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The Hatsuharu-class destroyers (初春型駆逐艦) were preceded by the Akatsuki-class Destroyer and in compliance with the 1930 London Naval Treaty, were significantly smaller than the previous Fubuki-class and Akatsuki-class destroyers. Despite this, they retained all but one of the Special Types' 5 inch guns and introduced the oxygen-powered version of the 24 inch torpedo.

The impact of the Tomozuru incident, which exposed the instability of contemporary Japanese warship designs, affected the Hatsuharu-class and were significantly redesigned. The forward single gun was moved aft to a lower position, the bridge and other structures were reduced or removed and ballast was added. Displacement increased to 2,090 tons and speed was consequently reduced.

A further six incomplete vessels were redesigned in the light of stability problems and eventually commissioned as the Shiratsuyu-class Destroyer.

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