- Oct 27, 2010
昭和天皇の物語 (Tale of the Shōwa Tennō)
Author's note: By popular demand, I decided to take up Japan while my German Empire AAR is still in progress (a project coming along nicely by the way).
While I decided to move away from the purely dialogue-based style of my MacArthur junta USA AAR, it is character-based to a degree:
It's the story of the Japanese Empire as well as its Tennō (one of my personal favorite figures of the 20th century) and his attempts to negotiate the European noose around his country's neck, keep red France and her Asian allies from spreading their poison, carve out a Japanese place in the sun (pun kind of intended), and even keep courtly intrigue from derailing the whole project! You'll notice that His Majesty takes a considerably more forceful line with his military than in OTL, but it is althistory after all.
So, without further ado....
Known today as an economic, cultural, and military superpower, as well as the leader of the Co-Prosperity Sphere, the Empire of Japan was not always in such a powerful position, Indeed, there were times where its existence as a great power was in serious doubt.
As of the first of January 1936, the Empire of Japan was bouncing back nicely from its disastrous participation in the Weltkrieg and ensuing recession.
Administered on Tokyo's behalf by the warlord Zhang Zuolin and his Fengtien Republic, Manchuria was firmly under Japanese control, an essential source of raw materials.
While somewhat less reliable, the breakaway Russian state of Transamur under the White Admiral Alexander Kolchak was the third member of the Japanese bloc, providing a vital potential striking point in the event of a war with Russia.
However, in spite of the rising Japanese fortunes, there were still a number of dangerous potential enemies: One wrong move with any of these states could render all of the sweat and blood shed for naught:
Her old antagonist from the Weltkrieg, Germany and its influence in Asia and the Pacific was a perpetual thorn in the side of the planners at Daihon'ei (Imperial High Command). Factions in the military ranged from advocating total war to expel the Germans from Asia to coexistence with Berlin. Fortunately, the Germans seemed, at least for the time being, more focused on the threat to the fatherland by the resurgent Commune of France than potential far off incursions into their Asian possessions.
While weakened significantly both by the Treaty of Brest-Litovsk and the civil war with the Bolsheviks, the Russian Republic, with its massive infantry corps, was still a significant threat to Manchuria and Korea.
Japan's former Entente partner of the British government, while exiled in Canada, still possessed a great number of vessels taken from the Royal Navy during the revolution. This made this former ally a viable threat to the Imperial Navy and Home Islands as a whole.
But perhaps the most dangerous potential enemy of all was across the Pacific in Washington DC: With a massive industrial capacity and potential manpower pool, the United States of America was quite possibly the greatest threat to the empire on land, sea, and air. However rumors told of a great instability in the country: One which could potentially present opportunities.