During the development of the Type 97 Medium Tank, The Japanese decided to call it "Chi" as a code name of sorts for the medium tank. Because the Type 97 was the third medium tank created (the previous two being the Type 89 "Ko" and "Otsu"), the Type 97 was named as Chi-Ha (Ha is the third letter of the Japanese alphabet). Note that Chi had not been used before Type 97. Before that, the code name of the Japanese tank is a simple sequential name like Yi-Go, Ha-Go.
From 1942 onwards, the Type 97 tank was re-armed with the high velocity 47mm cannon and became known as the Shinhoto "Chi-Ha" (The term Shinhoto means "new turret"). Of course, mounting a larger cannon required a larger turret design than was originally envisaged for earlier versions of the Type 97. All things considered, this was probably the best designed tank that Japan fielded right up to the end of the war. Nevertheless, it was no match for their Allied counterparts, particularly the M4 Sherman series, which it was oftentimes forced to face. Sold Out!