Nippon or Nihon
|Government||Unitary dominant-party parliamentary constitutional monarchy|
|-||660-585 BCE||Jimmu (first)|
|-||1900-1901||Itō Hirobumi (first)|
|-||2136-2141||Kano Himura (last)|
|-||Upper house||House of Councillors|
|-||Lower house||House of Representatives|
|-||National Foundation Day||February 11, 660 BCE|
|-||Dissolution||September 16, 2141 CE|
|Currency||Yen (¥) JPY|
|Today part of||Association of East-Asia|
Japan (Japanese: 日本 Nippon or Nihon; formally 日本国 About this sound Nippon-koku or Nihon-koku, "State of Japan") was an island nation in East Asia. Located in the Pacific Ocean, it lies to the east of the Sea of Japan, China, Korea and Chita, stretching from the Sea of Okhotsk in the north to the East China Sea and Taiwan in the south. The Kanji that make up Japan's name mean "sun origin", and Japan is often called "Land of the Rising Sun".
Japan is a stratovolcanic archipelago of 6,852 islands. The four largest are Honshu, Hokkaido, Kyushu, and Shikoku, which make up about ninety-seven percent of Japan's land area.
History[edit | edit source]
Pre-history[edit | edit source]
Feudal era[edit | edit source]
Shōwa period[edit | edit source]
Heisei period[edit | edit source]
Following its defeat in the Second World War, Japan had been incorporated into the US sphere of influence as a major ally against the Soviet Union and (after the Cold War ended) China and Russia . During most of this time, Japan's ability to fight was strictly limited by the constitution placed on it by the US, which forbade it from maintaining an offensive military. It did, however, possess a Self-Defense Force, which many recognized as a military in all but name. During the 2010s, under the government of Shinzo Abe, Japan began to take noticeable steps toward remilitarizing, fielding an aircraft carrier (labeled, for political-correctness purposes, as a "helicopter destroyer") and a stealth fighter.
Reiwa period[edit | edit source]
The rise of Chinese military capabilities appeared as a threat to the entire Indo-Pacific region. Japan thus took a leading role to forge an anti-China coalition with other partners such as Australia and India, as well as preserving ties with the United States. Japan would offer economic aid to nations perceived in China's sphere in order to draw them away, as well as make massive investments in regional infrastructure and industry. Efforts such as these are considered the beginning of the "new Japanese Empire."
After the fragmentation of Russia, the United States began leaning on Japan to play the role of peacekeeper in the North Pacific. Japan was initially reluctant to take on this role, and initially involved itself in regional disputes only if the US was already involved. This form of geopolitical hand-holding continued until the Flood which put enormous pressure on the Japanese government to take a more active role in regional affairs. Officially, the country maintained its constitutional guarantees against aggressive military force and bans against certain types of weapon systems like Aircraft Carriers. Japan got around this by producing smaller Helicoptor carriers and emphasizing the use and development of STOVL and VTOL aircraft that could more easily launch from them. This proved to be more advantageous for the Japanese military, as its Navy only had to operate relatively close to Japanese waters and the policy fueled the development of more advanced hypersonic drones that could be launched from the Home Islands while more advanced subsonic VTOL drones cold be launched from carriers in far greater volumes than other powers of the day.
Nationalism[edit | edit source]
One of the largest political advocates for Japanese resurgence was Nippon Kaigi, a right wing association and think tank that advocated for Japanese nationalism, reasserting the position of the Emperor, and ending apologies for Japanese war crimes committed during World War II. The group gained greater prominence during the tenure of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, who's government approved a reinterpretation of Article 9 of the Japanese constitution, granting the country the right to use their military to defend their allies. After the abdication and death of Emperor Heisei (Akihito) and the beginning of the Flood, this movement grew to prominence in Japanese Society and many of its reforms were adopted, including an outright repeal of Article 9.
Territorial acquisitions[edit | edit source]
To secure regional interests and demographic problems, Japan slowly began assimilating territory after the Flood began. Technically, this began in 2023 with the annexation of the Kuril islands, but most historians mark the 2025 arrangement to lease territory on Sakhalin (at this point a territory with no clear international recognition as being an independent state or part of Russia) to build naval and air bases, and granting Japanese corporations a most-favored-nation deal in the oil and gas industry. There are some historians, however, that Japanese expansionism actually began in 2019 when Prime Minister Abe declared the island of Minami-Tori-shima to be off limits to foreign developers following the 2018 study that revealed the presence of 16 million tonnes of Rare Earth Elements. Japan's control of Pacific Rare Earth Elements was considered a key strategic target by the US Navy during World War III.
Tens of thousands of Japanese nationals relocated to Sakhalin to establish businesses, and buy up valuable assets. After the Flood, the Japanese began a more aggressive campaign to colonize Sakhalin; even with the hastily constructed sea walls, about 3 million people were displaced in the Home Islands. Japanese real-estate companies and Japanese citizens who bought homes and land on Sakhalin saw the opportunity and started advertising for displaced people to take advantage of cheap land on the island. The locals were initially supportive of the new income, but after some clashes with local nationalist forces opposed to millions of foreigners moving into their country and squatting in refugee camps, the Japanese military stationed in Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk instituted marshal law. An annexation agreement was presented like an ultimatum to the local government (a Republic at this point), that would make the locals naturalized citizens of Japan, and give the new province a Trillion Yen to improve local infrastructure.
Meanwhile, Japan established several "Special Economic Zones" with major Chinese, former-Russian, and even Canadian port cities to secure economic interests in the North Pacific. In many cases, the Special Economic Zones were eventually upgraded or expanded into Extraterritorial Districts, pseudo-colonies of Japan, usually localized to areas of foreign cities, but in some cases included large swaths of industrial, suburban, and even agricultural areas.
Military buildup[edit | edit source]
In the 2020s the US began selling Japan ships and aircraft to expand its role in securing international interests in the North Pacific. Following the Flood, the Japanese government radically increased domestic military production and research as well. Japan also began developing its own armored exoskeletons to enhance their soldier's capabilities in the field. Unlike American suits, which were adapted from support systems, the first Japanese suits were built as combat systems. The The Type 29, the first Japanese-built suit, was a lightly armored suit that increased the strength and speed of the wearer, and was used to great effect by special forces operators across the North Pacific for much of the 2030s with uparmored variants trickling into regular SDF units. After the Assault on Magadan where Japanese armor was used in concert with Drones to secure the city, Japan began designing standardized suits for an all-armored infantry. The culmination of this project was the Type 41, the first armored exoskeleton to provide total coverage from small arms fire, a tactile neural interface, and the first on-board weapon of a production model in the form of a back-mounted mortar launcher.
During this time, Japan also began ramping up their space program to take advantage of critical resources on the Moon and Asteroids, sending its first astronaut to the moon in 2029. Japan was the second country, after the United States, to set up a permanent base on the moon (China had sent a single manned mission to the moon in 2025, but this was never repeated). The Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) took over the Vostochny Cosmodrome, renaming it the Itokawa Spaceport. Japan took in hundreds of former Russian and Chinese rocket Scientists over the next decade, along with expanding their already sizable Aerospace corps of engineers and scientists. By 2040, Japan was second only to the US in space, with bases across the Earth-Luna system for civilian and military activities. It was around this time that the United States ended its mutual-assistance relationship with Japan. This was followed by a series of trade embargoes, the most far-reaching of which was enacted in 2045.
Along with Turkey, Japan was one of the main countries in the Coalition during the Third World War, which lasted from 2051 to 2055. This war was far less destructive to all parties concerned than the Second World War, and less than half a million people in total were killed. During the years leading up to the war, increased suspicion and hostility toward Japan caused the popularity of Japanese culture in the US and vice versa to decline, though anti-Japanese sentiment never reached the fever pitch it did in the 1940s. Nevertheless, some adherents of Japanese cultural exports and products did remain even during the war years--the so-called Honda Hippies.
Shortly after the war ended, Japan once again found itself allied with the US as a counter to the influence of Mexico and Poland, and Japanese culture became popular again. This alliance lasted uninterrupted through the Third Mexican-American War in 2132, after which Japan was incorporated into the Association of East Asia.
Decline[edit | edit source]
In 2058, Japan restored Article 9 of their constitution, but maintained the interpretation allowing for defending their allies. Japan was forced to withdraw their civilian population from mainland Asia over the next decade, and reduce their military. The country's economy entered into a slow decline, being surpassed by China once again as the world's second largest economy by 2080, and falling to fourth place behind India in 2095. By the beginning of the 22nd century, the country's economy had seen a return of positive growth thanks to a robust robotics industry, however its society continued to fragment in a neo-feudalist fashion. After the Third Mexican War Japan became the last country in East-Asia to agree to join the Association.