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    The realm rejoices as Paradox Interactive announces the launch of Crusader Kings III, the latest entry in the publisher’s grand strategy role-playing game franchise. Advisors may now jockey for positions of influence and adversaries should save their schemes for another day, because on this day Crusader Kings III can be purchased on Steam, the Paradox Store, and other major online retailers.


    Real Strategy Requires Cunning

Cascadia

First Lieutenant
Apr 23, 2007
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Freedom Rises With the Sun: A Democratic Japan AAR

Prolouge: Changing Times



Japan had always had its warrior tradition, dating back to their earliest conquests and campaigns. It made for the stuff of legend, though some leaders were recalled more than others. Famed warlords like Nobunaga Oda and Tokugawa Ieyasu, among others, were heard of more often than some of the more ancient leaders. These warlords made the Emperor little more than a figurehead; that is, until Japan was forced to open its doors to the west again.

Commodore Matthew Perry's breaking of Japanese isolation would bring about myriad changes in the ancient nation.


American Commodore Matthew Perry arrives to meet with the Shogun in 1853.

The Meiji Restoration returned power to the Emperor, and the nation began to rapidly modernize itself. But that warrior spirit - the spirit of Bushido - refused to die out despite the changes being made. One neglected warrior of the nation's past would come to play a surprising role in the new Japan.

One night, Emperor Meiji had a strange dream. In it, a woman in armor appeared to him; she told him that in order for Japan to survive in the new world, the Imperial Succession must be altered. He was to ensure that, in the future, should a princess be the eldest child of an Emperor, she would ascend to the throne with the full powers that a male counterpart would enjoy. When he questioned her identity, she revealed that she was the spirit of Jingo Kogo; an early Empress who had led an invasion of Korea.

Critics would later say Meiji's move to alter the succession was to combat the difficulty he'd had in bearing an heir to the throne at all, let alone a son. Whatever the case, it ensured that any future Empress would enjoy unprecedented powers.


Empress Jingo Kogo, who supposedly appeared to Meiji in a dream.

The full effect of this westernization was seen when Japan went to war with, and proceeded to defeat, the Russian Empire in 1905. Victory in the Russo-Japanese war gained the state attention from other European powers as well. Closer ties were formed with Great Britain especially, as Japan itself continued to expand its own empire. During the Great War, Japan sided with its new European friends and siezed for itself the former German provinces in the Pacific.

Japan also played a role in the European war, sending detachments of the Imperial Navy to the Mediterrenean and the Imperial Army to the Western Front. Despite the gains made in the war, the public was growing frustrated with the spending and consequent taxing the expanded involvement in the War had brought. This would lead to protests, and eventually, the first democratic elections in Japan's history.

The 1920s were a time of unexpected prosperity for Japan, as democracy flourished along with capitalism. 1922 saw the extension of sufferage to all Japanese, including women. In 1929, though, the world economy crashed. As the Social Democratic government struggled to do anything to alleviate the disaster, extremist parties sought to gain support. On the right, the fascistic parties enjoyed support from influential military leaders. On the left, the growing numbers of unemployed Japanese began to turn to socialist and communist parties.

Until 1932, Japan lingered in the Depression, with the Social Conservatives managing to hold onto power. Things had failed to improve, so the people turned to a new policital coalition: the Social Liberals. Promoting democratic socialism of sorts, the Social Liberals won a surprising landslide victory in parliamentary elections. Basing their economic reforms on the New Deal that was being instituted by President Franklin Roosevelt in America, Japan slowly found itself coming out of the economic darkness.

By 1935, Japan's economy had recovered, and the Social Liberals had won a new round of early elections in '34. To satisfy conservative factions, the Social Liberals allowed the military more funding than they'd originally intended. As then-parliament member Tanaka Motoko said, "Compromise is the essence of democracy; we must no shut out differing viewpoints simply because we do not like them."

HIM Atsuhito, Emperor of Japan (1915-1935)


The year 1935 also saw the death of Emperor Atsuhito, who had reigned since 1915. Seen as the man who had embroiled Japan in Europe's war, the more leftist parties vilified him; those more on the conservative side saw him as something of a hero. Atsuhito had left no male heirs - only his young daughter, who according to Meiji's Proclamation of Imperial Succession would be the new, fully-empowered Empress.


Funeral procession of Atushito in Tokyo.

At the age of 21, Empress Yoriko officially ascended to the imperial throne in Tokyo. Leaving her university studies in Britian, she assumed her duties as Japan's head of state. The first reigning Empress in nearly a century and a half, she quickly called a meeting with her new cabinet. This included the new Prime Minister Tanaka Motoko, who became the first female head of government when her predecessor, Nosaka Sanzo, stepped down due to political pressure from moderates within his own party.

While the people generally supported her, seeing Yoriko as a welcome change from her father and a face of the new Japan, some in the military hierarchy were not pleased. This and the future course of the Japanese Republic would be discussed in their meeting on January 1, 1936...

*************

Hi everyone, and welcome to my second AAR! The Rampant Rooster - A Tale of Wallonia is still ongoing, but will not be updated until.. well, until there's enough developments to warrant an update. Updates there will be slower than anticipated, but it's not dead. I just wanted to try my hand at this one too.

You may notice several things differing between this Japan's history and the actual, real life details. This will be a very, very alternate Japan in which the land of the rising sun is a democracy. Call it a parallel universe or something if you like. Some figures, such as Emperor Atsuhito, Empress Yoriko, and Motoko Tanaka, are obviously fictional. They're there to try and give this story a little bit of a different flavor.

And as Japan is a democracy throughout the 1920s-30s, Manchukuo will likely not exist. As such, it's likely to be given to one or more Chinese warlords.. or maybe the Red Menace. Of course, they could exist as a new warlord faction too, headed by the deposed emperor Pu-Yi. Any thoughts on this would be greatly appreciated...

And yes, I will someday do a Peruvian AAR as promised, but this was just a sudden inspiration I decided to pursue first.
 
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General_Grant

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Democratic Japan. Interesting choice. I guess i have to follow this one too. Good luck!

P.S. I think Manchuria should exist as a warlord, and than you give the 3-4 Japanese provinces between it and Beiping to Shaanxi (greenish warlord).
 

likk9922

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Yeah, another free warlord sounds good.

I loved Rampant Rooster, I'm watching this.

And good luck.
 

Ksim3000

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Sounds an interesting plot and it will be interesting to see how the Democratic Japanese administration deal with the likes of say Hideki Tojo and friends in the military.

Still, looking forward to when you update!
 

unmerged(51967)

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Dec 23, 2005
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Yeah, free warlord, might need to do a bit of AI tampering though.
What about Korea, still going to keep that though?
 

Inner Circle

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a new challenge for a new japan! I´ll follow this!
 

Cascadia

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Apr 23, 2007
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Thanks for all the well-wishes! This will be more ambitious than Rampant Rooster, as I'll actually try to edit some events to fit the new Japan. One that comes to mind is altering the 2-26 event slightly to fit the setting.

Manchuria will be a new warlord faction, and as General Grant suggested, Japan's territories between them and Beiping will be handed over to Shanxi. And as for the fate of Korea? That will be revealed once the game gets underway.

I'm new at writing events, so I'm going to try to create one that would grant Korean independence, among other things. Another will be Japan's deciding whether or not to side with the Allies again. Any assistance in writing events would be helpful!

And Empress Yoriko's picture is, at the moment, one borrowed from the PRK minister file that appears to be a female. The Prime Minister's picture is borrowed from a Mongolian female minister. They're the closest I could get at the moment.
 

Cascadia

First Lieutenant
Apr 23, 2007
284
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Chapter One, Part One: The New Japan

January 1, 1936, Imperial Palace, Tokyo - Only a few brave souls dared to brave the biting chill of early morning. The streets of Tokyo had seemed oddly deserted to the young woman who'd made her way to the grand stucture of the Imperial Palace. She'd remembered the streets being far busier in the captial of the Japanese Empire. But she'd been gone for a couple years, so perhaps her memory wasn't exactly perfect.

Or maybe it was just the early hour, too. She'd decided to hold this first meeting early in order to avoid attracting unwanted attention on her way to the palace. This could come in two forms, neither of which would get her to the meeting on time; it would be bad form for her to arrive late for her own meeting, after all.

One form was groups of the populace, out to greet their popular young leader in the streets. That was all well and fine, but when she was needed elsewhere, it wouldn't do much good to be stuck amidst a throng of admirers. She also knew that there were certain elements inside her own government who would seek to do her ill. Military officers who opposed her ascencion to the throne or Japan's democracy would certainly wish her ill. This meant she had to be on her guard; luckilly, she was fairly confident she had the full support of the Imperial Guard.

Casting that thought aside, she began to prepare herself for this first meeting with her cabinet. While she had been Empress since November, this would be the first time she took up a fully active role in the nation's governing. The guardsmen on the steps of the palace snapped to attention as she stepped out of the foreign car, the door held open by a civillian chauffer she'd hired.

After nodding her thanks to the chauffer - who was as rigid at attention as the Imperial Guardsmen - Empress Yoriko made her way toward the steps that led into the palace interior. She returned the salutes of the Imperial Guards, then moved inside, where she could see her attendant waiting for her.

"Your Imperial Majesty," her attendant bowed deeply, "The members of your cabinet await your presence eagerly."

"What? They're already here?" Yoriko blinked in surprise, then looked at a clock on the wall and cursed in English, "Bloody..."

When a look of uncomprehension appeared on the attendant's face, Yoriko realized her slip and chuckled nervously. That sort of vocabulary was one of the less pleasant things she'd picked up in her time in London. It was good that the little woman before her hadn't understood what she'd said.

"Well, I'd best not keep them waiting any longer," the Empress decided, and allowed the attendant to guide her to the meeting chamber.

What the attendant had said was true: all of the cabinet members were present and correct. As the attendant bowed again and left the room, the door closing behind her, the new Japanese Empress watched as the cabinet members too bowed. The only difference was that theirs was in greeting. Yoriko returned their bows, then took her seat at the head of the table.

"It is an honor to finally meet your acquaintance, your Imperial Majesty," spoke Ashida Hitoshi, the foreign minister.

"And yours as well, Minister Ashida," Yoriko answered as politely as she could, trying to make up for her tardiness. She looked to the stack of papers before her on the table, then to a man in the uniform of the Imperial Navy. What was his name again?

"Admiral Ryonosuke, would you read for us the minutes from the most recent meeting of the Imperial armed forces command?" she asked once the name occured to her, and half-listened as the admiral went about fulfilling her request. Yoriko also used the time to take stock of her cabinet.


Japanese cabinet, January 1936.

Ashida Hitoshi, the foreign minister, seemed like a decent enough fellow. He'd been a member of the Social Liberal coalition since its conception, and was undoubtedly devoted to Japanese democracy. From what she'd heard, he sometimes lacked the spine to do anything really daring, but he was a solid enough man for the job. Not a man worry about in terms of loyalty.

Next to him sat Yoshino Shinji, the minister of armaments. He, like Ashida, was unquestionably loyal to Japan's current government. That alone made him a valuable commodity. Yoshino had also overseen the recovery of the Japanese economy, and helped to strengthen trade with other nations. On top of that, he'd also been able to do the precarious job of balancing military funding with domestic production - not a job to envy. Yoriko was certain she could count on his support for some of her new proposals.

Across from him was Yamamoto Tatsuo, minister of security. While she hadn't met with him directly yet, he also seemed pleasant enough. That he cared for the less fortunate of Japan made her respect him a bit more than she would have normally. He was a military man, and she hadn't had much sucess with their lot yet. As with the others, his loyalty to the democratic state was not in question.

That was more than she could say for others at the table. Miyamoto Kenji, minister of military intelligence, was known to sympathize with the far left, including Leninists. That was a two-pronged sword; the military was suspicious of his motives because of it, and Yoriko had to wonder whether he was more loyal to his own party or his nation. Time would tell.

Admiral Kawai AKira, the navy commander and Army General Imai Takeo were both the truest of military men. They'd served under her father, and had proved a little abrasive when she had taken power after his death. They might not enjoy answering to an Empress, but they knew their place in defense of the Japanese Republic. At least for now they did.

Air Force commander Fukui Yoshi was much the same way - a former Navy man, he'd taken control of the newly formed Air Force branch in December. Having seen the benefits of an independent air force in Britain, Yoriko had been quick to implement a similar structure of command at home. So had been born the Imperial Japanese Air Force, combining the old Army Air Force and some of the Navy's as well. General Fukui was busy, if nothing else; overseeing the new IJAF was a daunting task that he'd proved up to the challenge for so far.

Admiral Ryonosuke, who was still reading his reports, was another matter. While he'd shown no tendencies toward anti-democratic sentiments, he was considering a wild card. He had been seen associating with certain junior officers who had allied themselves with right wing extremist parties. Without proof of disloyalty, though, all Yoriko could do was ask for an eye to be kept on him. The admiral had proven to be an able chief of staff, if a bit stuffy, so there was no cause to remove him.

The Empress' closest ally at the table was Tanaka Motoko, the Prime Minister. Having first met informally in November, the pair had struck a chord with one another. Their ideas for Japan's role in the world matched up more often than not, and they did have much in common. Being modern Japan's first female leaders was one of them. One thing they'd discussed in breif had been the fragmented situation in China. Thinking of this, the Empress looked at a map sitting atop her files..


A map of eastern China, 1/1/1936.

It was difficult. Should Japan even step in? It might have to if any peace was to be found in China. Some unifying power would have to bring the warlords together, and Japan would likely have to pick one to support. The problem was there were no easy choices of who that would be. Japan had its own problems with Korea too, which was a more pressing matter. Since the victories of the Social Liberals, the Koreans had been pushing for more autonomy. Yoriko was inclined to give it to them, but also knew that doing so might be asking for a coup by some of the more suspect officers in the military. Why give them an excuse to stage such a rebellion?

Her thoughts were interrupted as the Admiral concluded, "That concludes the military minutes."

The prime minister nodded and asked her sovereign, "Do you have anything you'd like to bring to our attention at this time, your Imperial Majesty?"

All eyes at the table turned to Empress Yoriko. Like it or not, she would have to bring up one of the foreign policy topics that had been on her mind. The only questions: which one, and how to phrase it?
 
Last edited:

Cascadia

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Apr 23, 2007
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Chapter One, Part Two: The Korean Question

"Yes, I do," Empress Yoriko responded, her face not betraying the nervousness she felt in her gut. This would not be easy.

She stood up as she collected her thoughts, and attempted to form the proper phrases in her mind for this issue. Which one it would be had been decided almost immediately after the Prime Minister had asked her if she wished to discuss anything in particular. Where China was a problem in the near future, Korea was a problem even sooner. Left unchecked, it could erupt into something violent.

After pacing for a little bit, Yoriko stopped at her chair and turned to face her ministers once more, "For years now, Japan has occupied the Korean peninsula. We have treated it as simply part of the Japanese Empire for all this time, but times are changing. Since our successful negotiation of the past economic troubles, and especially since the last election, the Koreans have been demanding more autonomy."

When the assembled ministers nodded their heads, the Empress went on, "The question of Korea must not be put off any longer. I fear that if we do nothing, the Koreans may grow restless and frustrated enough to take drastic measures. A rebellion would be violent and, in foreign policy terms, messy. What would our British friends think, for example?"

Admiral Ryonosuke raised an eyebrow at that one, but said nothing. The other military men simply remained stoic, while foreign minister Ashida nodded in agreement. Britain might not look kindly at Japan's putting down such a rebellion, even when they themselves would do just the same thing. Perhaps it was memories off the all too recent struggle they'd had with Ireland that made them seem so hypocritical.

Regardless, Yoriko continued her little speech, "It is my opinion that the Korean people, being full citizens of the Japanese Empire as of the Voting Rights Acts of 1922, should have a say in their future. We can avoid all the unneccessary fighting and messes if we simply let them decide their fate. I propose that we allow citizens living on the Korean peninsula to vote on the future of Korea. If it is their wish to become independent, let them decide so with the ballot and not the rifle."

"Your Imperial Majesty, I must protest! Korea is part of the Empire, and has been, as you said, for many years. Your father always supported our claim to sovereignty over the peninsula, as I do," Admiral Ryonosuke spoke up, clearly distraught over his Empress' feelings on this issue, "If we give it up, we send a signal to our enemies that we are weak, and unable to control small problems such as this."

"Not to mention that granting them independence only opens them up to attacks by Chinese warlords. It would not look good for us to simply leave them to the mercy of Pu-Yi and his Manchurian faction," added General Imai.

"I have considered these things, gentlemen," the Empress answered, "Japan will not abandon Korea to face the challenges of today's China alone. She will maintain strong ties to Korea, and help provide for Korea's defense. If need be, we will form an alliance with them, should they declare independence. China, though, is another issue all together - one to be discussed later."

"And simply because they have been incorporated into the Empire does not mean they have no taste for freedom. They are a people with their own language and culture, much like Ireland was during their long occupation by Britain," Yoriko added, looking in Ryonosuke's direction, "My father offered moral support to the Irish Republic, and so too will I offer such support for any future Korean Republic. They may choose to remain in the Empire, too. Regardless of that, I believe the safest option ist to allow them to decide their own fate in a vote."

"I agree, Your Imperial Majesty," foreign minister Hitoshi spoke up, "If we want to maintain friendly relations with the west, this is the best choice. Perhaps not the safest, but what decisions are entirely safe?"

"Letting the Koreans become independent would diminish our production capacity, Your Imperial Majesty," Armaments minister Yoshino thought aloud, "But we will manage well enough without it too, should the need arise."

"Excellent," Yoriko nodded, then looked to Hitoshi again, "The Prime Minister has already voiced her support for this initiative. Foreign minister Hitoshi, how soon do you think we could allow them to vote on the issue?"

"I believe that March would be the earliest we could feasibly hold such an election in Korea. We need time to prepare all the materials, but I'm confident we could have it all ready by then," Hitoshi responded.

"Good. Now, Admiral Ryonosuke, should we need to work with an independent Korea for mutual defense in Asia, we should be ready to strike at any potential foe. With that in mind, I'm authorizing you to oversee the implementation of up to four military research teams at a time. Our goal will be complete modernization of the Imperial armed forces," Yoriko added, offering a compromise, "And production too will be geared toward achieving this goal."

Clearly taken aback at this, the Admiral bowed in his seat and answered, "Thank you, Your Imperial Majesty. I will see too it."

"Minister Yoshino, work cloesly with the Admiral to ensure things go smoothly," the Empress added, "If there is nothing else to discuss, I suggest that we adjourn this meeting. Another meeting to discuss our policies in Asia will be held in two weeks' time. Thank you all for attending."

With that, the meeting broke up, and the Empress left the room after returning the bows of her cabinet. Only the military men and the armaments minister remained to discuss what research should begin. Empress Yoriko trusted Yoshino to inform her of any suspicious activity admist the high command, so he was working as a spy as well as in his normal capacity.

It was decided that research would start with a focus on modernizing the Imperial Army. All of its infantry divisions, for the most part, were still using weapons and equipment from the Great War. Newer divisions would be built to supplement or replace them, and research on Basic Infantry would begin immediately. With a lack of modern armor, Japan would also research 'Early Tank'. For its part, the Imperial Navy took up research on the Indirect Strike Doctrine. Finally, for the good of all the branches and Japan, Basic Machine Tools would be researched as well.






While all of these decisions were made, no overt signs of treasonous thoughts were displayed. Yet, while Yoshino didn't notice any, that didn't mean everyone still present felt the same way he did. Admiral Ryonosuke would be sure to tell his junior officer friends about the Empress' intentions for Korea. Something would have to happen to change her stance on the issue... and soon..
 

likk9922

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Nice choices for the techs, but are you sure you don't want to work on the airforce, too?
 

LM+

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Assuming you are playing the standard game, I'm worried that you are tying up too much research capacity on techs with historical dates far in the future. It will take half of forever to research 1939 and 1940 techs starting in 1936.
 

unmerged(59077)

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Interesting. I'm following this.
 

General_Grant

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The story is well writted, the loyalty of some ministers are suspicious, and the Emperess Yoriko is very different of what i have seen as a leader. Probably because she is a woman.

The Korean question is unclear for now. I think Yoriko would prefer to have the Koreans semi-independents to preserve their old culture.
 

Cascadia

First Lieutenant
Apr 23, 2007
284
0
The Korean question will be resolved in an upcoming update, thanks to a little string of events I managed to cobble together. I can make basic events now! Hooray!

I've also modified the 2-26 event to fit this Japan, so it's all good for now.

And I completely forgot that I did, in fact, begin research on 'Basic Fighter' in addition to those techs listed in the last update.
 

Crush3r

General
59 Badges
May 21, 2007
1.731
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This will be interesting to watch...