The Oyodo design was approved under the 1939 4th Replenishment Program as an enlarged and improved version of the Agano-class. It was designed to be the for attack groups of submarines. Initially, plans were made for eight vessels in the class. However, only two ships were actually authorised, of which only one, Oyodo, was laid down; the second ship was to be named Niyodo. Immediately after ?yodo was completed, all available shipbuilding resources at the Kure naval yard were diverted to build more aircraft carriers.