Japan is an island country in East Asia. Located in the Pacific Ocean, it lies to the east China, North Korea, South Korea and Russia, stretching from the Sea of Okhotsk in the north to the East China Sea and Taiwan in the south. The characters which make up Japan's name mean "sun-origin", which is why Japan is sometimes identified as the "Land of the Rising Sun".
Japan is an archipelago of 6,852 islands. Japan has the world's tenth-largest population, with about 128 million people. The Greater Tokyo Area, which includes the de facto capital city of Tokyo and several surrounding prefectures, is the largest metropolitan area in the world, with over 30 million residents.
Archaeological research indicates that people were living on the islands of Japan as early as the Upper Paleolithic period. The first written mention of Japan begins with brief appearances in Chinese history texts from the first century A.D. Influence from the outside world followed by long periods of isolation has characterized Japan's history. From the 1850s on, Japan has maintained continued participation in global affairs, industrializing along the Western model. From the end of the 19th century into 1945, Japan engagged in colonial adventuring, participating in in both World War I and World War II. As a member of the Axis, Japan was defeated at the end of World War II. Since adopting its constitution in 1947, Japan has maintained a unitary constitutional monarchy with an emperor and an elected parliament, the Diet.
Japan in Days of Infamy Edit
Japan invaded Hawaii on December 7, 1941, and subjected the archipelago to its iron-fisted rule until late 1943. Commander Minoru Genda insisted as early as March, 1941 that simply striking the United States forces at Pearl Harbor would be insufficient to shield its expansion in the Pacific rim once the U.S. began an earnest war effort. Genda persuaded Admiral Isoroku Yamamoto of the plan's merits. Thus, Japan invaded and conquered Hawaii after a period of bloody fighting from December, 1941 through February, 1942. However, despite a bloody victory over unprepared but tenacious American defenders, supplying the islands became an ever-greater challenge in the face of distance and US submarine attacks.
Japan's rule was cruel for POWs and civilians alike. POWs were used as slave labor, civilians were forced to grow crops, and women were forced into prostitution.
Despite the ever-present menace of submarines, the Imperial Japanese Navy defeated America's first counter-attack in June 1942, sinking the carriers Yorktown and Saratoga, and crippling the Hornet. Following their victory the Kingdom of Hawaii was restored as a puppet akin to Manchukuo. But a year later, the much-enlarged US Navy hurled an enormous fleet at the islands. The carriers Akagi and Shokaku were sunk by sheer numbers, costing Japan any hope of contesting US air superiority. The Japanese Army garrison and its Hawaiian allies were steadily overwhelmed by the US Marines and its overwhelming firepower, and the last Japanese holdouts in Honolulu and Pearl Harbor were crushed by late 1943.
Japan in Gunpowder Empire Edit
Japan in In the Presence of Mine Enemies Edit
The Empire of Japan was victorious at the end of the Second World War, emerging as a major world power rivaling the Greater German Reich. The Emperor of Japan was the only ruler truly independent of the Führer of Germany. During the Third World War, Japan and the Greater German Reich waged war on the formerly neutral United States, defeating their rival through the use of atomic bombs.
By 2010, Japan's colonial territories included China (with Manchukuo being a separate state), all of Southeast Asia including Indochina and the Malay Archipelago, Australia, New Zealand, a large part of the Indian Ocean and most of the Pacific Islands.
While Japan was less powerful than Germany, it did have enough nuclear-tipped rockets to establish a balance of mutually assured destruction. Like the Reich, Japan had its own retinue of puppet rulers, including the Emperor of Manchuko. With "an ocean of slave labor" at its disposal, Japan concentrated on developing sophisticated, high-technology.
Though the Japanese were officialy allies of the Reich, rivalry nonetheless existed between the two superpowers. In line with the racist policies of the Reich, the Germans considered the non-Aryan Japanese to be inferior, citing Japan's so-called decreases in technology as proof.
Despite this rather tense atmosphere, Japanese were allowed to visit the Reich as tourists and students. One former Japanese university student established a restaurant in Berlin near the government district called Admiral Yamamoto which was popular among the German government officials.
Japan in "Joe Steele" Edit
Japan was jointly invaded by the United States (led by President Joe Steele) and the Soviet Union (under Leon Trotsky) during World War II, resulting in a deadly stalemate and the division of the country into North Japan and South Japan. This division led directly to the Japanese War, in which atomics were dropped on major cities in both countries.
Japan in "La Différence" Edit
Early in the 21st Century, Japan had re-militarized and had re-adopted the traditions of bushido. A dispute over mining rights in the asteroid belt with United Europe led to open war. Japan launched military operations with a surprise attack on Sengen Base, a United Europe research station on Io.
Japan in "Les Mortes d'Arthur"Edit
Japan remained a wealthy and powerful country and became a military power by the twenty-second century. It was able to afford to send a large team to Mimas, a moon of Saturn, for the sixty-sixth Winter Olympic Games. They were wealthy enough to have their athletes train there in the low-g environment prior to the Games.
Japan in "News From the Front"Edit
Japan's efforts during World War II were bolstered by the American media, which was hostile to President Franklin D. Roosevelt. Indeed, thanks to stories which revealed American military plans days in advance, Japan was able to hold Midway and its other conquests in the Pacific.
Japan in "Ready for the Fatherland"Edit
Japan was invaded by the United States after the Soviet Union made a separate peace with Nazi Germany. Before the U.S. could fully occupy the Home Islands, the Soviet Union was able to occupy Hokkaido. In 1953, the Soviet Union destroyed Tokyo with a sunbomb. The United States dropped one their own sunbombs on Vladivostok. Only the efforts of German Chancellor Erich von Manstein and the death of Soviet leader Joseph Stalin prevented the incident from leading to full-blown war.
Japan in "Shtetl Days"Edit
Japan was an independent ally of the German Empire.
While Japan's independence is alluded to in the text, the extent of its empire, if any, is never addressed.
Japan in Southern Victory Edit
19th and early 20th CenturiesEdit
In 1854, the United States Navy flotilla commanded by Admiral Matthew Perry was sent to force Japan out of a centuries-long voluntary isolation. The Japanese faced the daunting task of adopting Western technologies fast enough to avoid falling into a colonial or semi-colonial status , as happened to virtually all other Asian countries.
The Japanese showed great determination and perseverance, and might have succeeded even under more difficult conditions in becoming the only non-white country to compete with Europe and North America on equal terms. However, it was of considerable help to them that within less than a decade after sending Admiral Perry to their shores, the United States broke up into two separate and mutually-antagonistic nations, which engaged in periodic bloody wars with each other, greatly limiting the resources which either could spare for the other side of the Pacific.
Moreover, the circumstances under which the Confederacy achieved its independence set the United States and the British Empire on a course of enmity and hostilities, which was to last for nearly a century - ruling out any possibility of cooperation between them to check Japan's own naval ambitions.
Thus, Japan emerged victorious in her wars against China and Spain, annexing Korea, Formosa, Guam and the Philippines. At least some of these achievements might have been denied to Japan had the United States remained a single united nation and used to the full its potential of expansion across the Pacific. Also in later stages of its imperial growth, Japan would repeatedly benefit from the fact the United States, faced with the direct Confederate threat in its close proximity, could only spare limited resources for more distant naval wars.
Great War Edit
Japan fought on the side of the Entente during the Great War but did not formally join its alliance system. The Japanese overran Germany's colonies in the central Pacific and supported Britain against the United States. Previously regarded as a lightweight nation who had beaten only weak opponents (including Spain), the Japanese Navy's performance in Battle of the Three Navies earned Japan the respect (and fear) of the white man. Japan was the only nation of the Entente not to be decisively defeated, and simply discontinued fighting once the the other Entente nations had asked for armistices. Alone of the Entente powers, Japan gained territory and sustained minimal loss of manpower.
The Interwar Years Edit
Embolded by the European defeats in the Great War, Japan spent the 1920s expanding her empire. Much influence was gained in China and Manchuria became a Japanese holding, while France and the Netherlands were 'persuaded' (with suitable compensation) to hand over their colonies in Indochina and the East Indies. Britain counted itself lucky that Japan didn't do the same to Malaya and Hong Kong.
Japan's foreign policy in the eastern Pacific proved less successful. Attempts to set off an uprising in US-occupied Canada led to the Pacific War in 1932. While the Japanese successfully bombed Los Angeles in October that year, the US Navy managed to prevent any invasion of the Sandwich Islands. Neither country could fully prosecute the war though: America's funding-starved military had to defend a long land border with the CSA, while Japan had the Russians sitting over Manchuria. The war ended inconclusively in 1934 with no territorial changes.
Second Great War Edit
During the Second Great War, Japan was much more active. The Japanese navy was able to capture the island of Midway from the weakened U.S. in 1941 and pushed the Americans back to the Sandwich Islands. Later that year Japanese airplanes destroyed the USS Remembrance, the only American aircraft carrier in the Pacific. However, despite these early advantages, the U.S. Navy managed to hold the Japanese out of the Sandwich Islands until it was reinforced, at which point it began pushing the Japanese out of American territory. The net effect was to reaffirm the partition of the Pacific into American and Japanese spheres of influence.
With no further American pressure on them, the Japanese started a war with Britain over Hong Kong, Singapore and Malaya - in effect becoming the undeclared ally of the United States and Germany, as the Japanese offensive served to draw British forces and resources away from the Atlantic.
At the time of their surrender in 1944, Britain and Russia were Japan's allies in little but name. In addition to having attacked British territory during the war itself, Japan had turned on the other "ally", Russia, making use of its weakness after the destruction of St. Petersburg and demanding territory in Siberia.
Altogether, Japan again came out of another global war with minimal loss of life and with territorial gains. Moreover, Japan was the only major world power to come out of the last phase of the war without having one or more of its main cities the target of a gruesome attack by superbombs - as had happened to the United States, the Confederacy, Russia, France, Britain and Germany.
Japan's cities were spared because none of the possessors of the new bombs had with the Japanese a conflict sharp enough to justify using one their (still small) stock - even though at the time the Japanese could not have answered in kind. In the aftermath of the war, both the U.S. and Germany were concerned about the possibility of Japan gaining superbombs. However, Germany was more immediately concerned with Russia than with Japan.
The Japanese efforts to achieve a superbomb were partly responsible for the ruthless US decision to liquidate Henderson V. FitzBelmont, the main Confederate nuclear physicist, for fear that he might help the Japanese or Russians to build such weapons.
Japan in SupervolcanoEdit
Japan's weather was impacted quickly after the Yellowstone Supervolcano erupted. By and large, the country grew colder. Hiroshima remained compartively warm, but it was more humid than usual. The country received a foot (30 centimeters) of snow.
Japan in The Disunited States of AmericaEdit
Japan was one of the world's great powers.
Japan in "The Last Article"Edit
Japan emerged from World War II as a victor, dominating both China, and Siberia and the Western Pacific. The US had been warned by the Germans about not interfering with the Japanese empire, while they were busy negotiating trade agreements between Manchuko, China and Siberia.
Japan in The Man With the Iron HeartEdit
Japan kept fighting for some months after its co-belligerent, Germany, was defeated and occupied by the Allies in May, 1945. German Freedom Front leader Reinhard Heydrich hoped that Japan's stubborn and violent fight against the United States would divert American resources from its occupation of Germany. Heydrich also adapted the kamikaze techniques employed by Japanese forces for the GFF.
Japan in The Two GeorgesEdit
The Empire of Japan was considered a second tier power. The empire consisted of the Home Islands, the Korean Peninsula and the Island of Formosa. The stable world situation meant that Japan could be secure in continued possession of these colonies but had little or no prospect of gaining further territories.
Japan in The War That Came EarlyEdit
The Empire of Japan had engaged in expansionist policies within the boundaries of China throughout the 1930s. In 1932, Japan had created the puppet Empire of Manchkuo out of Manchuria. In 1937, Japan launched a war with China proper, occupying a substanial portion of Eastern China.
Japan's expansion, however, had also created tensions with other countries, particularly the Soviet Union and to a lesser extent, the United States. Japan maintained that the border between the Empire of Manchukuo and Mongolian People's Republic was the Halha River. Mongolia (and its patron, the Soviet Union), insisted it was further east. Japan and the Soviet Union had skirmished off and on as a result.
Japan's tensions with the U.S. had arisen primarily from the sinking of the USS Panay in 1937. Although Japan had taken responsibility for it, there were concerns among the U.S. military personnel still stationed in China that the issue was still smoldering. Moreover, the U.S. had expressed concerns about the brutallity of the Japanese occupation. However, as Japan was an importer of U.S. scrap metal and petroleum, these complaints were lukewarm at best.
Japan did not participate in the European war that broke out in September, 1938. The Soviet Union, however, did, declaring war on Germany. The following January, the USSR was also at war with Poland. With the USSR busy in the west, the Japanese government decided to invade Siberia with the goal of annexing Vladivostok. The invasion was also an opportunity to settle Manchukuo-Mongolia border issue, although that was incidental at best.
The Japanese, who were culturally more similar to the Race than any other Tosevite not-empire, resisted the Race when it attacked the Japanese Home Islands. Japan suffred less damage then the USA and USSR. This was due to it being surrounded by water, which meant to Race could only fight using its air assets, which were already stretched horrendiously. However, Japanese efforts to build an atomic bomb, a program in which Teerts had been involved as a prisoner of war, were frustrated when Atvar destroyed Tokyo with just such a weapon.
Japan had been part of the Big Five but its failure to develop an atomic weapon and the loss of China--forced it to accept a diminished diplomatic status under the agreement known as the Peace of Cairo. However, despite being driven from China and Korea, Japan still occupied a vast Pacific empire including The Philippines, Taiwan, Hainan, Indonesia, Indochina, and hundreds of small islands. The Race had not bothered to invade these territories during the invasion due to its tendency to overlook islands. It decided not to continue its war against Japan in Southeast Asia after the ceasefire although it refused to relinquish territories on the mainland that it had already occupied. The United States provided diplomatic support to the Japanese Empire after the war to have a buffer between the Race and American interests in the Pacific.
The Japanese adamantly rejected the Race's attempts to introduce its Emperor-worship religion among humanity, precisely because they already had their own, rather similar, homegrown worship focused on their own Emperors.
In 1965, Japan built its own atomic bomb. With this weapon in hand it demanded and was granted full diplomatic relations with the Race, the same as were afforded the United States, Germany, and the Soviet Union. The large amounts of territory occupied by Japan helped it reemerge as a great power in the late 20th century unlike Britain which was small and isolated.
In 2031, it was considered within the realm of possibility for the Japanese to build an interstellar starship, possibly even a FTL starship, within the foreseeable future.