Empire of Japan
From Autonomicon Mk. II
The Empire of Japan (commonly referred to as Imperial Japan, or simply Japan) is an absolute monarchy and one of the four recognized human superpowers. Founded in the aftermath of the Meiji Restoration, the Empire adopted a strict isolationist stance interrupted only for Second World War and subsequent First Scinfaxi War. During the refugee crisis surrounding both of these conflicts, Japan established numerous puppet governments as part of the Japan led Greater Asian Prosperity Sphere.
Retaining its moderate isolationist policy well into the Colonization Era, Imperial Japan founded numerous colonies primarily in the Anatolia Sector. With the outbreak of world wars involving Japanese puppet governments and worsening relations with the Federation of Allied Worlds and the Soviet Union, The Empire of Japan and the Greater Asian Prosperity Sphere are laying the foundations for a more interventionist policy and strengthening Japanese power throughout the Orion Arm.
The tide of war in the Pacific had begun to turn against Japan at the time of the Scinfaxi landings and the leadership of the Empire was eager to exploit this unprecedented event to consolidate their gains against the western powers. Spared any landings on their own home islands the Japanese were slower than the other major powers to recognize the true extent of the Scinfaxi and for a time still viewed the United States and British Empire as the greater threat. However after several disastrous engagements that ended in massacre for the Japanese Forces involved the Empire agreed to the conditions of the Treaty of Berlin and began a complete reorganization of their forces. Japanese troops in mainland China were withdrawn north into Manchuria and Korea, and the Imperial Navy was redeployed to defend the Japanese isles.
Throughout the war Japanese forces fanatically resisted the Scinfaxi advance and were often annihilated to a man. Despite this heroic struggle Japanese troops with inadequate equipment even when compared to other human nations could do little to blunt the Scinfaxi. Only the detonation of atomic bombs in Europe and North America spared the Empire along with the rest of Asia as across the Earth the Scinfaxi began to retreat.
With the First Scinfaxi War over and the borders of the world redrawn the Japanese Empire had emerged relativity unscathed. Even so it had lost the majority of its territory within China retaining only Korea and Manchuria on the Asian mainland. The Philippines, much of Indonesia, Papua New Guinea, represented the greatest of the remaining Japanese holdings, alongside the scattered island airbases established across the Pacific.
Over the next century the Empire of Japan retreated into isolation, geographically separated and nearly economically self-sufficient the Japanese, like the rest of the world began their preparations to launch an exodus from Earth. Limited technical cooperation with the Greater German Reich yielded several positive results and Japan joined the other world powers in establishing father then light engines in 2091.
Unlike the other major powers, the Empire of Japan made no effort to join the joint-colonization program on Alpha Centauri, opting instead to conduct its off-world programs entirely independent of outside influence. The disaster and subsequent independence of the Alpha Centauri colony only strengthened the resolve of the Japanese leadership to maintain a policy of isolation.
In the ensuing decades, Japanese colonies were established in a tight collection of star systems in the Anatolia Sector. At first only ethnic Japanese participated in the colonization program but as the cost of maintaining off-world colonies decreased, many of the puppet nations controlled by the Empire of Japan such as Thailand and Korea were granted off-world settlements under the auspices of the Greater Asian Prosperity Sphere rebranded as an interstellar organization. The Protectorate of Greater Korea, Empire of Manchuria, Republic of the Philippines, would all be granted colonies both within and outside of recognized Japanese space along with numerous semi-autonomous colonies representing former nations of Earth lost to the Scinfaxi whose refugees had escaped to Japan.
While the Empire itself remained isolationist throughout the decades its puppet governments did not, often acting under Japanese authority to test the resolve of neighboring powers through both espionage and direct force. Within the Joseph, Sirus, and New Canaan systems Japanese backed powers engaged in brief but often brutal world wars against other powers, gaining valuable insight into the methods and tactics of the Soviet Union and Allied Federation.
With the escalation of the Soviet-German war and rising tensions with the United States and British Empire the Empire of Japan has begun to move aggressively to defend its interests throughout the Orion Arm.
The Japanese government, and the Diet in particular, represents the interests of three main groups: the military, business, and state religion. Given that all three are in turn state interests themselves, this generally results in an efficient process for policy-making.
Perhaps unexpectedly, the Japanese military is typically the least united of the three main influence groups in Japanese politics. Political infighting between the Army and Navy is common. Compounding the issue is the Army's traditionalism and the Navy's relative secularism - the Army tends to believe (given its role as home defense) in its superiority with regard to protecting the state, and state religion is deeply ingrained in its rhetoric and training. On the other hand, the Navy pays little attention to religious state rhetoric, with ideological priority given mostly to its internal traditions and experience. Worries that state religion will take on a life of its own and upset the current priority of the Navy are common, but so far have been largely unfounded.
Little contact has been made with the Japanese since they permanently left Earth. Having adopted an isolationist stance, what little contact is made with the Empire comes mostly from the Greater German Reich, whilst trade is conducted through the Greater Asian Prosperity Sphere. The Sphere is effectively a combination of all powers within Japan's influence, enabling the Japanese government to control a greater area and influence than any other nation of similar power. The German Reich and Japan are still unofficially allied, and trade continues between the countries is exclusively conducted via the Sphere.
The Soviets maintain an officially neutral, but unofficially hostile, view of the Japanese. They do not consider the Scinfaxi an immediate threat, due to their recent nature of leaving humanity to its own designs. Nevertheless, they use the threat of the Scinfaxi to maintain a huge military force capable of facing the Soviets should the two go to war.
Japanese transports are exported and are in use by most powers in the Orion Region. Despite tensions, the Soviet Union uses Japanese L7M bulk transports for most infantry, vehicle, and supply duties, and its on-board hangars are usually stocked with VTOLs. This was a point of contention in 2127, when tensions between the two factions rose and an embargo was placed on military equipment to the Soviet Union. The dispute was settled in a court ruling, Mitsushita Corp v. Empire of Japan, which ruled the transports would not be classified as military equipment if the hangars were reduced in size so that VTOLs and small frigates could not launch. Seeking an alternative, the Soviets funded the creation of a corporation devoted to creating transports, unfortunately adopting such similar designs to Mitsushita's L*M line that it touched off dozens of court battles.
The Japanese maintain a collection of puppet-states and protectorates across its borders, from the Empire of Manchukuo, the Greater Korean Protectorate and to the Empire of Thailand. Each spans either a small continent to an entire system, depending on Japanese directives and interests. Each maintain their own Imperial Army and Navy, but ultimately answer to the Imperial Japanese military and, by default, the Emperor.
The Japanese maintain a large space-faring fleet, it is one of the most advanced in the region, lagging only behind Germany, and possibly the Soviet Union. The Imperial Japanese Navy has a high ratio of carriers, and a developing program for larger and more sophisticated dreadnought-scale warships.
The Imperial Japanese Army are of less priority to the Ministry of War, with lesser funding for development, further exacerbated by the Divine Fleet military faction that dominates the upper echelons of the Imperial Military.
However, the Army has not lost its ultranationalist fervour, with signature katanas and unbreakable discipline remaining key elements within the military that made it infamous during the Second World War.
|Military of Imperial Japan|
|High Command||Imperial General Headquarters|
|Main Services||Imperial Japanese Army | Imperial Japanese Navy|
The Empire's many zaibatsu have heavy representation in the Japanese shipbuilding industry, with respectable technical industries and increasing skill in exploiting natural resources on Imperial planets. Trade freely goes out to all nations, although the Greater German Reich gets preferential treatment in business transactions and agreements.
There are dozens of zaibatsu across the Empire, with many cooperating with German firms designing new technologies thanks to clauses in the Technological Beneficiary Treaty, whilst many more continue to exploit resources and labour trades for the betterment of the Empire's power.
Unfettered by regulation except in matters of military production but heavily financed by governmental infrastructure spending, the zaibatsu are viewed as a mixed economic blessing by citizens of the Empire. On one hand, in comparison to similar corporations in the Democratic Federation, the zaibatsu "corporate ladder" is remarkably lacking in pay disparity - wages are remarkably fair. One reason for this is that because the zaibatsu are reliant on their own banks and in some cases cheap government credit, they have little obligation to shareholders who would otherwise be the main source of investment capital.
On the other hand, this arrangement has been viewed with disfavor among other major powers in the Orion region. The Democratic Federation's corporatist factions regard the Japanese economy as too reliant on the zaibatsu and government money and therefore prone to stagnation, and its more politically minded activists believe it is fascist and monopolistic. The Soviet Union tends to view the Japanese economic model warily, as while it is similarly based in state capitalism, its more libertarian streaks and potential for exploitation of proletariat labour are suspiciously imperialist. The latter faction's ideology has particularly been a divisive political issue in the Empire and directly led to the formation of the Komeito Democratic Republic.
The vast majority of the Japanese public recognizes the Emperor as the divine son of Amaterasu, and this is essential to his political mandate. Whether Shinto could be considered a "state religion" is questionable, however - Shinto terms and ideas are integral to the current strain of Japanese nationalism, but only in as much as is politically expedient. Shintoist thought in the Empire is therefore more accurately described as a synthetic "State Shinto", with nomenclature and tenets that do not directly correspond to the philosophy as practiced elsewhere.
|Superpowers of the Orion Region|
|Democratic Federation | Greater German Reich | Empire of Japan | Soviet Union|