From: Romulus, MI
I think with the Japanese ships it was like picking a football team: the best recruits got picked first and went into gunnery and engineering. And the fat kids got the damage control jobs. They practiced what they were good at: so off to the park to shoot some guns and torpedoes into the goals. But they forgot to practice the hard unwanted jobs. Same with the radars. It was bad enough to have inadequate equipment but the skill of the radar team would have been as bad as the fat kids. They probably practiced sumo more than using the radar dials and stuff. Another problem for Japanese ships was their low crew per ship. After taking some hits suddenly there is a lot less people on board but 100 new jobs to be done to fight the fires, look after friends, and continue the battle. Also the Japanese needed to make their "NO SMOKING" signs a bit bigger!!!
Any Navy veteran (American, British, etc) can attest to what I'm going to say. EVERYBODY on board a naval vessel is trained in damage control. If you don't have a combat-related job (CIC, flight crew, gun crew) you are assigned a damage control crew as your GQ station (General Quarters or for you landlubbers Battle Stations). When you take damage you can't call 911 and have the fire department, plumber or handyman come and fix it for you ... YOU are the fire department and repairman. If you're not then the next question is: how long can you tread water?
The simple fact of the matter was the Japanese navy DIDN'T train damage control and firefighting like the Allies did because such training was considered "defeatist" even though we'd call it common sense.
PO2 US Navy (1980-1986);
USS Midway CV-41 (1981-1984)
Whidbey Island, WA (1984-1986)
Naval Reserve (1986-1992)