent 75mm for the tier, but 50mm of flat vertical armor makes it very vulnerable to the howitzers prevalent at this tier.

Type 3 Chi-Nu Kai

  • Glass Cannon: Has a potent 75mm for the tier, but 50mm of flat vertical armor makes it very vulnerable to the howitzers prevalent at this tier.
  • Underground Monkey: It's a slower Chi-Nu with a similar 75mm gun and a similar vulnerability to howitzers.

Type 4 Chi-To

Type 5 Chi-Ri

  • Acrofatic: While quite sluggish overall for a medium, it is still fairly quick for a tank that's about the same size as a Tiger II.


Type 61


A Prototype tank that was the first stage of designing the Type 74 MBT for the Japanese Ground Self-Defense Force (JGSDF), built in 1968 by Mitsubishi Heavy Industries. The design is based around that of many of the NATO nations tanks and prototypes in development at the time, with the suspension from the US-German MBT-70 prototype, the hull design of the Leopard 1, and the NATO standard British Royal Ordinance L7 105mm Rifled Gun.
  • More Dakka: Of all the Tier X tanks that use a version of the British Royal Ordinance L7 105mm rifled gun, it has the worst aim dispersion, and slightly lower penetration. It also reloads significantly faster, giving it one of the best DPM among all Tier X tanks.
  • Moveset Clone: Effectively, it's overall design is very close to the Leopard 1. However, it trades a number of the Leopard 1's soft stats for better armor, better gun depression, and a faster firing gun, making it better at shooting medium to short range targets while fighting along a ridge line.

    Japanese Heavy Tanks 
The planned, but (mostly) never produced, Japanese heavy tanks. Essentially, most of these tanks were never fully built and only existed on paper. Wargaming managed to find enough information on them to bring these massive machines to life.

As for their combat capabilities... Japanese Heavies are absolute behemoths: They have gigantic health pools, big guns, and tend to be heavily armored all-around. However, most of these tanks are extremely sluggish, have completely flat armor, and their gigantic size makes them bait for opposing artillery.

Tropes common to all Japanese Heavy Tanks:

  • Irony: Each Japanese heavy has fantastic gun depression with at least -10 degrees. At the same time, the higher tier tanks are so huge that they can't use the depression as effectively as other heavies, and smaller vehicles can easily roll up to them below their turrets and shoot into their flat side armor with impunity.
  • Mighty Glacier: All tanks after the Type 95 are extremely heavy, well-armored, and have huge, punchy guns. Unfortunately, all of the tanks (with the notable exception of the O-I experimental) have terrible mobility and speed.
  • Ramming Always Works: When every tank after the Type 95 Heavy is larger than the Maus, yes. Every single Japanese heavy tank can, and will, win any ramming battle it gets into. On any map with a steep hill or incline (Himmelsdorf and Winter Himmelsdorf are good examples of this) and you see a Japanese heavy (especially an O-I Experimental) on the enemy team, stay very far away from the hills. It's normal top speed is 40kph, however going downhill, it jumps to 50kph. Even KV-2s get flattened by these things going downhill.
  • Rare Vehicles: EVERY SINGLE ONE OF THESE. Imperial Japan never had the materials nor the Industrial capacity necessary to manufacture Heavy Tanks in any sort of appreciable numbers. This didn't stop Wargaming from introducing a Heavy Tank Branch in the Japanese Tech Tree for Patch 9.10 since they've somehow managed to find a sufficient amount of data and blueprints on their very obscure projects.


  • (T3) Type 91 Heavy > Type 95 Heavy > O-I Experimental > O-I > O-Ni > O-Ho > Type 4 Heavy > Type 5 Heavy

Type 91 Heavy

The Type 91 was Japan's first attempt at a multi-turreted heavy tank, and is the first (and only) tier 3 heavy tank. Only one was completed in 1932. While it never saw combat, the experience gained in building it was used in developing the Type 95 heavy.

  • Joke Character: It's big, slow, thinly armored, and its stock gun isn't that great. It's got so few redeeming qualities that it's considered a poor matchup for the Tier 1 German Leichttraktor light tank, which can casually drive circles around the Type 91 and blow it away inside ten seconds. The 47mm gun it gets is fairly good, but even then it's not enough to make up for its other faults.

Type 95 Heavy

The Type 95 is Japan's tier 4 heavy tank. It, along with the other tier 4 heavy tanks, never sees anything higher than tier 5 tanks. Only one was built in 1934.

  • Damage-Sponge Boss: While it is one of the few tier 4 heavy tanks and has similarly high HP, it's armor is quite lacking.
  • Glass Cannon: Emphasis on Glass: With 30mm of armor at most, it's no better armored than some LIGHT tanks despite being a "heavy". Autocannons and howitzers will rapidly destroy this tank.
  • Lethal Joke Character: At first it seems like an uptiered Type 91, with similarly horrible armor and speed, but its upgraded 75mm gun is fairly good - it has acceptable penetration and good damage and rate of fire, having a good DPM. It's not amazing, but it can be quite deadly. For added hilarity, it has preferential matchmaking, which means that it will see the exact same enemies that the Type 91 does.

O-I Experimental

Japan's first true heavy tank, the O-I Experimental sits at tier 5. Contrary to popular belief, the O-I Experimental was actually designed, built, and tested. However, its massive size and inefficiency was its downfall, and it was scrapped. Today the only part that remains is a track link in Wakajishi Shrine, Japan.

  • Acrofatic: A 100-ton tank the size of a barn that tops out at 40kph.
  • Lightning Bruiser: It goes 40 kph, weighs 100 tons, and has a gun with 130mm of penetration and 300 damage per shot. It even has a decent 75mm thickness of armor all the way around—not as thick as the armor on a Russian-built KV, but still enough to resist many lesser guns.
  • Ramming Always Works: 100 tons at 40 kph means that it can run over almost anything else it is likely to meet.
  • Weaksauce Weakness: Because of its size and the peculiar details of its construction, the O-I Experimental is unable to hit smaller tanks in its own shadow. Something like a Luchs can cuddle up next to one and put half a dozen autocannon rounds into its flank and stand a good chance of hurting it.

Heavy Tank No. VI

The Heavy Tank No. VI is a Japanese tier 6 premium heavy tank.

In 1943, the Japanese ambassador to Germany attended Henschel's field trials of the Tiger. After that, the company was ordered to transfer all tank documentation to Japan. One disassembled Tiger was sent to Bordeaux on October 14, 1943, to be delivered to Japan by submarine. However, the vehicle was never delivered, and the Japanese were never able to establish their own production of Tigers. This enterprise cost 645,000 Reichsmarks to Japan, while the original cost was 300,000 Reichsmarks.

This tank is available both in the premium store and via purchase with in-game gold.

  • Palette Swap: As the description says, its a German tank in Japanese service. However, unlike the German tech tree Tiger I, this one has the correct historical loadout.
  • Glass Cannon: Do NOT attempt to roll forward and shoot everything in sight as if driving an O-I when driving this tank- you will get torn to pieces. The tank performs better in a second-line sniper role.
  • More Dakka: Fully kitted out, this tank can send a mostly accurate 88mm shell downrange every 6 seconds, in keeping with the gameplay style of the normal Tiger I.
  • Riddle for the Ages: The Japanese purchased a Tiger I, and the tank was shipped by submarine to Japan. The submarine and tank never arrived, and no one knows where the submarine disappeared to.
  • Unexpected Gameplay Change: As a watered-down German-built Tiger I appearing at Tier 6 instead of 7, it suffers from the flat armor and vulnerable modules of the Tiger I, but brings in German accuracy and rate of fire to make up for it. O-I drivers used to rolling forward like an Implacable Man and shooting once every 30 seconds are going to get torn to pieces attempting it in this tank; as said before, it's better in a second-line sniper role.


  • Attack Its Weak Point: The only reasonable way to defeat this monster is either attacking it from above or aiming at the slightly thinner side hull armor. Forget attacking the rear armor, by the way—that armor is as thick as the front of the tank!
  • BFG: Similarly to the KV-2, it's top gun is a massive 15cm howitzer.
  • Lightning Bruiser: Frighteningly so. It's got two massive guns that deal enormous amounts of damage, armor that's quite thick all over (literally twice as thick as the O-I experimental, including a rear plate that is as tough as its front plate and turret), and it does 30 kph (which is sluggish, but not the worst at its tier, and still faster than several lighter tanks).
  • Ramming Always Works: Weighs 150 tons and is quite mobile for it's size; ramming it or getting rammed by it is likely not going to end well for you.
  • Weaksauce Weakness: Since it shares the same hull construction as the O-I Experimental, it has the same weakness to small tanks getting up close and overly personal with its less well armored flanks.


A Tank based on an artist's misinterpretation of a description of the O-I, it never existed even in blueprints.

  • Artistic License – History: The O-Ni is based on an illustration of the O-I rather than plans for another real tank.
  • Mighty Glacier: Unlike the O-I Experimental (and the O-I, to a lesser degree), the O-Ni sets the standard for the rest of the Japanese Heavy tanks, only going at most 25 kph but having fantastic frontal and rear armor and huge guns.
  • Weaksauce Weakness: It still has a massively inadequate 70mm of side armor, the same as its tier 5 and 6 predecessors. This makes sidescraping extremely difficult.


  • Mighty Glacier: Has even more armour than the O-Ni, with an imposing 200 mm of Japanese steel at the front.
  • BFG: Can use a 15 cm howitzer from the O-I. Since it's now two tiers higher, the gun can reload in just over 14 seconds with a trained crew and equipment.
  • Power-Up Letdown: The upgraded 10 cm gun, which is supposed to be the "best" choice for this tank, is considered inferior to the 15 cm howitzer. While it has a decent rate of fire for a gun of its caliber (resulting in good DPM), its subpar penetration and accuracy limits its effectiveness in tier IX and X battles, compounded by the lack of premium ammunition for the gun.
  • Weaksauce Weakness: The asymmetrically arranged mini-turrets in the front mean that the O-Ho can't depress its gun while the turret is facing directly forward or to the right, giving it a relatively large blind spot against attacks coming from below.

Type 4 Heavy

Japan's final heavy tank design, the Type 4 (known as the Type 2604) was a never completely finished project. However, its turret was finished, and was used along the coast as a defensive bunker. As it was never completed, its armor and speed are made-up by WG to balance it out.

  • BFG: It has a 14cm cannon, the same guns that were used as the main guns on the IJN's 5500-ton light cruisers and as secondaries on their inter-war battleships. Notably, it's the largest caliber gun on any tier 9 heavy tank, outdamaging many tier 10 guns and even some same tier tank destroyers.
  • Mighty Glacier: Having the aforementioned 14cm cannon and fantastic armor, and even good side armor, unlike its predecessors. Unfortunately, it's excruciatingly slow, especially stock.

Type 5 Heavy

The Type 5 is essentially an uparmored and slightly faster version of the Type 4, with better reload and gun handling.

  • BFG: It has the same 14cm cannon as the preceding Type 4, but with a better reload and gun handling characteristics.
  • Mighty Glacier: Similarly to the Type 4, except better all-around. Its speed and acceleration in particular, while not fast in the slightest, are much better.


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