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Government type:

Neutral(1936), Greater East Asian Co-Prosperity Sphere(1939)

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).

Geography[edit | edit source]

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, East Hebei, the city of Dalian, 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 East Hebei 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 | edit source]

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 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.

Events[edit | edit source]

Main article: Japanese events

National focus[edit | edit source]

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 is based around the idea of establishing a CommunismCommunist state in Japan with the possibility of either joining the Flag of Soviet Union Soviets or forming a faction with Flag of Communist China Communist China. It requires Waking the TigerWaking the Tiger.
This is the hardest path in the focus tree, as it causes a civil war to erupt in the country and if the communists win, it will also cause the entire Japanese Navy, all of Japan's colonial possessions (Flag of Korea Korea and Flag of Mengkukuo Mengkukuo) and most of the generals and field marshals to revert to Flag of Manchukuo Manchukuo, which becomes independent.
Purge the Kodoha Faction Branch
The historical fascismFascist tree, it focuses around the aggressive conquest of China, Indochina, the Flag of Dutch East Indies Dutch East Indies, Flag of British Malaya British Malaya and the Flag of Philippines Philippines and an alliance with Siam. Please do note that this path is also highly likely to lead to a war with the Flag of United Kingdom United Kingdom, the Flag of United States United States and Flag of France France (all at the same time potentially), as it involves attacking their puppets.
  • National Mobilization Law/ National Defense State Sub-branches
Two Sub-branches that is shared by the Purge the Kodoha Faction Branch and the Support the Kodoha Faction Branch. It accelerates economy laws, mobilises more manpower and gives a Research Slot. It also enables Kamikaze Strikes and unlocks a unique type of aircraft; the Suicide Bomb Craft, which are essentially flying human-guided missiles that deal extremely high damage, but both the pilot and the aircraft are lost in the endeavour.
Support the Kodoha Faction Branch
The NeutralityNon-Aligned Monarchist Branch is focused on deposing the fascists and either empowering the Emperor of Japan or restoring the Japanese Shogunate in a modern form. Furthermore, it focuses on preparing for war with the Flag of Soviet Union Soviet Union and joining the Flag of German Reich German Reich's faction. This path notably militarises Flag of Manchukuo Manchukuo even further, by giving them Infantry Equipment and Aircraft Research Bonuses and it also creates a Non-Aggression Pact with China, however, it also requires Japan to join the London Naval Treaty, thus restricting their Ship sizes.
Strengthen the Civilian Government Branch
The DemocracyDemocratic branch starts a civil war with the fascists and installs a DemocracyConsitutional Monarchy. It allows Japan either join the Flag of United KingdomFlag of France Allies or form its own faction; the West Pacific Treaty Organisation. It also makes Japan liberate Flag of Korea Korea and Flag of Manchukuo Manchukuo but, in exchange, allows Japan to puppet or annex the Flag of Philippines Philippines, the Flag of Dutch East Indies Dutch East Indies, Flag of British Malaya British Malaya and Indochina. It requires Waking the TigerWaking the Tiger.
Similar to the CommunismCommunist above, this path will cause a civil war to erupt in the country and will cause Flag of Manchukuo Manchukuo to become independent and gain control over Flag of Korea Korea and Flag of Mengkukuo Mengkukuo, however, Japan will retain control of both its navy and army.
The Manchurian Project Branch
If Flag of Manchukuo Manchukuo is a subject, this branch improves Flag of Manchukuo Manchukuo's Stability and War Support, expands their Industry and improves the Infrastructure and also builds forts on the Soviet Border and adds resources and building slots in the interior.
Army Expansion Law Branch
This branch improves Flag of Japan Japan's army through research bonuses, though it will also unlock Bicycle Infantry, a unique unit for Japan.
  • Fighter Modernization Sub-branch
This sub-branch improves Flag of Japan Japan's Airforce through research bonuses and connects to both the Army and Naval branches.
New Naval Estimates Branch
This branch improves Flag of Japan Japan's naval research and naval industry.

Technology[edit | edit source]

Army Technology Naval Technology Air Technology Electronics & Industry
  • Infantry Equipment I
  • Motorized
    • Interwar Armored Car
  • Marines I
  • Support Equipment
    • Engineer Company I
    • Recon Company I
  • Great War Tank
    • Light Tank I
  • Artillery
  • Early Destroyer Hull
    • Basic Depth Charges
    • 1940 Destroyer Hull (1939)
  • 1936 Cruiser Hull
    • Basic Cruiser Armor Scheme
    • 1940 Cruiser Hull (1939)
  • 1936 Heavy Ship Hull
    • Super Heavy Battleship Hull (1939)
  • 1936 Carrier Hull
    • 1940 Carrier Hull (1939)
  • 1936 Submarine Hull
    • 1940 Submarine Hull (1939)
  • Basic Light Battery
    • Basic Dual-Purpose Battery
  • Basic Medium Battery
  • Basic Heavy Battery
  • Improved Ship Torpedo Launcher
  • Transport Ship
  • Contact Mine
  • Minelaying Submarine

Without Man the Guns Man the Guns:

  • Destroyer I
    • Destroyer III (1939)
  • Light Cruiser II
    • Light Cruiser III (1939)
  • Heavy Cruiser II
    • Heavy Cruiser III (1939)
  • Battlecruiser I
  • Battleship II
    • Battleship III (1939)
    • Super Heavy Battleship I (1939)
  • Carrier II
    • Carrier III (1939)
  • Submarine II
    • Submarine III (1939)
  • Basic Small Airframe
  • Inter-War Medium Airframe
    • Basic Medium Airframe (1939)
  • Bombs
  • Light MG
  • Aircraft Construction
  • Engines II
  • Range Improvements (1939)

Without By Blood Alone By Blood Alone:

  • Interwar Fighter
    • Interwar Carrier Fighter
    • Close Air Support I
      • Carrier CAS I
    • Fighter I (1939)
      • Carrier Fighter I (1939)
    • Naval Bomber I
      • Carrier Naval Bomber I
  • Interwar Bomber
    • Tactical Bomber I (1939)
  • Synthetic Oil Experiments
    • Oil Processing (1939)
  • Fuel Refining I
    • Fuel Refining II (1939)
  • Advanced Machine Tools (1939)
  • Concentrated Industry III (1939)
  • Construction III (1939)
  • Radio Detection (1939)
  • Computing Machine (1939)

Without La Résistance La Resistance:

  • Encryption - Polyalphabetical Ciphers (1939)
  • Decryption - Frequency Analysis (1939)

Designers, concerns and theorists[edit | edit source]

Bonuses from tank, naval and air design companies are only applied to equipment whose research is completed while the design company is hired. For example, if a tank design company is hired 1 day before research is completed for a relevant tank, that tank will receive the design company bonuses, along with any relevant tanks that are researched in future.

Bonuses are not retroactive and will not be applied to equipment that was fully researched prior to hiring the design company. However, new variants will be affected.

Tank designers
Designer Type Effect Political Power Cost
Osaka army arsenal.pngOsaka Army Arsenal Tank Designer
  • Armor Research Speed: +15%
  • Armor: Reliability: +5%
Ship designers
Designer Type Effect Political Power Cost
Kure naval arsenal.pngKure Naval Arsenal

Requires Supremacy of the Battlefleet

Battlefleet Designer
  • Naval Research Speed: +15%
  • Capital Ships:
    • Armor: +15%
    • Heavy Attack: +15%
  • Screens:
    • Torpedo attack: +25%
    • Sub detection : −25%
Yokosuka naval arsenal.pngYokosuka Naval Arsenal Pacific Fleet Designer
  • Naval Research Speed: +15%
  • Carriers, Capital Ships, Screens and Submarines:
    • Max Range: +25%
  • Carriers:
    • Deck size: +1
    • Armor: −15%
Maizuru naval arsenal.pngMaizuru Naval Arsenal Escort Fleet Designer
  • Naval Research Speed: +15%
  • Screens:
    • Max Range: +30%
    • Sub detection: +10%
    • Max Speed: +10%
    • Production Cost: +10%
Sasebo naval arsenal.pngSasebo Naval Arsenal Coastal Defense Fleet Designer
  • Naval Research Speed: +15%
  • Carriers, Capital Ships, Screens and Submarines:
    • Production Cost: −25%
    • Max Range: −50%
  • Capital Ships:
    • Armor: −20%
    • Heavy Attack: −20%
Aircraft designers
Designer Type Effect Political Power Cost

Requires Agility Focus

Agility-focused Aircraft Designer
  • Air Research Speed: +15%
  • Fighters and Carrier Fighters:
    • Agility: +20%
    • Max Speed: +10%

Requires Range Focus

Range-focused Aircraft Designer
  • Air Research Speed: +15%
  • Fighters and Heavy Fighters:
    • Range: +10%
  • Heavy Fighters and Tactical Bombers:
    • Reliability: +20%
Nakajima.pngNakajima Heavy Aircraft Designer
  • Air Research Speed: +15%
  • Strategic Bombers:
    • Strategic Bombing: +10%
Yokosuka.pngYokosuka Naval Aircraft Designer
  • Air Research Speed: +15%
  • Naval Bombers, CV Naval Bombers and Carrier CAS:
    • Range: +10%
    • Naval Attack: +10%
  • Carrier Fighters:
    • Range: +10%
    • Agility: +10%
Materiel designers
Designer Type Effect Political Power Cost
Tokyo arsenal.pngTokyo Arsenal Infantry Equipment Designer
  • Weapons and Equipment Research Speed: +15%
Nissan.pngNissan Motorized Equipment Designer
  • Motorization Research Speed: +15%
Industrial concerns
Designer Type Effect Political Power Cost
Kawasaki.pngKawasaki Industrial Concern
  • Industrial Research Speed: +15%
Sumitomo.pngSumitomo Electronics Concern
  • Electronics Research Speed: +15%
Generic industrial concern 2.pngIdemitsu Kosan Refining Concern
  • Industrial Research Speed: +5%
  • Synthetic Resources Research Speed: +10%
Name Type Effect Political Power Cost
Tomoyuki Yamashita.pngTomoyuki Yamashita Grand Battleplan Expert
  • Grand Battleplan Doctrine Cost: −15%
Hisaichi Terauchi.pngHisaichi Terauchi Military Theorist
  • Land Doctrine Cost: −10%
Isoroku Yamamoto.pngIsoroku Yamamoto Naval Aviation Pioneer
  • Base Strike Doctrine Cost: −15%
Minoru Genda.pngMinoru Genda Naval Theorist
  • Naval Doctrine Cost: −10%
Yoshitoshi Tokugawa.pngYoshitoshi Tokugawa Assault Aviation
  • Operational Integrity Doctrine Cost: −15%
Hino Kumazo.pngHino Kumazo Air Warfare Theorist
  • Air Doctrine Cost: −10%
Yoshio Nishina.pngYoshio Nishina Nuclear Scientist
  • Nuclear Research Speed: +15%
Hideo Itokawa.pngHideo Itokawa Rocket Scientist
  • Rocket Research Speed: +15%

Equipment variants[edit | edit source]

No Step Back Tank variants list
Type Chassis Role Main Armament Turret Suspension Armor (level) Engine (level) Special Modules Production Cost.png Cost
Type 97 Chi-Ha^ Basic Medium Medium Tank Close Support Gun Two Man Bogie Riveted (2) Diesel (4) Basic Radio 8.24
Type 95 Ha-Go Basic Light Light Tank Small Cannon One Man Bogie Riveted (2) Diesel (2) 3.88
Type 89 I-Go Inter-War Medium Medium Tank Close Support Gun One Man Bogie Riveted (2) Diesel (3) 7.36
Type 94 Tankette* Inter-War Light Light Tank Heavy Machine Gun One Man Bogie Riveted (1) Gasoline (1) 2.64
By Blood Alone Aircraft variants list
Type Airframe Role Main Armament Secondary Weapons Engine Special Modules Production Cost.png Cost
A6M Zero-Sen
Requires The Zero
Improved Carrier Fighter 2x Light Machine Gun 2x Cannon I 1x III Drop Tanks, Extra Fuel Tanks 38.50
G3M2^ Basic Medium Tactical Bomber Medium Bomb Bay Torpedo Mountings 2x II Light MG Defense Turret 2x, Extra Fuel Tanks 56
Ki-21^ Basic Medium Tactical Bomber Medium Bomb Bay 2x II Light MG Defense Turret 49
Ki-30/32^ Basic Small CAS Small Bomb Bay 1x II 26
B5N^ Basic Carrier Naval Bomber Torpedo Mountings Bomb Locks 1x II Extra Fuel Tanks 32.50
A5M^ Basic Carrier Fighter 2x Light Machine Gun 1x II 27.50
Ki-27^ Basic Small Fighter 2x Light Machine Gun 1x II 24
B4Y Basic Carrier Naval Bomber Torpedo Mountings Bomb Locks 1x II 31.50
B2M Inter-War Carrier Naval Bomber Torpedo Mountings 1x I 27
A4N Inter-War Carrier Fighter 2x Light Machine Gun 1x I 24
Aichi D1A2 Inter-War Carrier CAS Bomb Locks 1x I Dive Brakes 25
Ki-3 Inter-War Small CAS Bomb Locks 1x I Light MG Defense Turret 23
Ki-1 Inter-War Medium Tactical Bomber Medium Bomb Bay 2x I Light MG Defense Turret 45
Ki-2 Inter-War Small CAS Small Bomb Bay 2x I Light MG Defense Turret 40
Ki-10 Inter-War Small Fighter 2x Light Machine Gun 1x I 22
  • * marks a variant as "outdated".
  • ^ marks a variant that is only available in the 1939 start.

Cosmetic names[edit | edit source]

Japan has a number of unique names and appearances for various technologies and equipment, listed here. Note that generic names are not listed.

Infantry & motorized techs
Type 1918 1936 1938 1939 1940 1941 1942 1943 1944
Support Weapons Type 3 Heavy Machine Gun & Type 11 Mortar Type 11 LMG & Type 10 grenade discharger Type 99 LMG & Type 94 Mortar Type 1 HMG & Type 2 12 cm Mortar
Infantry Equipment Type 38 Type 99 Type 100/40 Type 100/44
Infantry Anti-Tank Type 2 Rifle Grenade Type 4 AT Rocket Launcher
Motorized Type 94
Mechanized Type 1 Ho-Ki Type 1 Ho-Ha Type 4 Ka-Tsu
Amtrac Man the Guns Ka-Tsu Ka-Tsu-Kai
Armored Car La Résistance Osaka Chiyoda Kokusan (Type 4 Armored Car)
Armor techs (Without No Step Back)
Tech year Amphibious Man the Guns Light (TD/SPG/AA) Medium (TD/SPG/AA) Modern (TD/SPG/AA) Heavy (TD/SPG/AA) Super-Heavy (TD/SPG/AA)
1918 Ko-Gata
1934 Type 94 Type 95 (Ka-To / Ji-Ro / N/A)
1936 Ha-Go (N/A / Ke-Nu / Ko-Hi AA)
1939 Chi-Ha (Ho-Ni I / Ho-I / N/A)
1940 Type 2 Ka-Mi
1941 Ke-Ni (Ho-Ru / Ku-Se / Ta-Se) Chi-Nu (Ho-Ni III / Ho-Ro / N/A) Iwakuro (Ho-Ri / Ho-Chi / N/A)
1942 Type 3 Ka-Chi
1943 Chi-Ri (Na-To / Ha-To / N/A) O-I Type 2604
1945 Type 61
Artillery techs
Tech year Anti-Air Artillery Rocket Artillery Anti-Tank
1934 Type 95 75 mm
1936 Type 98 20 mm Type 94
1939 Type 91 10 cm
1940 Type 2 20 mm Type 4 20 cm Type 1 47 mm
1942 Type 96 15 cm
1943 Type 3 80 mm Type 4 40 cm Rocket Mortar Type 4 75 mm
Naval techs (Without Man the Guns)
Type 1922 1936 1940 1944
Destroyer Minekaze Class Asashio Class Akizuki Class Shimakaze Class
Light Cruiser Tenryu Class Light Mogami Class Agano Class Agatsuma Class
Heavy Cruiser Furutaka Class Heavy Mogami Class Tone Class Ibuki Class
Battlecruiser Amagi Class Design B-65
Battleship Fuso Class Kongo Class Tajima Class Iwami Class
Super-Heavy Battleship Yamato Class Super Yamato Class
Carrier Kaga Class Soryu Class Shokaku Class Taiho Class
Submarine Kaichu Class Kaidai VI Class Ko/Otsu/Hei-Gata Class Sen-Toku Class
Aircraft techs (Without By Blood Alone)
Tech year Close Air Support (Carrier) Fighter (Carrier) Naval Bomber (Carrier) Heavy Fighter Tactical Bomber Strategic Bomber La Résistance Scout Plane
1933 Type 91 (A4N) G3M Rikko
1936 Ki-32 (D1A2) Ki-27 (A5M) G3M1 (B5N) Ki-38 Ki-21 Ki-20 Ki-46
1940 Ki-51 (D3A) Ki-43 Hayabusa (A6M Zero-sen) G4M (B6N) Ki-45 Toryu Ki-48 Ki-49 Donryu J1N1-C
1944 Ki-66 (D4Y Suisei) Ki-84 Hayate (A7M Reppu) P1Y Ginga (B7A) Ki-102 Ki-67 G8N Renzan
Jet Engine Technology
1945 Kikka
1950 J7W Shinden-Kai

Politics[edit | edit source]

National spirits[edit | edit source]

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:

Interservice Rivalry - Balanced icon
Interservice Rivalry - Balanced

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.

Interservice Rivalry starts as "balanced" but can be affected by the Interservice Rivalry (IR) decisions. The decisions are comprised of four pairs of mutually exclusive decisions, with any pair offering to either favour the navy or the army, giving a national spirit for the decision and changing the balance of the Interservice Rivalry national spirit.

Mechanics[edit | edit source]

The national spirit uses a 5 step scale of Army dominant to Navy Dominant. While a balanced rivalry has no effect, strengthening either branch of service results in modifiers to factory output and construction speed with "branch strengthened" and further modifiers to research and planning speed with "branch dominant".

Interservice Rivalry Status Dockyard/
Other effects
Idea jap interservice rivalry army dominant.png Army dominant -20%/+10% -20%/+10% Land doctrine cost +5%
Naval doctrine cost -10%
Naval research speed -10%
Idea jap interservice rivalry army strengthened.png Army strengthened -10%/+5% -10%/+5% -
Idea jap interservice rivalry balanced.png Balanced - - -
Idea jap interservice rivalry navy strengthened.png Navy strengthened +5%/-5% +10%/-10% -
Idea jap interservice rivalry navy dominant.png Navy dominant +10%/-5% +20%/-20% Naval doctrine cost +5%
Planning speed -10%
Land doctrine cost -10%

Decisions[edit | edit source]

Each decision is mutually exclusive with its counterpart, so the effects are mutually exclusive as well. It costs 50 Political PowerPP to take a decision and after each decision comes a 180 day cooldown before the next one can be taken. However, there is no strict order in which any decision can be taken. Furthermore, a decision taken affects the Interservice Rivalry national spirit, taking it one step towards the last choice. So, a "balanced" rivalry becomes "army strengthened" after the first pro army choice and becomes "balanced" again when choosing the navy next.

Decision generic tank.pngPrioritize Steel for Guns - get +2 Military factory MIC in 2 random states

Decision generic naval.pngPrioritize Steel for Ships - get +2 Naval dockyard NIC in 2 random states

Decision generic tank.pngPrioritize Army Aircraft Construction - -10% Production Cost.png production cost for CAS and tactical bombers

Decision generic naval.pngPrioritize Navy Aircraft Construction - -20% Production Cost.png production cost for carrier fighters, carrier CAS, carrier naval bombers and naval bombers

Decision generic tank.pngInstitute Indiscriminate Conscription - +2% Manpower recruitable population

Decision generic naval.pngGrant Draft Exemptions - +5%Military factory MIC and Naval dockyarddockyard output

Decision generic tank.pngForm Raiding Regiments - +2% special forces multiplier

Decision generic naval.pngForm Special Air Landing Forces - +5% attack and defense for special forces

Diplomacy[edit | edit source]

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 | edit source]

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
Kodoha Faction (After complete Support Kodoha focus) neutrality Non-Aligned 0% Hirohito Japanese Shogunate (Empire of Japan If Completed National Focus Showa Restoration) No

Political advisors[edit | edit source]

These are the ministers available for the Empire of Japan.

Political advisors
Icon Advisor Type Effect Political Power Cost
Sanzo Nosaka.png Sanzo Nosaka Communist Revolutionary
  • Daily Communism Support: +0.10

Yes Has completed focus ‘The Unthinkable Option

Kijuro Shidehara.png Kijuro Shidehara Democratic Reformer
  • Daily Democracy Support: +0.10

Yes Has completed focus ‘Strengthen Civilian Government

Kingoro Hashimoto.png Kingoro Hashimoto Fascist Demagogue
  • Daily Fascism Support: +0.10
Generic political advisor asia 2.png Mitsumasa Yonai Silent Workhorse
  • Political Power Gain: +15%
Generic political advisor asia 1.png Hiroshi Oshima Prince of Terror
  • Non-core Manpower: +2.00%
  • Foreign subversive activities efficiency: -30%
  • Damage to Garrisons: -25.00%
Generic political advisor asia 3.png Chiune Sugihara Compassionate Gentleman
  • Improve relations opinion: +15%
Takuo Godo.png Takuo Godo War Industrialist
  • Military Factory construction speed: +10.0%
  • Dockyard construction speed: +10.0%
  • Fuel Silo construction speed: +10.0%
Generic democratic asia.png Tsugumichi Arisugawa Illusive Gentleman
  • Operative slots: +1
  • Agency upgrade time: -15.0%

Yes Has created an Intelligence Agency


Economy[edit | edit source]

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.

Laws[edit | edit source]


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


Conscription Law Economy Law Trade Law
Service by Requirement.png Service by Requirement
  • 10% Recruitable population
  • +20% Training time
  • –10% Factory/Dockyard output
  • –10% Construction speed
War Economy.png War Economy
  • 20% Consumer Goods factories
  • +20% Military factory construction speed
  • −20% Factory (type) conversion cost
Closed Economy.png Closed Economy
  • 0% Resources to market

Industry[edit | edit source]

Military factory
Military Factories
Naval dockyard
Naval Dockyards
Civilian factory
Civilian Factories
Fuel silo
Fuel Silos
1936 16 14 22 (-10) 3
1939 27 19 42 (-15) 3

Numbers in red indicate the number of civilian factories required to produce consumer goods, based on economy laws and the total number of military and civilian factories, rounded up.

Resources[edit | edit source]

1936 4 (-1) 7 (-2) 0 23 (-6) 78 (-20) 88 (-22)
1939 4 7 0 23 85 88

Numbers in red indicate how many resources are reserved for export due to trade laws.

Military[edit | edit source]

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

Army[edit | edit source]

Type # 1936 # 1939
Infantry.png Infantry 45 90
Cavalry.png Cavalry 9 9
Light tank.png Light Tank 3 3
Motorized.png Motorized 2 2
Marine.png Marines 1 3
Army experience.png Total divisions 60 107
Manpower.png Manpower used 482.20k 857.10k

In 1936, Japan has mixed seasoned and green troops. To reflect historical realities, 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
Field Marshals
Name Commander skill.pngSkill Trait attack.pngATK Trait defense.pngDEF Trait planning.pngPLN Trait logistics.pngLOG Traits
Hisaichi Terauchi 4 5 4 3 2 Politically ConnectedPolitically Connected Samurai LineageSamurai Lineage Offensive DoctrineOffensive Doctrine
Shunroku Hata 4 4 4 2 4 Samurai LineageSamurai Lineage Offensive DoctrineOffensive Doctrine
Name Commander skill.pngSkill Trait attack.pngATK Trait defense.pngDEF Trait planning.pngPLN Trait logistics.pngLOG Traits
Akira Muto 2 2 2 2 1 Career OfficerCareer Officer
Harukichi Hyakutake 3 2 2 3 3 Infantry OfficerInfantry Officer
Hatazo Adachi 2 1 2 2 2 RecklessReckless TricksterTrickster Infantry OfficerInfantry Officer Samurai LineageSamurai Lineage
Hitoshi Imamura 3 3 1 3 3 Career OfficerCareer Officer Infantry OfficerInfantry Officer CommandoCommando
Iwane Matsui 1 1 1 1 1 Old GuardOld Guard RecklessReckless
Jo Iimura 2 1 2 2 2 Career OfficerCareer Officer
Kanji Ishiwara 1 1 1 1 1 Samurai LineageSamurai Lineage
Keisuke Fujie 3 1 3 3 3 Career OfficerCareer Officer Politically ConnectedPolitically Connected Fortress BusterFortress Buster
Kenji Doihara 1 1 1 1 1 Career OfficerCareer Officer Substance AbuserSubstance Abuser
Kenkichi Ueda 4 3 2 4 4 Old GuardOld Guard RecklessReckless Cavalry OfficerCavalry Officer
Kiichiro Higuchi 2 2 2 2 1 Career OfficerCareer Officer CautiousCautious
Kuniaki Koiso 2 2 2 2 1 Old GuardOld Guard Politically ConnectedPolitically Connected Samurai LineageSamurai Lineage
Masaharu Homma 2 2 2 1 2 CautiousCautious Media PersonalityMedia Personality
Masatane Kanda 2 2 2 1 2 CautiousCautious
Naruhito Higashikuni 3 3 3 2 2 Politically ConnectedPolitically Connected Samurai LineageSamurai Lineage
Rikichi Ando 3 1 3 3 3 Career OfficerCareer Officer
Sadao Araki 2 1 2 2 2 Samurai LineageSamurai Lineage
Seishiro Itagaki 3 3 4 2 3 Inflexible StrategistInflexible Strategist RecklessReckless Samurai LineageSamurai Lineage
Shigeru Honjo 1 1 1 1 1 Old GuardOld Guard War HeroWar Hero
Shizuichi Tanaka 4 4 3 2 4 Career OfficerCareer Officer Infantry OfficerInfantry Officer TricksterTrickster
Takashi Sakai 3 2 2 3 3 Career OfficerCareer Officer Infantry OfficerInfantry Officer
Tomoyuki Yamashita 5 5 5 4 4 Brilliant StrategistBrilliant Strategist Politically ConnectedPolitically Connected TricksterTrickster Engineer (trait)Engineer (trait)
Toshizo Nishio 3 4 2 4 2 Brilliant StrategistBrilliant Strategist Infantry OfficerInfantry Officer
Yasuji Okamura 1 1 1 1 1 RecklessReckless
Yoshijiro Umezu 3 3 3 1 3 CautiousCautious Politically ConnectedPolitically Connected
Division composition list
Division Name list Support companies Combat battalions
NATO infantry.png Hohei Shidan Infantry Engineer, Cavalry Recon 12x Infantry
NATO infantry.png Chugata Hohei Shidan^ Infantry Engineer, Cavalry Recon 9x Infantry
NATO infantry.png Chuton-shi Shidan Garrison 6x Infantry
NATO cavalry.png Kihei-Shidan Cavalry 6x Cavalry
NATO motorized.png Jidousha Shidan Motorized Infantry Artillery*, Engineer, Motorized Recon 12x Motorized Infantry
NATO light tank.png Dokuritsu Konsei Ryodan Mixed Brigade Engineer 2x Light Tank, 5x Infantry
NATO light tank.png Senshadan^ Armored Engineer 3x Light Tank
NATO marine.png Rikusentai Marine Engineer 6x Marines
* marks a company or division that is removed in the 1939 start.

^ marks a company or division that is only available in the 1939 start.

Navy[edit | edit source]

Type # 1936 # 1939
Carrier.png Carrier 4 6
Battlecruiser.png Battlecruiser 3 3
Battleship.png Battleship 6 6
Heavy Cruiser.png Heavy cruiser 16 20
Light Cruiser.png Light cruiser 19 20
Destroyer.png Destroyer 94 101
Submarine.png Submarine 52 59
Navy experience.png Total ships 194 215
Manpower.png Manpower used 115.30k 135k

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.

Name Commander skill.pngSkill Trait attack.pngATK Trait defense.pngDEF Trait maneuvering.pngMNV Trait coordination.pngCOR Traits
Gengo Hyakutake 2 1 2 2 2 GentlemanlyGentlemanly
Hiroaki Abe 2 3 1 2 1 Battleship AdherentBattleship Adherent
Isoroku Yamamoto 5 5 2 3 6 BoldBold Aviation EnthusiastAviation Enthusiast Superior TacticianSuperior Tactician SpotterSpotter Air ControllerAir Controller Flight Deck ManagerFlight Deck Manager
Jisaburo Ozawa 5 5 3 3 4 BoldBold Career OfficerCareer Officer Aviation EnthusiastAviation Enthusiast Blockade RunnerBlockade Runner Superior TacticianSuperior Tactician
Kiyoshi Hasegawa 2 2 2 1 2 GentlemanlyGentlemanly
Mineichi Koga 4 4 2 4 3 Battleship AdherentBattleship Adherent Superior TacticianSuperior Tactician BoldBold SpotterSpotter
Nobutake Kondō 3 4 2 2 2 Battleship AdherentBattleship Adherent Naval LineageNaval Lineage Fly swatterFly swatter
Shigeyoshi Inoue 2 2 1 1 3 Career OfficerCareer Officer Aviation EnthusiastAviation Enthusiast
Soemu Toyoda 4 3 4 4 2 Old GuardOld Guard BoldBold IronsideIronside
Tadashige Daigo 1 1 1 1 1 Career OfficerCareer Officer Sea WolfSea Wolf
Takeo Takagi 3 3 1 3 3 SpotterSpotter
Zengo Yoshida 2 2 2 1 2 Old GuardOld Guard
Naval units list
Type Class Hull Engine # 1936 Production cost (naval).png 1936 # 1939 Production cost (naval).png 1939 Design note
CV Shokaku^ 1940 Carrier Carrier II 1 4x Hangar Space, Anti-Air II
CV Ryujo* 1936 Carrier Carrier I 1 1 2x Hangar Space, Anti-Air I, Secondary Battery I
CV Soryu 1936 Carrier Carrier I 2 2 3x Hangar Space, Anti-Air I, Secondary Battery I
CV Kaga* Converted Battleship Heavy I 1 1 3x Hangar Space, Anti-Air I, Secondary Battery I
CV Akagi* Converted Battleship Heavy I 1 1 3x Hangar Space, Anti-Air I
CV Hosho* Converted Cruiser Carrier I 1 1 Hangar Space
CV Zuiho Converted Cruiser Carrier I 2 2x Hangar Space, Anti-Air I, Secondary Battery I
SHBB Yamato^ Super Heavy Battleship Heavy II 1 2x Super Heavy Battery, Anti-Air II, 3x Secondary Battery II, Super-Heavy Armor, Anti-Air I, Floatplane Catapult I
BB Fuso/Ise Early Heavy Ship Heavy I 4 4 2x Heavy Battery I, Anti-Air I, Secondary Battery II, Battleship Armor I, Floatplane Catapult I
BB Nagato Early Heavy Ship Heavy I 2 2 2x Heavy Battery II, Anti-Air I, 2x Secondary Battery I, Battleship Armor I, Floatplane Catapult I
BC Kongo Early Heavy Ship Heavy II 3 1 3 1 2x Heavy Battery I, 2x Anti-Air I, Secondary Battery I, Battlecruiser Armor II, Floatplane Catapult I
CA Izumo Coastal Defense Ship Cruiser I 2 2 Heavy Cruiser Battery I, 2x Secondary Battery I, Cruiser Armor II
CA Mogami 1936 Cruiser Cruiser II 2 2 4 2x Heavy Cruiser Battery II, Anti-Air I, Secondary Battery I, Cruiser Armor II, 2x Torpedo Launcher II, Floatplane Catapult I
CA Tone 1936 Cruiser Cruiser II 2 2x Heavy Cruiser Battery II, Secondary Battery I, Cruiser Armor II, Torpedo Launcher II, 2x Floatplane Catapult I
CA Myoko* 1936 Cruiser Cruiser II 8 8 2x Heavy Cruiser Battery I, Secondary Battery I, Cruiser Armor II, 2x Torpedo Launcher I, Floatplane Catapult I
CA Aoba* Early Cruiser Cruiser I 4 4 Heavy Cruiser Battery I, Secondary Battery I, Cruiser Armor I, Torpedo Launcher II
CL Katori*^ 1936 Cruiser Cruiser I 2 Light Cruiser Battery I, Anti-Air I, Torpedo Launcher I, Floatplane Catapult I
CL Okinoshima Early Cruiser Cruiser I 1 1 Light Cruiser Battery I, Anti-Air I, Minelaying Rails
CL Kuma/Nagara* Early Cruiser Cruiser I 11 11 2x Light Cruiser Battery I, Cruiser Armor I, Torpedo Launcher I, Minelaying Rails
CL Tenryu* Early Cruiser Cruiser I 2 2 Light Cruiser Battery I, Cruiser Armor I, Torpedo Launcher I, Minelaying Rails
CL Sendai* Early Cruiser Cruiser I 3 3 Light Cruiser Battery I, Anti-Air I, Cruiser Armor I, Torpedo Launcher I, Floatplane Catapult I, Minelaying Rails
CL Yubari* Early Cruiser Cruiser I 1 1 Light Cruiser Battery I, Cruiser Armor I, Torpedo Launcher I, Minelaying Rails
CL Chikuma* Early Cruiser Cruiser I 2 2 Light Cruiser Battery I, Cruiser Armor I
DD Hatsutaka^ 1936 Destroyer Light I 2 Light Battery I, 2x Minelaying Rails
DD Kagero^ 1936 Destroyer Light II 9 Light Battery II, Anti-Air I, 2x Torpedo Launcher II, Depth Charge I
DD Asashio^ 1936 Destroyer Light II 10 Light Battery II, Anti-Air I, 2x Torpedo Launcher II, Depth Charge I
DD Katsuriki Early Destroyer Light I 3 4 Light Battery I, 2x Minelaying Rails
DD Fubuki Early Destroyer Light I 29 7 39 Light Battery II, 2x Torpedo Launcher II, Depth Charge I
DD Momi* Early Destroyer Light I 25 7 Light Battery I, Torpedo Launcher I
DD Mutsuki* Early Destroyer Light I 37 41 Light Battery I, 2x Torpedo Launcher I, Depth Charge I
SS I-121 Early Submarine Submarine I 4 4 Torpedo Tubes I, Minelaying Tubes
SS Ro-26 Early Submarine Submarine I 21 1 22 Torpedo Tubes I
SS Kaidai III Early Submarine Submarine I 27 6 33 2x Torpedo Tubes I
SS A1/B1^ Cruiser Submarine Submarine I 7 Torpedo Tubes I, Floatplane Catapult I
* marks a variant as "outdated".

^ marks a variant that is only available in the 1939 start.

Ship type terminology:

  • CV - Carrier
  • SHBB - Super-heavy battleship
  • BB - Battleship
  • BC - Battlecruiser
  • CA - Heavy cruiser
  • CL - Light cruiser
  • DD - Destroyer
  • SS - Submarine
Naval variants list (Without Man the Guns Man the Guns
Class Type +Reliability Deck Space +Torpedo +Gun +ASW +Armor +Anti-Air +Stealth +Engine
Hiryu^ Carrier II 1 1
Akagi* Carrier I 3 5 2 2
Nagato* Battleship I 3 4 3 4
Ise* Battleship I 2 1 1 3
Myoko* Heavy Cruiser I 2 3 2 2
Sendai* Light Cruiser I 2 1 2 3
Kuma* Light Cruiser I 2 1 1 2
Kagero^ Destroyer II 2 2 2 3
Fubuki Destroyer I 2 2 2 4
Kaidai III* Submarine I 3 2 1 3
* marks a variant as "outdated".

^ marks a variant that is only available in the 1939 start.

Air Force[edit | edit source]

Air Force
Type # 1936 # 1939
CAS.png Close air support 331 360
Fighter c.png Fighter 362 640
Naval bomber.png Naval bomber 126 437
Tactical bomber.png Tactical bomber 54 108
Air experience.png Total planes 873 1545
Manpower.png Manpower used 18.54k 33.06k

Military staff[edit | edit source]

These are the military staff candidates for appointment of Imperial Japan.

Chief of Army
Icon Candidate Type Effects Cost (Political Power)
Prince Kan'in Kotohito.png Prince Kan'in Kotohito Army Offense (Specialist)
  • Division Attack: +5%
Hajime Sugiyama.png Hajime Sugiyama Army Drill (Genius)
  • Division training time: −15%

Yes Has completed focus: ‘Army Expansion

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

Strategies and guides[edit | edit source]

Strategy The below is one of many player suggested strategies for Japan. Bear in mind, due to the dynamic nature of the game, it may unfold differently for other players.

The Interservice Rivalry (IR) national spirit functions very similarly to a focus tree branch and should be considered as one for the japanese build up. While individual decisions and their respective bonuses must be considered, the IR national spirit and its effects also do play a role. If engaging in a landlocked conflict early on, like against China or the Soviet Union, it is advantageous for Japan to first choose an army favouring decision(s). This gives both the national spirit bonus for the decision itself as well as the added bonus from army strengthened or army dominant national spirit. As in the later game, Japan will almost inevitably confront the allies, it needs to favour the navy in later decisions. A "navy strengthened" or "dominant" national spirit can give Japan an edge in the naval buildup between 1938 and 1942 before confronting the Royal Navy and the US navy. Since not all IR decisions are created equal in terms of the benefits they offer, especially given their interaction with Japan's national focuses, they can be discussed as follows:

Pritoritize Steel for Army/Navy: very much comparable in terms of the benefits. Depending on Japans buildup strategy, either one makes sense. With the early war against China or the SU looming, steel for guns comes out slightly on top.

Prioritize Army/Navy Aircraft construction: hands down, navy is the winner here. The reason for this is that CV aircraft are actually cheaper than their land based counterparts, the bonus affects more types of aircraft, all of which are vital to Japan. The final reason being the Zero NF and Mitsubishi designer. Combining the designer, the 1940 fighter NF and this national spirit makes the IJN air arm a force to be reckoned with.

Indiscriminate Conscription/Draft exemptions: Recruitable population can become an issue as japanese land forces tend to cover extensive territories. However, this can be mitigated by using colonial troops after pupetting China. The factory output increase through draft exemptions benefits both branches of service and, together with the existing game mechanics' substitutes for recruitable population increase, makes it come out on top.

Raiding Regiments/Air Landing forces: Despite Japan getting an increase of special forces by national focus already, the meagre +5% attack/defense increase for special forces does not look appealing in comparion. This can be chosen either way, but the favour navy decision looks better.

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 52 factories (16 military, 22 civilian and 14 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 | edit source]

The Second Sino-Japanese War[edit | edit source]

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 Shandong peninsula through Qingdao, 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 | edit source]

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 | edit source]

Indian subjugation[edit | edit source]

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 | edit source]

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 | edit source]

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.

Bringing Democracy to the Pacific[edit | edit source]

While you can go for the traditional historical path, going Democratic is arguably a more interesting option - not only does this let the European powers focus on their home front, it also allows you to bring the western colonies in Asia closer to self rule - the US can still join the allies once tension gets high enough.

First, one should strengthen the civilian government, and prepare for a civil war. You'll lose your most highly skilled generals but keep Admiral Yamamoto. Your forces will be split, so disband your army, take Army Expansion Law, and use 5 of the army XP you get to create a unit with a single artillery division, then train as many as possible (divert the majority of your military factories to produce artillery), and when the war begins, deploy the ones you kept and convert them to infantry/cavalry (because of how frail this template is, it'll fall relatively easy - a single untrained cavalry unit alone can defeat a stack of 24 of these units). If you wish to get into one additional war aside from the ones against Manchukuo and Germany, justify a war goal on Siam before the civil war fires - you'll keep on justifying after flipping to democracy, and of the nations you can attack, Siam is the only one that has no difficulties (Nepal, Tibet, and Bhutan don't have anywhere you can attack from, Mongolia is allied with the Soviets, the Raj, Indies, Australia, New Zealand, and Malaya are attached to the Allies, and you can't attack China/any of the warlords) - Purge the Militarists before you justify, since the more time you have to prepare, the better.

After winning the war, you have two options - you can either create the West Pacific Treaty Organization, or join the Allies; if you're playing on ahistorical, the former might be worth pursuing (especially if the US is the only other major democracy), but on historical, go for the latter. After joining the Allies, save up 150 PP and take the Pacific Guardian focus - this will allow you to assume stewardship over the western colonies (Dutch East Indies, French Indochina, and British Malaya) in Asia (which transfers control over them, either as puppets or occupied territory) - the AI will always accept. Note that the Indies alone grants you an insane amount of manpower if you use colonial divisions, so feel free to drain them of manpower before letting them go free. By this point, your war goal on Siam should have finished if you decided to go after it - attack from French Indochina; Siam will go down easy against a land invasion. Turn them into a supervised state or annex them (it's entirely your choice). Take Liberate Manchuria, but don't return the territory you already have to China just yet.

However, we still have one leftover of Japan's ugly past left - Manchukuo and Mengkuko. Stationing troops on the territory you hold on mainland China, use the war goal you get from Liberate Manchuria to go to war with Manchukuo and it's puppet. This will kick off World War 2 early - either Germany will invite Manchukuo to the Axis when you go to war with them, allowing you to call the Allies in, or the Soviet Union will attack Manchukuo while you're at war with them, which will cause them to join the Axis, allowing you to get Britain and France involved, kicking off WW2 before Germany can make most of it's territorial demands. Send some troops to Europe (help protect the French until they can remove the Disjointed Government spirit). The Allies will always refuse the German demands for Sudetenland because they're at war (resulting in the Czechs joining the Allies), and if Germany does Danzig or war while attacking the French, the Polish will be in a better place to fight back (if Germany gets into a war before doing Reassert Eastern Claims and is doing badly when it finishes the focus, Lithuania will reject Germany's demands, resulting in them joining the Allies as well) - this can also lead to the USSR getting military access from Poland, allowing the Soviets to help fight the Germans. Focus on pushing through (consider launching naval invasions from the UK onto Northern Germany), and capitulate the Germans. Take all of Manchukuo and Mengkukuo in the peace deal, then use the decision to return all of the territory to the Chinese, righting a major wrong.

For the more ... hypocritical Democratic Japan player Korea, Manchukuo, and even all of China can be kept under Japan's thumb while still completing the focus tree. To keep Korea, release it as independent and justify a war goal on it right before the Preemptive Coup focus finishes. After conquering and annexing Korea, it can be released as a puppet when you get the "Korean Independence" mission. You still get the mission reward. Manchukuo can also be released as a puppet instead of returned to China. If you get really lucky, Manchukuo has focuses which puppet all the Chinese warlords and give them all the Chinese cores. You can also get a free war goal on China from communist sabotage, even as a democracy. Just remember to invite the UK to the war to prevent the Panay incident from firing.

Achievements[edit | edit source]

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

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