The Type 99 served the Imperial Japanese Army during most of World War 2. It was designed to take advantage of the newer and more powerful 7.7x58mm Arisaka rifle cartridge and replace the Type 96 Light Machine Gun of similar scope. However, production of the latter unit was such that both weapon types were fielded side-by-side for the duration of the war. The Type 99 was decidedly Japanese in appearance, comparable to other weapons systems in this class, and characterized by the use of a finned gun barrel, curved magazine and flash suppressor as well as use of novel concepts such as a monopod at the stock and fittings for a bayonet. The Type 99 proved an improvement over the previous form and lent itself quite well in the squad support role for which it was intended.
In terms of accuracy it is better than Type 96 LMG. Rate of fire is also higher. Amongst being a handweapon, it is widely used as an static emplacement and in some vehicles, like Daihatsu 14M VLC.