Borrowing the name given to the Allied Liberty Ships when they first came out, this study details Japan's feverish effort to build a large fleet of so-called Standard Ships to counter the severe losses sustained by her merchant fleet in the Pacific War. The Emergency Standard Ship came at a time when expedience took precedence over good construction standards. Considered the equivalent of the Liberty Ships, the Type-A Standard Ship is the focus of this book with the author describing the Zaibatsu business conglomerate that produced them and then telling how they were able to function with a remarkable degree of reliability in spite of their stripped-down design. From the events preceding Pearl Harbor through the postwar years, the ships are put into political context and complimented by detailed appendixes of the Type-A fleet and other types of Japanese merchants of that era. Forty of the 140 Type-A ships survived World War II and, after extensive upgrades, went on to become an important part of Japan's postwar economic renewal. This volume will be of interest to both ship enthusiasts and those interested in learning about World War II from a new perspective.