The Greater Japanese Empire, commonly known as Japan, is a state in East Asia.
While the Peace with Honour of 1919 recognized Japan's rule of her overseas territories, most importantly Korea, the situation in Japan was already critical well before the end of Weltkrieg. The collapse of the Republic of France busted the "Great War boom", and accelerated economic deterioration. Starting with the Rice Riot of 1918, the later period of the Taisho Era (1912-1926) witnessed severe economic crises and social conflict.
Japanese anarchists saw their chance to replicate France's syndicalist revolution in the Great Kanto Earthquake of September 1923. The anarchist uprising was crushed, and in the midst of the following red scare, an anarchist named Namba Daisuke attempted to assassinate Prince Regent Hirohito on 27 December. Prime Minister Admiral Yamamoto Gonnohyoe and his cabinet resigned immediately. Martial law was imposed over the entire country for the first time in Japanese history.
With understanding from the Genro, Army Minister General Tanaka Giichi, also the leader of the Choshu faction within the Imperial Japanese Army, was appointed as Prime Minister to stabilize the country. His appointment divided the Imperial Diet sharply, particularly the former ruling party Rikken Seiyukai. The quarrel between the supporters and the opponents of the Tanaka cabinet resulted in splitting the party into two, with the supporters of Tanaka forming the Seiyuhonto. In the general election of 1925, the Seiyuhonto effectively performed as the ruling party, and with the opposition in disarray, the Tanaka regime was able to force the Peace Preservation Law, which enabled the state to impose the death penalty on those who attempted to harm the 'National Polity'. The law symbolized the draconian rule of Tanaka.
However, with the British Revolution of 1925, the German dominance over the European market, and the continued economic decline in America, Japan's export-led economy continued free fall with no end in sight. In early 1926, a scandal over the so-called 'earthquake bills' and the Bank of Taiwan broke out, causing a series of massive bank closures. On the diplomatic front, Tanaka's indecisive policies failed to secure Japanese interests in China from the advancing Nationalists nor from the German intervention. The weakness of his rule was exposed.
In April 1926, the two main opposition parties, the Rikken Seiyukai, and the Kenseikai formed a coalition and started the '2nd Movement to Protect the Constitution'. Facing popular support for the opposition and the Prince Regent's indirect intervention, Tanaka and his cabinet was forced to resign. In an event later called the 'Constitutional Restoration of 1926', the Rikken Seiyukai and the Kenseikai formed the 'Constitutionalist coalition' cabinet, with promises of democratic governance, universal suffrage, and a party-based cabinet.
However, the coalition soon broke down over the policy in China. The Seiyukai called for 'active policy' and favored intervention in China in support of Zhang Zuolin with the goal of preventing the complete German domination of China, while the Kenseikai was ready to accept the new order in China in return for recognition of Japanese economic interests and even saw the possibility of isolating the German position through working with the new Chinese state. With the collapse of the Constitutionalist coalition, Prime Minister Inukai Tsuyoshi approached the Seiyuhonto, eventually merging the two parties into one again.
The Japanese troops were quickly deployed across the South Manchurian Railway Zone to deter the Germans and their allies from entering Manchuria. Diplomatic pressures emanating from Berlin prevented active Japanese intervention in the war, but the expedition solidified Japan's position in Manchuria and secured Zhang's power base, eventually culminated in the formation of the Anguojun Government.
The chaotic year of 1926 ended with the death of Emperor Taisho. His son Hirohito assumed the throne with the era name of Showa. In the next nine years, the Inukai cabinet presided over mild economic recovery through interventionist policies and achieved peaceful political developments, but hardship still persists in the countryside and extremism is growing. Japan in 1936 is poised to extend her empire: with Germany's dominance of the world appearing to be in decline the Japanese look greedily at both the remaining Qing Chinese territories and the German Pacific possessions, but first, the country must overcome its internal strife and unrest.
The Constitution of the Empire of Japan, enacted in 1890, defined the Emperor to be "the head of the Empire, combining in Himself the rights of sovereignty, and exercise them, according to the provisions of the present Constitution". As such, the Emperor has supreme command of the military and the right to appoint and dismiss ministers, who in turn are only accountable to the Emperor. However, the Emperor is not expected to exercise his power on his own. The Emperor, "sacred and inviolable", and his line, "unbroken for ages eternal", is the source of all state sovereignty and all state authority, but the Emperor is 'only' the head of the state and not the state itself, and the Emperor is expected to exercise his power on will of the state, which is limited by the constitution, and not on the Emperor's own will.
An alternative interpretation, advocated by the military and various right-wing groups, rejects the separation of the Emperor and the state. In this view, any attempt to separate the Emperor's divine sovereignty is heretical and treasonous. Accordingly, the Emperor is to exercise his unchallenged power on his unchallenged will. Inevitably, this interpretation denies the legitimacy of the parliamentary system currently practiced in Japan.
The Imperial Diet is the parliamentary and representative institution of the state, divided into the House of Peers and the House of Representatives. The House of Peers is exclusively composed of the highest part of the society, such as imperial family members, nobles, high taxpayers, scientists, and politicians. The House of Representatives is elected by all men over the age of 25 and its members are not appointed by the Emperor. The Diet's representative capacity and its power to 'consent' the exercise of the legislative power and pass the state budget or even a constitutional amendment guarantees its relative independence and thus superiority over other 'advisory' institutions, such as the Privy Council, composed of entirely appointed councilors. In reality, however, the Privy Council was able to override the Imperial Diet and the elected government on several occasions through its capability to 'advise' the Emperor.
Party politics is dominated by the Rikken Seiyukai (Association of Friends of Constitutional Government). The Rikken Seiyukai had been the largest party in the House of Representatives for most years since its foundation in 1900, and under the leadership of the prime minister Inukai Tsuyoshi, the party has won all three general elections since the Constitutional Restoration of 1926, easily outnumbering the leading opposition party Minseito (Democratic Party).
In general, the Seiyukai is associated with conservatism and the Minseito with liberalism. Originally these two 'mainstream parties' had little to no fundamental differences. The Seiyukai was founded by Ito Hirobumi as a 'government coalition' for the Meiji oligarchy, while the Minseito's predecessor Kenseikai (Constitutional Government Association) was also a coalition of anti-Seiyukai forces gathered around the Rikken Doshikai (Association of Believers of Constitutional Government), which in turn was originally meant to be a 'government party' for another Meiji oligarch, Katsura Taro.
The Genro's distaste for Katsura's successor Kato Takaaki and the continued Seiyukai monopoly on power made the Rikken Doshikai and the Kenseikai to lean towards liberal politics, while the Seiyukai's long status as the 'natural governing party' and its traditional support for the establishment, such as the Zaibatsu groups and the landlords, made the Seiyukai's ideological orientation strongly conservative. The Constitutional Restoration of 1926 and the subsequent political realignment sharpened the distinction between the two mainstream parties. The Seiyuhonto, the de facto ruling party under the Tanaka regime, was (re)incorporated into the Rikken Seiyukai, while the Kenseikai reformed itself into the Minseito in their efforts to "rally the rising forces and emerge a great force that would dominate the decade", in the words of the party's new chairman Hamaguchi Osachi.
|Conscription Law: Limited Conscription|
|Economic Law: Civilian Economy|
|Trade Law: Free Trade|
|Head of Government: Inukai Tsuyoshi|
|Foreign Minister: Yoshizawa Kenkichi|
|Economy Minister: Mitsuchi Chuzo|
|Security Minister: Suzuki Kisaburo|
|Intelligence Minister: None at Game Start|
Japan is the foremost military powerhouse in Asia. Possessing the third largest navy in the world and a considerably large army with modern equipment, tactics, and the industrial capacity to supply it, Japan is a force to be reckoned with in any conflict taking place in the Far East. Still, the armed forces of Japan face several problems. The relative lack of resources in the Japanese home islands places severe restrictions on the capability of Japan to wage a long-term war and the supply convoys of the Pacific are vulnerable to naval attacks.
The majority of the standing army of Japan is currently stationed in Fengtian and Korea. Additionally, a large portion of the ground-based army is garrison units tasked with defending the colonial empire and strategically important locations. These include the islands in the Pacific and the Fengtian and Transamur capitals of Shenyang and Vladivostok respectively.
The Nihon Kaigun is one of the few navies in the world that employs aircraft carriers and thus it has significant power-projection capabilities and most major ports in the Pacific are within its reach. Being one of the largest navies of the world, the Nihon Kaigun has a vast array of vessels, from the aforementioned aircraft carriers to battleships and cruisers of various sizes. One of the most important tasks of the navy is to protect the vital trade and supply routes of the Pacific and a vast number of destroyers are deployed for this task.
The Air Force is mainly tasked with supporting the two other military branches and thus employs a significant amount of tactical and naval bombers, the latter of which are also used for convoy protection.
The Japanese Empire's closest allies are the Fengtian Government and Transamur, both of which are its client states. Japan is the only country that recognizes Fengtian as the legitimate government of China as opposed to the Qing Empire. It supplies Zhang Zuolin's clique with armaments, and the South Manchurian Railway Company controls much of the nation's infrastructure, resources, and businesses.
Since the Weltkrieg, Japan's relationship with Germany has been poor, the latter seeing Tokyo as the main threat to its influence in the Far East. The Shanghai Conference of 1928 established a new status quo under the German-backed restored Qing Empire, much to Japan's dismay, though it did secure a seat on the council of the International Mandate. Relations with Russia are also strained due to Japan's occupation of Northern Sakhalin.
The Japanese Empire, having failed its main objective of taking German colonial possessions in East Asia for itself during the Weltkrieg, finds itself stunned but unshaken in its resolve to continue to expand. Still having control over Formosa, Dairen Port, and Korea, it stands ready to annex the German islands in the Pacific administered by Deutsch-Ostasien and install its influence into China proper. This will mean butting heads with Germany and the decadent Qing Empire. Additionally, Japan has its sights set on Mongolia and Russia, both of which present threats to the stability of and Japanese hegemony in East Asia. To achieve these goals, Japan will have to cooperate with and maintain order in its puppet states of Transamur and Fengtian, be it diplomatically or by force. No matter which direction Japan decides it must expand toward, its actions will surely be decisive once it has made up its mind.
Japan's culture is among one of the oldest in the world, the Japanese imperial family in particular being the oldest unbroken line of succession dating back to the Kingdom of Yamato in 660 BC. Among their arts include calligraphy of "Kanji" (China's language carried over), "Ukiyo-e" paintings on tapestry or woodblocks, the "origami" paper-folding technique and the extravagant "Kabuki" or masked "Noh" theater performances
Japan however, is experiencing a cultural identity crisis, torn between the sacred traditions built up over thousands of years, or the rapid westernization set in motion by the Meiji Restoration. The country's state religion is Shinto, though a large percentage of the population practises both it and Buddhism simultaneously despite the Meiji government's attempts to separate the two.
An idea carried over from the days of the samurai is the concept of "Bushido" (Way of the Warrior), where a warrior must remain unquestioningly loyal to their lord and face their death with honor & dignity.