Solar Empire of Japan Faction Record

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Map of the Imperial colonies. The Empire of Korea, a vassal state of the Solar Empire, is listed in blue

Who Are They

  • The Solar Empire of Japan is the government and military of the nation of Japan and its colonies. They are an up-and-coming power who has just hit the technological singularity but are held back by adherence to tradition.
  • The Empire is a semi-constitutional monarchy with an absolute Emperor making sweeping policy decisions, and an elected legislature. The Diet does the day-to-day running of the nation, but the Emperor's word is the final say. Depending on the situation, the Diet may be the practical power, or serve as little more than advisors for programs enacted independently by the Emperor.
  • The Empire's direct military power is somewhat limited. They are incapable of truly conquering or holding territory in a meaningful sense, particularly after the hammering they got in the third world war but their technology, organisation, computer-assisted coordination and ability to rapidly prototype new designs due to AI and nanotechnology means that they can cripple a faction's government and industry with devastating surgical strikes. They can't hope to conquer most of the other factions, but they could cripple many of the weaker factions if they had the will to do so, as long as they attacked first and could outright conquer the smaller pacific factions such as those fighting in Indonesia, the factions in Southeastern Asia, and Australia.
  • The Solar Empire is the leader of the so called Axis of third powers, a political and military bloc of factions that feel that they are outside of the divide between the Communist First World and the Capitalist Second World while finding the fourth world of Epsilon to be unpalatable and of course; no one but the green Chinese is in the fifth world, and the Atalateans are rather exclusive about who gets into the sixth world club.
  • This means that its closest allies are the Pan-African League, the Guardians of Monarchy, the Pacifican Traders, and the Majestica Inclusive. Though they had conflicting end game goals in the third world war, they decided they couldn't go it alone in a war with the superpowers. The Empire is their leader due to its economic power, greater militarization, technological edge, and its rather safe position.
  • After getting beaten into the ground in the third world war, the Empire now maintains defensive pacts and favourable trade relations with the Alliance of Free States and has opened up business with the Communist International and even the Dominion of Epsilon. While not a full member of the Alliance, it leans closer to the Alliance out of a fear of Communism overthrowing the monarchy overriding the Empire's fears of British dominion that made it side with the Communists in world war two.
Logo of the Empire : The shogunate seal.

What they Want

  • The morality of the Empire of the Rising Sun is based on a combination of Pragmatism and Bushido; the amount of each varies depending on which cultural movement you are talking about.
    • Ethical pragmatism is a rather complex and subdivided philosphy, but when talking about societies it usually refers to the fullfilment of the goals of the greatest number of people within the society.
    • The three cultural movements of Japan are on a spectrum between Bushido and Pragmatism, with the Traditionalists most Bushido and least Pragmatic, the Transhumanists mostly Pragmatic and minimally following Bushido, and the Militants in the middle.
  • The Empire's overall strategic goal is quite simple. Rule the world. Under the forty eight year reign of Emperor Yoshiro, the idea that Japan was destined to rule the world became ingrained into Japanese society and culture. Whether it's by sword or by Yen, Japan must be the master of all men. And from the Earth, they must go to the stars, to other universes and worlds, and rule them too. All under heaven must be under one state, one nation, one emperor.
    • Emperor Kamina may be less gung ho about the whole military conquest of the world thing, but ultimately he too seeks to conquer the planet and beyond. He just has a different idea of how to go about it.

Alternate History of Japan

  • An accident with the chronosphere leads to the battle of Tsushima having a peculiar incident where a Japanese ship is fired upon by a number of time displaced Internationalist tanks. While even Pre-dreadnoughts hilariously outmatch modern tanks in a gunfight, resulting in the crushing of the vehicles after they sink some light ships, the Japanese are curious.
  • The Russo-Japanese war still ends in an embarrassing defeat for the Russian Empire, but Japan decides to focus its resources on studying the technology of the now captured vehicles, soaking up large sums of money that would have otherwise gone into an attempted conquest of Korea. Korea is instead made into a decidedly inferior free trade partner so that Japan can make more money off of it.
  • Siam's own Meiji-esque rapid modernization program and Japan's contribution to the Entente in the first world war give Japan some valuable insight to modern warfare, though with America's involvement from the beginning Japan limits its contributions; not even instating a mass draft.
  • Japan grows increasingly isolated, but Hirohito dies in the 1923 great Kanto Earthquake, leaving Yoshiro to take the throne. Yoshiro proves to be a much more forceful Emperor than Hirohito historically was, preventing the military from assuming the absolute power it did as he assumes such power for himself.
  • To appease the military and industrial elites of Japan, Yoshiro creates a new position of Shogun, which would be quite different indeed from the previous usage of the term. The position of Shogun would in essence, be granting an individual and their families a recognition of their usefulness to Japan and allowing them to build their own dynasty; all under Yoshiro's eye of course.
  • With the red revolution in America and the Ultimatist take over of Britain, Japan would find itself in a good position to consolidate its hold over the pacific; taking control of Hawaii and a number of intervening islands in 1933 while France did the same in the Philippines.
  • Though hostilities with Red America were quite severe throughout the thirties and forties, world war two would present Japan with an opportunity. Sensing more to gain from a limited Communist victory than the triumph of the Alliance, Yoshiro offered a bargain with the Americans; his aid in exchange for more territorial concessions and financial gifts that would be used to aid Japan's development. These were agreed to, surrendering the remainder of Sakhalin, parts of Alaska, and a number of other pacific islands and at least half of Korea. With the situation in the pacific critical, the Communists agreed to the bargain. Japan's contribution was glorious and relatively cheap in terms of life and materiel, letting the Empire extend its influence across the Pacific ocean.

Cultural Movements in Modern Japan

  • The modern Empire is caught between three cultural movements; let's call 'em Traditionalists, Militants, and Transhumanists. Obviously, they have prettier, more poetic nicknames in Japanese, but I dunno what they are yet.
  • The Traditionalists are a dying breed, but their virtues are imitated by the other two. They are the last bunch of true Samurai who long for the high period of Japanese feudalism. They are the reason Japan mucks around with mecha and swords; they like their honour, and they sort of wish it was still the Edo period and they could wander the earth swinging swords at things. Emperor Yoshiro represents the Traditionalists, and his approach to the war (striking the enemy armies, commanders and monuments as a way of showing the people there is a new guy in charge, going after the big powers instead of doing local conquest) is extremely reminiscent of the way the Samurai used to do things.
    • Even when people disagree with the politics or methods of the Traditionalists, they are highly respected in Japan, and gaining their support or imitating their ways is sort of the fallback position to appeasing people. That's why there are still mecha, katanas and sashimono everywhere.
    • There is a second generation of Traditionalists in the newer officers in the Imperial Army. They want to distance themselves from the militants, but they aren't so much for the Transhumanist way of doing things, so they've taken up the Samurai banner.
  • The Militants are similar to the guys who ran Japan during the real world Second World War. They like to emulate Western-style militaries, and they love shiny medals, tanks, big artillery pieces, and funding the Navy. They want to conquer and colonise, and favour practicality over "honour" any day of the week. They share a lot of OTL and Reds! TL Japan's brutality and callousness. Tatsu represents the Militants; loves technology only so far as he sees military use, and constantly calling for more conventional military methods over Yoshiro's traditionalist approach. The high generals of the Imperial Army and the vast majority of the Navy are made up of these guys.
    • They were real popular a few years back, and they basically ran the Diet throughout WW3 and the leadup to it, but as a result they got blamed for losing the war and so their popularity dried up real fast. Emperor Kamina isn't really a fan of them either, so they are currently out of favour just about everywhere. Which is a plot point.
    • Furthermore, many people were quite appalled by their conduct in the third world war, even in Japan. Prisoners were abused, military brothels were filled with local women, conquered people found their cultures being assailed by earnest attempts to destroy them and replace them with Japanese ideals and values and language, countries were stripped of resources to fuel the war machine, and anti-partisan measures were grotesque in their extremeness. If one Japanese soldier or robot was killed by a partisan, a hundred locals would be killed in return. They were not nice at all, and even their modern, less cruel form; is probably the most sinister aspect of Japan.
  • The Transhumanists are the current crop in charge and the popular movement. They came about due to two factors; the first being that Japan's economy managed to grow massively in the same year they lost a war, and the other is the fact that there is a network of superhumanly intelligent AIs currently running half of everything that people are just starting to notice. A whole lot of folks are starting to put two and two together and realizing that it's this, and not military might, that is going to lead Japan to its divine destiny; chief among them being Emperor Kamina, who knows first hand that Japan just can't hope to match the power of the Comintern and the Alliance but could very well bury them in economic progress.
    • The Transhumanists were always there, in the background, but nobody paid any attention to them because they didn't spend their days swinging bits of metal about. They are the salarymen and zaibatsu and the AI networks that was installed to run the infrastructure of the country so everyone could go back to talking about war. Well, the war has come and gone and the army got shafted, but all the infrastructure is still there and suddenly the government notices they are sitting on the economic equivalent of the Death Star.
    • The Transhumanists generally want two things; they want more money, and they want more robots. Most of them are in favour of putting those robots in charge of things, because those robots are really good at making them even more money, and they can also design even smarter robots. They basically plan on riding the singularity all the way to the bank.
    • The Transhumanists being in power is the reason for all the post-cyberpunk anime stuff.