From Hearts of Iron 4 Wiki
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Government type:

Neutral (Greater East Asian Co-Prosperity Sphere)

Flag of Japan Japan was the leader of the Axis powers in the Pacific Theater. Some consider that World War II actually began with the invasion of Flag of China China by Japan, first by taking Manchuria and installing their puppet the Flag of Manchukuo Manchukuo regime. In 1937, after the Marco Polo Bridge Incident, Japan declared war on China, beginning the Second Sino-Japanese War in which Japan invaded and conquered much of eastern China, installing additional puppet regimes along the way, including Flag of Mengkukuo Mengkukuo and the "Reorganized National Government of the Republic of China". After invading China, Japan struck southwards, invading and conquering Flag of British Malaya British Malaya and the Flag of Dutch East Indies Dutch East Indies (Indonesia), in hopes of securing their resources, followed by an invasion of the Flag of British Raj British Raj.

On August 6, 1945, the Flag of United States United States dropped a nuclear bomb on Hiroshima, flattening the center of the city. Late in the evening of August 8, according to the Yalta agreements, the Flag of Soviet Union Soviet Union declared war on Japan, and shortly after midnight on August 9, attacked Manchukuo and Mengkukuo. Only hours later, the Americans dropped a second nuclear bomb on Nagasaki, destroying a small portion of it. The total shock of these events forced Emperor Hirohito to intervene and compel the big six to agree on the terms of ending the war, taken by the Allies in the Potsdam Conference. After several days of backroom negotiations and failed attempts to destroy the stockpiles of biological and chemical weapons of Unit 731 in Manchuria, which were captured by Soviet paratroopers, and the collapse of the Kwantung Army, in August 15, Hirohito addressed the nation by radio and announced the surrender of Japan. The signing ceremony of the Act of Capitulation took place on September 2 aboard the United States Navy battleship USS Missouri (BB-63).


Japan is located in the far east of Asia. It is mainly made up of the four major islands: Kyushu, Shikoku, Honshu, and Hokkaido. Japan also owns the Korean peninsula, the city of Quingdao, South Sakhalin and a lot of strategic islands in the Pacific including: Taiwan, Okinawa, Saipan, Guam and Iwo Jima. Japan also controls the puppet states of Flag of Manchukuo Manchukuo and Flag of Mengkukuo Mengkukuo.

Mainland Japan is dominated by mountains, which run through almost the entire country. It has a couple of urban areas, namely Tokyo, Hiroshima, and Nagasaki. Flat, arable land can be found around the major cities of Japan.

Japan borders with the Flag of Soviet Union Soviet Union, both directly through the Sakhalin island and the northern Korean border as well as the northern border of their puppet Flag of Manchukuo Manchukuo. They also border Flag of China China through Quingdao and their puppet Flag of Mengkukuo Mengkukuo. Mainland Japan is surrounded by sea, with the Sea of Japan to the west, the East China Sea to the south, and the Pacific Ocean to the east.

Historical background[edit]

After Japan's unification during the Meiji Restoration of 1868, the Japanese Empire had undergone a period of rapid westernization and industrialization, with the goal of making Japan a power on par with the other western nations. With its newfound power, Japan sought to make up for its lack of resources by securing them overseas, through invading neighboring nations, starting with its invasion of Korea in 1895, the First Sino-Japanese War in 1894-1895, where Japan conquered Taiwan. Succeeding in this, Japan later fought and won the Russo-Japanese War against the Russian Empire in 1904-1905, cementing itself as one of the world's great powers and first non-European nation to achieve this status. Allying itself with the United Kingdom in 1902, Japan joined World War I on the side of the Entente, conquering Germany's possessions in the Pacific and China.

During the Great Depression, the Japanese government had become increasingly militaristic, leading to the conquest of Manchuria in 1931, creating the puppet state of Flag of Manchukuo Manchukuo. In 1933, further Chinese border territories were also conquered, leading to further puppet states, like Flag of Mengkukuo Mengkukuo. The Japanese government had begun declaring a campaign of "Asia for the Asians", by which they more or less meant "Asia for the Japanese", claiming a series of wars of "liberation" that were in reality further grabs for land and resources.

The government of Japan is still not satisfied, however, and seeks to further expand Japan's dominion in East Asia, its "Greater East Asian Co-Prosperity Sphere" at the expense of all caught in its way. Japan has countless plans drawn up for its conquest of Asia, some involve an invasion of the Chinese mainland and splitting up Flag of China China into loyal puppets, others calling for an invasion of Flag of India India and others involve invading European possessions in Indonesia and Indochina. Even more tenuous plans call for an invasion of Soviet Siberia, to claim its vast resources and wealth, another plan involves targeting Flag of Australia Australia and Flag of New Zealand New Zealand with Japan's biggest ambition being the concept of an invasion of the Flag of United States United States in order to secure the nation's resources and industry and to topple Japan's perhaps biggest rival in the Pacific.

The Japanese Empire stands as the greatest power in East Asia, ready to raze anyone that gets in its way.


Main article: Japanese events

National focus[edit]

Japanese national focus tree.
Main article: Japanese national focus tree

Flag of Japan Japan, as one of the seven major powers, has a unique national focus tree.

The Japanese national focus tree can be divided into 7 branches:

The Unthinkable Option Branch
The communismCommunist branch and is organized around the idea of establishing a Communist state in Japan with the possibility of either joining the Soviets or forming a faction with the Chinese Communists. It requires Waking the TigerWaking the Tiger.
Purge the Kodoha Faction Branch
The historical fascismFascist tree, it focuses around the aggressive conquest of China, Indochina, Indonesia and the Philippines and an alliance with Siam.
National Mobilization Law/ National Defense State Sub-branches
Two Sub-branches that is used for both the Purge the Kodoha Faction Branch and the Support the Kodoha Faction Branch. It Increases economy law and allows Kamikaze Strikes.
Support the Kodoha Faction Branch
The NeutralityNon-Aligned Branch is focused on building up to a war with the Flag of Soviet Union Soviet Union and joining the Flag of German Reich German Reich's faction.
Strengthen the Civilian Government Branch
The DemocracyDemocratic branch starts a civil war with the fascists and installs a Constitutional Monarchy. It also liberates Flag of Korea Korea, the Flag of Philippines Philippines and allows Japan to puppet or annex Flag of Dutch East Indies Dutch East Indies, Flag of British Malaya British Malaya or Indochina. It requires Waking the TigerWaking the Tiger.
The Manchurian Project Branch
If Flag of Manchukuo Manchukuo is a subject, this branch expands Flag of Manchukuo Manchukuo's Industry.
Army Expansion Law Branch
This branch expands Flag of Japan Japan's army while also giving it the Bicycle Infantry, a unique unit for Japan.
Fighter Modernization Sub-branch
This sub-branch expands Flag of Japan Japan's Airforce and connects to both the Army and Naval branches.
New Naval Estimates Branch
This branch expands Flag of Japan Japan's naval research and industry.


Army Technology Naval Technology Air Technology Electronics & Industry
  • Infantry Eq. I
  • Motorized
  • Marines I
  • Engineer Company I
  • Recon Company I
  • Great War Tank
  • Light Tank I
  • Towed Artillery I
  • Destroyer I
    • Upgraded Fubuki Class
  • Light Cruiser II
  • Heavy Cruiser II
  • Battlecruiser I
  • Battleship II
  • Carrier II
  • Submarine II
  • Transport Ship
  • Interwar Fighter
    • Interwar Carrier Fighter
  • Interwar Bomber
  • Close Air Support I
    • Carrier CAS I
  • Naval Bomber I
    • Carrier Naval Bomber I
  • Synthetic Oil Experiments
  • None


National Spirits[edit]

Japan starts with four national spirits in the base game:

State Shintoism icon
State Shintoism
  • Factory Bomb Vulnerability: −10%
  • Division Recovery Rate: +10%
Since the Meiji Restoration we have sought to use the worship in Shinto shrines to promote imperial loyalty and aid in nation building. This has allowed us to build up a country that is ready to sacrifice much in the name of the state.
Zaibatsus icon
  • Daily Political Power Cost: +0.25
  • Trade Laws Cost: +25%
  • Economy Cost: +25%
  • Civilian factoryCivilian factory Construction Speed: +5.00%
  • Military factoryMilitary factory Construction Speed: +5.00%
  • Naval dockyardNaval dockyard Construction Speed: +5.00%
  • Consumer Goods factories: 5%
Duplicate Research Efforts icon
Duplicate Research Efforts
  • Air Research Time: +10%
Militarism icon
  • War Support: +20.00%
  • Mobilization Cost: -25%
  • Justify War goalWar Goal time: -20.0%
  • Research Time: +5.00%
  • Civilian factoryCivilian factory Construction Speed: -10.00%

With the Waking the TigerWaking the Tiger expansion enabled, Japan starts with an additional national spirit:

With the Man the GunsMan the Guns expansion enabled, Japan starts with an additional national spirit:

London Naval Treaty Signatory icon
London Naval Treaty Signatory
  • Carrier Max Cost: 9500Production cost (naval).png
  • Cruiser Max Cost: 5300Production cost (naval).png
  • Heavy Ship Max Cost: 10000Production cost (naval).png
We have signed the London Naval Treaty and accordingly are restricted in the size of our capital ships.


Puppets : Japan has two puppets at the start of the game; Flag of Manchukuo Manchukuo and Flag of Mengkukuo Mengkukuo. Both of these countries are located in Northern China and are quite lackluster in terms of industry and military.

Political Parties[edit]

Political Party Ideology Popularity Party Leader Country Name Is Ruling?
Taisei Yokusankai fascism Fascist 100% Hirohito Japan Yes
Nihon Kyosan-to communism Communist 0% Kyuichi Tokuda Japanese People's Republic No
Rikken Minseito democracy Democratic 0% Tetsu Katayama State of Japan No
Non-Aligned neutrality Non-Aligned 0% Random Leader Japanese Shogunate No

Staff and Designers[edit]

These are choices of ministers and design companies for the Empire of Japan.

Political Advisors
Advisor Type Effect Cost(Political Power)
Sanzo Nosaka Communist Revolutionary
  • Daily Communism Support: +0.10

Has completed focus The Unthinkable Option

Kingoro Hashimoto Fascist Demagogue
  • Daily Fascism Support: +0.10
Kijuro Shidehara Democratic Reformer
  • Daily Democracy Support: +0.10

Has completed focus Strengthen Civilian Government

Mitsumasa Yonai Silent Workhorse
  • Political Power Gain: +15%
Hiroshi Oshima Prince of Terror
  • Effect of partisans on us: -25%
  • Foreign subversive activities efficiency: -30%
  • Non-core Manpower: +2%
Chiune Sugihara Compassionate Gentleman
  • Improve relations opinion: +15%
Takuo Godo War Industrialist
  • Military Factory Construction Speed: +10.0%
  • Dockyard Construction Speed: +10.0%
  • Fuel Silo Construction Speed: +10.0%
Tank Designers
Designer Type Effect Cost(Political Power)
Osaka Army Arsenal Tank Designer
  • Armor Research Time: -10%
  • Armor: Reliability: +5%

By selecting this Design Company it will permanently affect capabilities on all equipment researched while they are hired.

Ship Designers
Designer Type Effect Cost(Political Power)
Kure Naval Arsenal Battlefleet Designer
  • Naval Research Time: -10%
  • Capital Ship:
    • Armor: +15%
    • Naval firepower: +15%
  • Screen:
    • Torpedo attack: +25%
    • Sub detection : -25%

By selecting this Design Company it will permanently affect capabilities on all equipment researched while they are hired.
Has completed focus Supremacy of the Battlefleet

Yokosuka Naval Arsenal Pacific Fleet Designer
  • Naval Research Time: -10%
  • Carrier:
    • Deck size: +25%
    • Armor: -15%
    • Max Range: +25%
  • Capital Ship: Max Range: +25%
  • Screen: Max Range: +25%
  • Submarine: Max Range: +25%

By selecting this Design Company it will permanently affect capabilities on all equipment researched while they are hired.

Sasebo Naval Arsenal Coastal Defense Fleet Designer
  • Naval Research Time: -10%
  • Carrier:
    • Production Cost: -25%
    • Deck size: -20%
    • Max Range: -50%
  • Capital Ship:
    • Production Cost: -25%
    • Armor: -20 %
    • Naval firepower: -20%
    • Max Range: -50%
  • Screen:
    • Production Cost: -25%
    • Max Range: -50%
  • Submarine:
    • Production Cost: -25%
    • Max Range: -50%

By selecting this Design Company it will permanently affect capabilities on all equipment researched while they are hired.

Maizuru Naval Arsenal Escort Fleet Designer
  • Naval Research Time: -10%
  • Screen:
    • Max Range: +30%
    • Sub detection: +10%
    • Max Speed: +10%
    • Production Cost: +10%

By selecting this Design Company it will permanently affect capabilities on all equipment researched while they are hired.

Aircraft Designers
Designer Type Effect Cost(Political Power)
Mitsubishi Agility-focused Aircraft Designer
  • Air Research Speed: +15.0%
  • Fighter:
    • Agility: +20%
    • Max Speed: +10%
  • Carrier Fighter:
    • Agility: +20%
    • Max Speed: +10%

By selecting this Design Company it will permanently affect capabilities on all equipment researched while they are hired.
Has completed focus Agility Focus

Aichi Range-focused Aircraft Designer
  • Air Research Speed: +15.0%
  • Fighter: Range: +10%
  • Heavy Fighter:
    • Range: +10 %
    • Reliability: +20 %
  • Tactical Bomber: Reliability: +20%

By selecting this Design Company it will permanently affect capabilities on all equipment researched while they are hired.
Has completed focus Range Focus

Nakajima Heavy Aircraft Designer
  • Air Research Speed: +15.0%
  • Strategic Bomber: Strategic Bombing: +10%

By selecting this Design Company it will permanently affect capabilities on all equipment researched while they are hired.

Yokosuka Naval Aircraft Designer
  • Air Research Speed: +15.0%
  • Naval Bomber:
    • Operational Range: +10%
    • Naval Attack: +10 %
  • CV Naval Bomber:
    • Operational Range: +10%
    • Naval Attack: +10 %

By selecting this Design Company it will permanently affect capabilities on all equipment researched while they are hired.

Materiel Designers
Designer Type Effect Cost(Political Power)
Tokyo Arsenal Infantry Equipment Designer
  • Weapons and Equipment Research Time: -10%
Nissan Motorized Equipment Designer
  • Motorization Research Time: -10%
Industrial Concern
Designer Type Effect Cost(Political Power)
Kawasaki Industrial Concern
  • Industrial Research Time: -10%
Sumitomo Electronics Concern
  • Electronics Research Time: -10%
Idemitsu Kosan Refining Concern
  • Industrial Research Time: -5%
  • Synthetic resources Research Time: -10%
Designer Type Effect Cost(Political Power)
Tomoyuki Yamashita Grand Battleplan Expert
  • Army Experience Gain: +0.05 daily
  • Grand Battleplan Doctrine: -10%
Isoroku Yamamoto Naval Aviation Pioneer
  • Naval Experience Gain: +0.05 daily
  • Base Strike Doctrine: -10%
Yoshitoshi Tokugawa Assault Aviation
  • Air Experience Gain: +0.05 daily
  • Operational Integrity Doctrine: -10%
Hisaichi Terauchi Military Theorist
  • Army Experience Gain: +0.05 daily
  • Land Doctrine Research Time: -7%
Minoru Genda Naval Theorist
  • Naval Experience Gain: +0.05 daily
  • Naval Doctrine Research Time: -7%
Hino Kumazo Air Warfare Theorist
  • Air Experience Gain: +0.05 daily
  • Air Doctrine Research Time: -7%
Yoshio Nishina Nuclear Scientist
  • Nuclear Research Time: -10%
Hideo Itokawa Rocket Scientist
  • Rocket Research Time: -10%


Resource-wise, Japan finds itself in much the same place as Germany. While Japan has access to a satisfactory amount of chromium, tungsten, and steel, it suffers from a shortage of aluminum, and an extreme shortage of oil and rubber. Japan's shortage of oil and rubber at the game's beginning mostly shoehorns the Japanese player into the historical bog of an infantry army. Even a complete annexation of China will not solve Japan's problems, as China has more or less the same resource pool as Japan has. While the Japanese player can trade with the United States in the early game for oil, this ties up civilian factories, and the United States has an early focus to embargo Japan (which they will be likely to pursue with historical focus turned on).

Japan is in luck, however, as all the rubber and oil are a short boat ride and a war with the Allies away. Specifically, the largest supplies of rubber and oil in the game can be found in French Indochina, British Malaysia, and the Dutch East Indies. While Japan won't have complete control of these resources until they reach a high enough compliancy percentage or a peace conference with France, Britain, or the Netherlands, the available resources are more than abundant enough to fuel the construction of planes, ships, tanks, as well as any motorized designs Japan might have for the duration of the war. If the Japanese player does not desire war with the Allies, they will have access to the first technology allowing synthetic oil refineries in 1936, which opens up options for medium-scale production of aforementioned planes, ships, and tanks, without conquest. One thing to keep in mind when taking this route is that synthetic oil refineries are extremely expensive and time-consuming to construct, eating away time that could be used to build up other military and civilian factories with which to build up a force to take all the resources Japan could ever require to fulfill its dreams of Pacific domination.


Conscription Law Economy Law Trade Law
Limited Conscription.png Limited Conscription
  • 2.5% Recruitable population
Partial Mobilization.png Partial Mobilization
  • 25% Consumer Goods factories
  • +10% Military factory construction speed
  • −10% Factory (type) conversion cost
  • -10% Fuel Gain per Oil
Limited Exports.png Limited Exports
  • 25% Resources to market
  • +1% Research speed
  • +5% Factory/Dockyard output
  • +5% Construction speed
  • +10% Civilian intelligence to others
  • +5% Navy intelligence to others


Factories 1936
Military factory
19 Military Factories
Naval dockyard
15 Naval Dockyard
Civilian factory
25 Civilian Factories
Factories 1939
Military factory
31 Military Factories
Naval dockyard
21 Naval Dockyard
Civilian factory
48 Civilian Factories


Total resources 1936
4 0 94 7 47 88
Total resources 1939
4 0 108 7 47 88

These numbers represent the available resources, depending on the trade law a certain amount may be traded away.


Here the player can type some informative bits about this nation's armed forces in-game in 1936 and the following years.


In 1936, Japan has mixed seasoned and green troops. Japan starts with 45 infantry divisions, 9 cavalry divisions, 3 light tanks, 2 motorized divisions and a marine division. To reflect historical accuracy, Japan begins the game with a number of divisions that begin with experience 2 and weapons 1. This, combined with the Marco Polo Bridge Incident national focus, allows the Japanese player multiple avenues for warfare with China as early as 1936. Japan also has some troops with basic equipment, good targets for a garrison of Japan's home island and Japan's matrix of pacific islands.

Examples of alternative division template names for Japan include:

  • Mountaineers - Yamahei-dan Shidan
  • Marines - Tokubetsu Rikusentai or just Rikusentai (naval infantry, as opposed to marines)
  • Paratroopers - Teishin Shidan
  • Motorized - Jidousha Shidan
  • Mechanized - Kikaika Shidan
  • Armor - Sensha Shidan
Infantry equipment list
Name Type Techyear
Type 38 Basic Eq. 1918
Type 99 Weapons I 1936
Type 100/40 Weapons II 1939
Type 100/44 Weapons III 1942
Motorized units list
Name Type Techyear
Type 94 Motorized 1936
Type 1 Ho-Ki Mechanized I 1940
Type 1 Ho-Ha Mechanized II 1942
Type 4 Ka-Tsu Mechanized III 1944
Tank Units List
Name Type Tech Year Variants TD / SPA / AAA
Ko-Gata Great War Tank 1918
Type 94 Light Tank I 1934
Ha-Go Light Tank II 1936 None / Ke-Nu / Ko-Hi AA
Ke-Ni Light Tank III 1941 Ho-Ru / Ku-Se / Ta-Se
Chi-Ha Medium Tank I 1939 Ho-Ni I / Ho-I / None
Chi-Nu Medium Tank II 1941 Ho-Ni II / Ho-Ro / None
Chi-Ri Medium Tank III 1943 Na-To / Ha-To / None
Type 95 Heavy Tank I 1934 Ka-To / Ji-Ro / None
Iwakuro Heavy Tank II 1941 Ho-Ri / Ho-Chi / None
O-I Heavy Tank III 1943
Type 2604 Super Heavy Tank 1943
Type 61 MBT 1945


Capital ships 1936
4 Carriers
6 Battleships
3 Battlecruisers
Heavy Cruiser.png
16 Heavy Cruisers
Screens and Submarines 1936
Light Cruiser.png
19 Light Cruisers
94 Destroyers
53 Submarines

Japan starts with several upgraded tier I ship classes. The Akagi carrier and Nagato battleship in particular have an especially high number of upgrade points. Japan also starts with 3 Kongo-class battleships which are tier II and 2 Mogami-class heavy cruisers that are also tier II. Under construction are 1 Soryu-class carrier, 1 Kongo-class battleship and 1 Mogami-class heavy cruiser along with 3 destroyers and 4 submarines. Japan starts with comparably high naval technology. Japan can also acquire Long Lance torpedoes from a national focus, which gives their torpedoes a longer range than any other nation.

Naval Units List
Name Type Tech Year
Minekaze Class Destroyer I 1922
Asashio Class Destroyer II 1936
Akizuki Class Destroyer III 1940
Shimakaze Class Destroyer IV 1944
Tenryu Class Light Cruiser I 1922
Light Mogami Class Light Cruiser II 1936
Agano Class Light Cruiser III 1940
Agatsuma Class Light Cruiser IV 1944
Furutaka Class Heavy Cruiser I 1922
Heavy Mogami Class Heavy Cruiser II 1936
Tone Class Heavy Cruiser III 1940
Ibuki Class Heavy Cruiser IV 1944
Amagi Class Battlecruiser I 1922
Design B-65 Battlecruiser II 1940
Fuso Class Battleship I 1922
Kongo Class Battleship II 1936
Tajima Class Battleship III 1940
Iwami Class Battleship IV 1944
Yamato Class Super Heavy Battleship I 1936
Super Yamato Class Super Heavy Battleship II 1944
Kaga Class Carrier I 1922
Soryu Class Carrier II 1936
Shokaku Class Carrier III 1940
Taiho Class Carrier IV 1944
Kaichu Class Submarines I 1922
Kaidai VI Class Submarines II 1936
Ko/Otsu/Hei-Gata Class Submarines III 1940
Sen-Toku Class Submarines IV 1944

Air Force[edit]

Aircraft 1936
Close air support.png
327 Close Air Support
Air Skirmish.png
339 Fighters
Naval Strike Tactics.png
102 Naval Bombers
54 Tactical Bombers
Aircraft Types
Tech Year Close Air Support (Carrier Variant) Fighter (Carrier Variant) Naval Bomber (Carrier Variant) Heavy Fighter Tactical Bomber Strategic Bomber
1933 Type 91 (A4N) G3M Rikko
1936 Ki-32 (D1A2) Ki-27 (A5M) G3M1 (B5N) Ki-38 Ki-21 Ki-20
1940 Ki-51 (D3A) Ki-43 Hayabusa (A6M Zero-sen) G4M (B6N) Ki-45 Toryu Ki-48 Ki-49 Donryu
1944 Ki-66 (D4Y Suisei) Ki-84 Hayate (A7M Reppu) P1Y Ginga (B7A) Ki-102 Ki-67 G8N Renzan
Jet Engine Technology
1945 Kikka Jet Tac Bomber I
1950 J7W Shidden-Kai Jet Tac Bomber II Jet Strat Bomber I

Military Staff[edit]

These are the Military Staff candidates for appointment of Imperial Japan.

Chief of Army
Candidate Type I Type II Effects Cost (Political Power)
Hajime Sugiyama Army Drill (Genius)
  • Division training time: -15%

Has completed focus Army Expansion

Prince Kan'in Kotohito Army Offense (Specialist)
  • Division Attack: +5%
Hideki Tojo Army Morale (Expert)
  • Division recovery rate: +8%
Chief of Navy
Candidate Type I Type II Effects Cost (Political Power)
Prince Fushimi Hiroyasu Naval Aviation (Expert)
  • Naval Air Attacks from Carriers: +6%
  • Naval Air Targeting from Carriers: +6%
  • Naval Air Agility from Carriers: +8%
Osami Nagano Commerce Raiding (Specialist)
  • Convoy Raiding Efficiency: +10%
Shigetaro Shimada Decisive Battle (Expert)
  • Capital Ship Attack: +10%
  • Capital Ship Armor: +10%
  • Screen Attack: +10%
  • Screen Defense: +10%
Chief of Airforce
Candidate Type I Type II Effects Cost (Political Power)
Torashiro Kawabe Night Operations (Specialist)
  • Night Operations Penalty: -10%
Korechika Anami Ground Support (Specialist)
  • Air Support: +5%
Kenji Doihara All-Weather (Specialist)
  • Bad Weather Penalty: -10%
Military High Command
Candidate Type I Type II Effects Cost (Political Power)
Tateo Kato Air Combat Training (Genius)
  • Ace Generation Chance +15%
Soemu Toyoda Capital Ships (Specialist)
  • Capital Ship Attack: +5%
  • Capital Ship Armor: +5%
Hitoshi Imamura Army Logistics (Expert)
  • Division Attrition: -8%
Matome Ugaki Naval Air Defense (Expert)
  • Naval AA attack: +15%
Shunroku Hata Concealment (Expert)
  • Enemy Air Support: -10%
Mitsuo Fuchida Tactical Bombing (Expert)
  • Ground Support: +15%
Yasuji Okamura Infantry (Expert)
  • Infantry Division Attack: +10%
  • Infantry Division Defense: +15%
Nishizo Tsukahara Naval Strike (Specialist)
  • Naval Bombing: +2%
  • Naval Targeting: +2%
  • Naval Agility: +2%
Chuichi Nagumo Carriers (Expert)
  • Sortie Efficiency +15%

Strategies and Guides[edit]

Flag of Japan The Empire of Japan is by far the strongest nation in East Asia when it comes to military strength and has plenty of options for expanding its sphere of influence. That being said, Japan suffers from a chronic lack of resources, given the size of its military and will, as it realized in real life, become very dependent on trade to fuel its war machine unless the problem is properly addressed. Japan is also not a very popular nation globally—the Flag of United Kingdom United Kingdom, the Flag of United States United States and the Flag of Soviet Union Soviet Union all have national focuses that enable them to go to war with Japan and the Together for Victory DLC will also turn Flag of Australia Australia and Flag of New Zealand New Zealand into possible enemies.

Japan's national focus tree contains many helpful perks and boosts that can greatly assist in early-game endeavors. The National Focus New Naval Estimates gives 4 naval dockyards while "Spiritual Mobilization" and "Warrior Traditions" raise the recruitable population by a noticeable margin.

Japan starts the game with a total of 59 factories (19 military, 25 civilian and 15 naval dockyards) which is comparable to most of the other major nations and this gives Japan the biggest industrial capacity in East Asia.

The Imperial Japanese army consists of a rather colorful mix of units, ranging from Regular to Green in experience and with varying levels of equipment. Many of the division templates are also somewhat questionable when it comes to composition. A lot of rearming and reorganizing will be needed in order to bring up the military to par with the other major powers.

The Imperial Japanese Navy is the third-largest navy in the world and the largest one in East Asia. Because Japan is an island nation and also controls a large matrix of smaller islands throughout the pacific ocean, the navy will be vital to ensure that the Japanese Empire remains properly connected and that supply lines remain open. As such, Japan will need to build up its naval dockyard capacity in order to allow it to expand its naval force and replace lost ships.

Once the initial buildup is completed there are several paths for Japan to take:

Initial conquest options[edit]

The Second Sino-Japanese War[edit]

Located to Japan's Southwest, Flag of China China presents a relatively early conquest goal for Japan. The Japanese national focus tree contains the necessary focuses to grant a war goal against China very early on in the game and this makes China a perfectly logical conquest option in the early game. When taking on China, the Japanese player must be aware of two crucial facts: first, China has the second highest (highest after unification) starting core population in the game and this grants it a near-bottomless manpower supply. As such, a war of attrition is not an option for Japan as Japan will run out of manpower long before China. Instead, the recommended path is for Japan to strike fast and strike hard, using equipment such as artillery and either heavy fighters or tanks to deal maximum damage to the Chinese forces. Second, it is recommended that the player strike China from multiple directions by opening new fronts through naval invasions. Once the war starts, two possible option for additional strikes would be a naval invasion of the Qingdao peninsula followed by a rush inland to cut off supply line to Beijing or an invasion of Southern China to capture a large portion of China's resources.

Once China falls, the player is left with two options: Annexation or Puppeting. Annexing China will grant Japan a good amount of build slots for construction (which is mostly useless as you have enough construction slots in your capital and way better infrastructure) as well as providing a boost to Japan's resource pool but an immense penalty will be applied to the local recruitable population, greatly reducing available manpower.

If the Japanese player elects to puppet China and has the Together For Victory DLC enabled, then they will be able to fully exploit China's immense manpower pool by recruiting colonial divisions or by requesting forces from China at any point, as China will retain full access to its manpower pool as a Japanese puppet. If the player elects this path, they should only fully annex coastal states, and perhaps even all states except Sichuan (which is the highest population state). China should still be left with enough manpower. Annexing the state of Hainan is highly recommended as this state can serve as a staging area for the Japanese Navy when fighting in Southern Asia.

With 1.9 alongside La Resistance, the Sino-Japanese War can easily turn into a meat grinder for Japan. You want to end the war as quickly as possible as garrison requirement will wear you down by attrition. You can set up collaboration government via espionage beforehand to make things easier and give you an alternative to puppeting China. Be sure to complete Develop Chinese Resources focus first before allowing the collaboration government to form or you will lose out on its bonuses. You can form the Collaboration Government with either Nationalist China or Communist China. Using Communist China as collaboration government might be a preferable option given their better national spirits and conscription laws but you will need more garrison during the time you are completing the focus as the compliance will only form in their starting area. Keep in mind that just like normal puppets, collaboration government will not give you access to their docks and the collaboration puppet will immediately form over all their core territory you possess during their formation which including Dalian, East Hebei, and Taiwan.

Southern Strike[edit]

Just south of Japan lies Indonesia and Indochina. These territories are very valuable for Japan as they contain large amounts of rubber as well as a moderate amount of oil, both which Japan sorely needs for tanks, trucks, planes and ships for its military.

Unfortunately for Japan, these territories are controlled by European colonial nations (the Flag of Dutch East Indies Dutch East Indies and Flag of British Malaya British Malaya) and as such Japan will likely not be able to achieve full control of these areas until later in the game unless the player can somehow force through a peace treaty. Still, simply occupying the areas will be enough to extract the resources needed. As far as enemy opposition is concerned, the colonial nations are usually not very well defended so Japan's starting military power alone should be sufficient to capture the colonies if one acts fast enough. Invading the colonies will likely involve a lot of naval invasions or paratrooper drops (depending on personal preference) as well maintaining naval superiority around the islands.

Once the colonies are occupied, a good course of action would be to fortify the coast and station troops in the area to repel enemy attempts at retaking the areas. This is where puppet troops can come in handy, recruiting colonial troops or, if the division templates are good enough, requesting forces from puppets can allow the player to station puppet troops to garrison occupied areas for reducing resistance and repelling or at least delaying enemy incursions.

In La Resistance it is possible to form Collaboration Government on both Malaya and Dutch East Indies using espionage and it might be well worth the effort as your puppets will form immediately once they capitulated without the need of subduing the rest of the Allies. Likewise, be sure to complete Exploit the Southern Resource Area focus first before allowing the collaboration government to form or you will lose its bonuses, though this is only possible in the Fascist path.

Japan's national focus tree also contains focuses to aid in this path, allowing Japan to turn Flag of Siam Siam into a puppet as well as pressuring Flag of France France to give up Indochina.

Alternatively it's possible to justify on Dutch East Indies or Netherlands in the beginning and temporarily join Axis to take out Netherlands before they can join Allies.

Mid-game conquest options[edit]

Indian subjugation[edit]

After securing China, one possible alternative is to continue onward to India (the Flag of British Raj British Raj) as having both India and China as puppets will more or less make Japan immune to casualties. India, unlike China is a puppet of the Flag of United Kingdom United Kingdom so attacking them will likely lead to war with the British. Given that India is very similar to China, possessing near-bottomless manpower but lacking in industry early on, the recommended approach for Japan would be a two-front invasion of India. Specifically, one example would be a land invasion of eastern India through southwestern China (and through Siam if said country has been puppeted) alongside a simultaneous naval invasion of the island of Ceylon and from there to southern India. Another option could be securing Flag of Tibet Tibet, Flag of Nepal Nepal and Flag of Bhutan Bhutan and attacking from that direction as well although this comes with the disadvantage of offering a very chokepoint-heavy attack path due to the Himalayas.

Once again, Japan should preferably strike fast and strike hard in order to not give India any chance to mount an effective defense. This time, however, it is possible that the player may run into British and other Allied troops which presents a challenge in itself as these troops will (typically) be better equipped which can make them harder to fight than the typical Indian division.

Oil Rush[edit]

Beyond India (the Flag of British Raj British Raj) lies the fifth biggest oil producer in the world - Flag of Iran Iran. Capturing it will secure twice as much oil as the Flag of Dutch East Indies Dutch East Indies, providing for Japan's medium-term oil needs as it expands in the Pacific.

Though small and non-aligned, Iran's border with India is very short and very mountainous, making the invasion surprisingly tough (but still a matter of weeks).

Iran also give you access to the Flag of Soviet Union Soviet Union. If the Flag of German Reich German Reich are already close to Stalingrad, an invasion via Armenia could roll up the entire front. If not, you could blitz straight to Stalingrad or even Moscow while the bulk of Soviet forces are tied up in the West (which will collapse when half the front is deployed to deal with your invasion). You can end the war by Christmas.

Continue down under[edit]

After securing Indonesia and Indochina, Japan has the option to invade and capture Flag of Australia Australia and Flag of New Zealand New Zealand. Capturing these territories will round out Japan's dominance of Oceania and will also remove the Allies' ability to effectively project power in the south Pacific. Australia and New Zealand are comparable to most European minor nations, possessing good technology but limited manpower. How well defended these nations are if attacked varies greatly; if Australia and/or New Zealand stay loyal to the United Kingdom, it is likely that they will send some of their troops overseas to help their overlord on other fronts. If they choose to sever ties and become independent, however (via Together For Victory), then they will be less inclined to send their troops elsewhere and may therefore be able to mount a more solid defense. In addition to that, going down the national focus trees can lead to Australia and/or New Zealand joining the Axis or Comintern and Australia can even form a faction with the USA, puppet/annex New Zealand and attack Japan.


Sunrise Invasion icon
Sunrise Invasion
As Japan, conquer Mexico then Europe before 1945.
Tojo Shot First icon
Tojo Shot First
As Japan, Nuke a core territory of the US before the US develops nuclear weapons