Nation name: The Empire of Japan
National ideology: Techno-nationalism
Head of State: Yamato no Reizei (constitutional)
Head of Government: Kanno Kanna
Map claims: Japan, Korea, Taiwan, Manchukuo, Okinawa
National background: emboldened by the opportunity to seize German islands and pave the way for a much larger war to conquer the Chinese, Indian, and Mongolian territories, Japan joined the First World War but was bitterly disappointed by the peace treaty and the refusal of the Racial Equality Proposal which it saw as a slap in the face. Indignation was increased by the memories of the previous Russo-Japanese War where Japan had emerged victorious but had again been denied it’s rightful spoils of war.
Combined with the economic decline, a xenophobic desire for a return to isolationism began to become more popular. Several populist demagogues arose quoting the old slogan Sonnō jōi (revere the Emperor and expel the barbarians). Anarchist terrorism increased, such as an attempt on the Crown Prince’s life.
It was out of this frustration that a war nurse who had served in the Pacific, Kanna Kanno, managed to form a political paramilitary known as the Himeyuri Tsurugikai (Himeyuri Sword Society) composed of other veteran nurses and dissatisfied schoolgirls. Inspired by a mixture of Nietschean ethics, Japanese mythology, and techno-nationalism, the Himeyuri attacked anyone they believed to be enemies of the nation: anarchists, liberals, Ainu, etc.
In summer 1933 the Himeyuri marched on Tokyo and demanded power, shouting slogans such as “Tenno heika banzai!” and “Revere the Emperor, punish the capitalists!” their cause was hopeless, armed with kendo swords, bamboo spears, and homemade explosives, they were no match for a trained army if it came to combat. But a combination of political assassinations, army rebellions, and political discontent which had swept the nation made the Prime Minister afraid that the army would unite with the Himeyuri and march on the capital together. He accepted their demands and Kanno was declared the new Prime Minister of Japan.
The head of a small cabinet, Kanno maneuvered her way around the Japanese senate, being concerned with keeping the army and navy on her side as she saw them as the main powers in the political process rather than the political parties. In order to strengthen their support for her, and eager to seize a new territory for the Empire, she ordered the army to march into Manchuria and announce the creation of a new Manchukuo state. She used the pretext of potential war in order to further dismantle the senate and provide herself with more dictatorial power.
While more hard lined members of the Tsurugikai (primarily the regional leaders of the paramilitary, known as “daimyo” - Nishihara, Okamura, Mikami, etc.) want Kanno to completely and effectively dissolve the senate and replace it with a techno-dictatorship of youth, she is more reluctant and will only take decisive action if she sees a major victory in the future.