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2. Growth and Development (2003-2150)

2-1 The New World Order

Once the immediate problems of starvation had been brought under control, at least to the point where they could be described as malnutrition rather than starvation, the next crucial goal was to get industry back on its feet. National defense was a key concern, especially because of increased piracy and raiding by have-nots envious of Japan's relative affluence - to a starving man, a bowl of rice is a feast. In addition to sheer manpower, however, Japan also required the weapons of war, which generally meant metal and fuel of one kind or another. And Japan lacked both.

With governments collapsing around the world and past frameworks for international cooperation (such as the UN) already extinct, Japan under Iwabuchi realized that it had a heaven-sent opportunity to start over with a blank slate. Iwabuchi's reaction was to round up all people who were not Japanese-ethnic and place them in "protective facilities," removing them from all interaction with Japanese society entirely. At the same time, his foreign policy was more reminiscent of the robber barons of the American west than any period in Japanese history ever before. Needless to say, this did not endear him to foreign citizens living in Japan or national neighbors.

Iwabuchi was a consummate statesman and politician, and manipulated Japan's industrial strength to assure the nation supplies of desperately-needed petroleum from Saudi Arabia in 2008 (in return for Japanese armor), and support the creation of the People's Republic of Indonesia in 2010 to protect tankers from piracy in Indonesian waters. In spite of his manipulations, or perhaps because of them, the governments he helped generally remained quite cool to the Japanese, possibly aware of the fact that they were viewed as mere tools that were convenient to use. They recognized that they might be dropped or replaced in the future if Japan's strategic needs changed.

There was increasing pressure on Japan to release the foreign nationals from the protective camps, and Iwabuchi finally announced in 2014 that the camps would be opened and the people provided free transportation back to their homelands. For many of them, however, there was no other homeland except Japan: they had been born and raised in Japan, or their native land had been destroyed in the Twilight War. For one reason or another, they had nowhere to go, and they announced their determination to stay. There was considerable public outcry by the Japanese people, demanding that these non-Japanese residents be granted full participation in Japanese society, and Iwabuchi's political foundation began to erode rapidly, in spite of widespread recognition that he had made possible Japan's economic growth and development following the Twilight War.

In 2018, in a last-ditch effort, he announced a major trading and aid pact with Brazil. In return for access to Brazil's massive (and largely-untapped) natural resources, including inexpensive labor, he would provide them with technical assistance of all sorts. And one of the key items on his list of exports to Brazil was trained colonists - colonists were to be given substantial grubstakes in return for emigrating to Brazil, and non-Japanese nationals relocated from Japan to Brazil had priority. His hope was to encourage the non-Japanese to move out of Japan in return for the monetary payments, but his plan backfired. Almost none of the foreign nationals in Japan signed up, while young and talented Japanese youth flocked to the opportunity. The entire affair was a severe embarrassment to the Iwabuchi administration, although Brazil was delighted to receive Japanese technology, new plant construction and skilled personnel all at once.

Fortunately for everyone, Iwabuchi died in an automobile accident (possibly an assassination) in 2021.

A coalition government was immediately formed, with members drawn not only from iwabuchi's conservative group, but from other factions in the Japanese government as well. The first Prime Minister was the 73-year old Iwashita Shinji, a thoroughly neutral professional politician with no apparent political stance whatsoever. While he was inoffensive, he also proved to be totally incapable of initiating anything, and after eight months he announced his retirement. After a furious political battle fought both in public and in late-night meetings, liberal Hatoyama Ichiro was appointed Prime Minister. Part of the agreement worked out which allowed him to become PM also saddled him with a cabinet which was largely drawn from Iwabuchi's group.

The Hatoyama coalition government, in spite of determined opposition by pro-Iwabuchi people still in power, began to return Japan to a more cooperative foreign policy. In March 2022, the last of the protective camps were closed and former "residents" provided with full restitution for lost assets and livelihood. There were a number of ugly incidents as various "ethnic purity" hotheads voiced their displeasure, and to head off a possible flare-up on the national level Hatoyama took the unprecedented step of offering the residents Japanese citizenship. The coalition government was furious, but the offer had been made by the Prime Minister on public live TV, and there was no way to retract it. In spite of foot-dragging on various levels, it was implemented, and in 2024 the majority of the former camp residents officially became Japanese citizens. The process of healing had begun, although Hatoyama himself was all in favor of maintaining the new emphasis on traditional culture in Japan.

Hatoyama, of course, fully expected that he had committed political suicide, and announced that he had done what he could for the country, and would step down as PM. The public outcry was tremendous, and in addition to massive support from the general public he also received support from the brand-new Japanese citizens and other governments. Opposition forces, recognizing that the tide was against them, wisely remained quiet, and Hatoyama bowed to the public will to remain Prime Minister.

With the newfound authority granted by public acclaim, the Hatoyama cabinet began to approach other nations, clamping down on corporate "robber barons" active throughout Asia and the Pacific, and making a sincere but sometimes ineffectual effort to become a good neighbor. In general, the good intentions were recognized, although a decade of rather poor diplomacy on the part of the Japanese had established considerable bad will to be overcome through large amounts of economic and technical lubrication.


The Philippines

The Philippines were the first group to actually test the brand-new and still-developing relationship in a major way. The largest of the scattered governments active in the Philippines, located in Quezon City, Luzon (Manila had been destroyed in the Twilight War), requested Japanese military assistance in countering large-scale raids and piracy by what they called rebels and pirates; in actuality, other local governments established throughout the many Pilippine islands. Japan already had extensive trading and even primary manufacturing activities there, and stability in the region (especially if the government were indebted to Japan) would be invaluable. The government of Pilipinas (as they had named their nation) had enjoyed increasingly-good relationships with Japan after Hatoyama's policy liberalization, and finally decided to seek military assistance.

In 2048 (well after Hatoyama had died) the first official Japanese military advisors and materiel began arriving in Pilipinas. Large numbers of Philippine troops were provided with training and state-of-the-art weaponry, while local manufacturing facilities were constructed to produce not only military transport vehicles but also (later) commercial transport.

In January 2051, however, it began to become apparent that Pilipinas forces were themselves involved in raiding and piracy of other newborn nations in the area, under a grand plan to reunite the Philippines under their leadership. Japan had made massive economic, industrial, military and political investment into Pilipinas, however, and could not easily extricate itself from what had become a difficult position.

Their response, finally implemented formally in fall of the same year, was to officially distance themselves from the Pilipinas military, and instead establish Japanese forces as an impartial peace-keeping force. Due to the complex nature of the Philippines, with a dozen languages and dozens more dialects, not to mention diverse ethnic and religious groups, Japan (wisely) decided to avoid making value judgments. Instead, it announced a freeze on borders (which, in most cases, was fairly easy as most nations existed in island units), and enforced strict restrictions on carrying weapons by air or sea.

Pilipinas was, to say the least, quite unhappy with this development, and as the largest and most productive of the nations making up the Philippines had a large military force at its command. A number of incidents occured, forcing the Japanese to gradually withdraw into well-defended enclaves, and the Japanese presence on Luzon grew very quiet. On November 16, 2052, Pilipinas forces under General Jose Fernandez, a major proponent of the reunification effort, attacked and destroyed the Japanese military base at **, taking heavy casualties. Japanese air and naval forces responded by destroying the Pilipinas refinery and manufacturing complex at **, while simultaneously evacuating all Japanese forces and nationals from the island. In the fall of 2053, after almost a year of total blockade, Japanese amphibuous and airborne forces landed at the major port of **, establishing a beachhead in spite of determined opposition by Pilipinas forces. The Pilipinas forces were unable to dislodge them, and, coupled with increasingly effective Japanese raids on Pilipinas production and transport facilities, eventually withdrew. On January 7, 2055, General Fernandez was removed from his position by President **, and a new policy of peace and friendship implemented. Over the next few years, Fernandez' clique was gradually weeded from the armed forces in accordance with the Japanese vision of a peaceful Philippines. The fundamental cause was loss of manufacturing and refinery facilities, and the total embargo of all Pilipinas shipping.

Once the Pilipinas government toed the line, and threw its military capabilities behind the Japanese plan, the rest of the islands followed suit very quickly. For the next century, however, fueds and battles erupted irregulary throughout the islands, but were quickly put down by (usually) Japanese forces.

The peace effort, however, had cost Japan over 8,000 casualties and almost three times that wounded, as well as a large number of aircraft and ships. In addition, they continued to face terrorist action by a variety of small-scale forces (who were, for their part, covertly aided by Indonesia, who preferred Japan tied up in the Philippines rather than sticking their nose into the Indonesians' neck of the woods).

In 2065, Japan signed a 99-year lease from the Pilipinas government, in return for "one yen and certain other valuable considerations," for a large tract centered on Mount Pulog (2929 m) in central Luzon. This was to be the site of Japan's orbital catapult, which launched its first payload in 2072. The catapult brought enormous economic growth to Pilipinas (and to Japan, of course), and tied the economics of the two nations together to the point where it no longer made any sense to remain separate. The new capital city, a completely planned metropolis, was built on the site of former Manila beginning in 2065, and named Aguinaldo City in honor of one of the nation's most famous freedom fighters.

Japan was increasingly unhappy with the costs and casualties of its self-assumed role as peacekeeper for the Philippines. The situation became politically unacceptable in 2092, when Japanese naval forces were at the brink of war with Indonesia over the Philippine island of Palawan and the neighboring Sulu Archipelago. While Japan surely would have preferred to merely wash its hands of the whole region, it had become dependent on the catapault on Luzon, and had to maintain possession at almost all costs. Strategically, this meant restraining possible Indonesian penetration into the region, and maintaining strong control over the nations on the islands of the Philippines.

The establishment of the catapault had brought enormous wealth not only the Japanese, but also to Pilipinas, which controlled Luzon Island. The Pilipinas government recognized its dependence on the catapault, and was unlikely to rock the boat, but there was a sharp difference in per-capita income between Pilipinas and the other islands of the Philippines. Poverty was a driving force for social discord here as well. Japan, as owner of the catapault and primary contributor to the Pilipinas economy, was viewed with disfavor by many of the other governments in the region, especially when Japanese forces persisted in acting as peacekeepers.

In 2093 Japan began work on the establishment of the Federation of Japan and the Philippines. A combination of political steamrollering, pork-barrel projects and glowing promises, all lubricated by healthy sums of money, convinced the majority of the Philippine governments to agree with the proposal by 2095 (the last government to agree, the Muslim government on Palawan, finally signed in 2098). The new Federation was established on April 1, 2096 in Tokyo, the economic and international center of Japan (and distinctly different from Kyoto, the capital of Japan), with personnel, facilities and budget provided by (mostly) the Japanese. The government of Pilipinas, understanding correctly that they had everything to gain and nothing to lose by the deal, was an active supporter and participant, unilaterally taking the position of leader for the Philippine community.


Indonesia

Piracy had already become a major problem in the Strait of Malacca, a key freight sealane, by the late 20th century, and the collapse of world order in the Twilight War severely exacerbated the situation. Japanese industry began transporting urgently-needed raw material from a number of locations back to Japan shortly after the Twilight War quieted down, and with the dispatch of Japanese military forces to Saudi Arabia in 2008 freighters began making regular runs through the region. Freighters were equipped with JDSF defense forces for protection, but in many cases this also proved insufficient - Japan needed the cargo intact. The best solution was to establish a stable government in the region.

Japanese industry had been working toward this end industriously as soon as they began operations again, providing the populous and technically-rich Jakarta region with arms and supplies even before the Japanese government took official notice of the situation. As Japan began to find its feet in the new world and move to protect its overseas interests, official support for the developing government in Jakarta was also provided, mostly in the form of economic and material assistance. Some weaponry was provided, but on the whole Indonesia was able to provide its own personnel and armaments, as well as being much more familiar than Japan with both littoral and jungle combat. In fact, many Japanese observers accompanied Indonesian forces, learning new skills which would be invaluable later in the Philippines.

In 2010, Jakarta formally announced the death of the old Indonesia, and the birth of the new People's Republic of Indonesia. Representing a combined effort by industrial and military forces in the Jakarta area, it also offered a multi-ethnic mix of diverse languages and cultures, quite unlike Japan's almost highly-homogenous society.

While the merchants of Indonesia were delighted to share in trade with Japan, they were increasingly worried by Japan's rather predatory approach in the Philippines. Japanese capital was deliberately kept out of the Indonesian market, which was easier than it sounds because few Japanese traders had any idea of how to interact with a local company staffed by people from multiple cultures.

As Indonesian forces gradually (through about 2020) expanded throughout former Malaysia, including Borneo, Sulawesi and the Malay Peninsula, there was considerable military and economic friction with Pilipinas, and later Japan. In particular, Indonesian strategists feared the growing cooperation between Pilipinas and Japan and hoped to bring the Philippines into a new and larger Indonesia incorporating all of the scattered islands in the region. Toward this end, they (1) implemented regulatory measures to prevent the entry of Japanese capital into Indonesian territories, (2) provided Muslim separatists in the southern Philippines with money, arms and training, (3) increased the tariff on all non-Indonesian freighters passing through the Strait of Malacca.

Events came to a head in 2092 when the Indonesian government officially invited the fundamentalist Islamic government of Palawan to become a part of the Indonesian nation. While the internal government of Palawan was an internal matter, Japan (with the active support of other nations in the Philippines) strongly opposed the switch, and blockaded Indonesian naval forces approaching Palawan. After a fortunately short and small-scale conflict, the Indonesian government recognized that the Japanese already had large numbers of well-trained and well-equipped combat troops and naval assets in the region and Indonesia did not. Indonesia retracted overt support for the rebels, effectively aboandoning its plan to absorb Palawan and the Sulus.

In the two centuries since, Japan's obvious disinterest in conquering Indonesia (other than through commercial activity) has eliminated any enmity between the two nations, and today a large number of cooperative activities are under way in all sectors: economic, educational, social, technical and military.


Brazil

Japanese emigration began in the Meiji era as a government-sponsored effort. Many people emigrated to Brazil in search of the better lives promised by government advertisements, but usually discovered only backbreaking toil and poverty. Generations of hard work eventually earned these Japanese-ethnic Brazilians a place in the multi-cultural nation, but in their hearts they still treasured their Japanese origins. With the near-collapse of the industrialized northern hemisphere in the Twilight War, the South American nations (especially Brazil and Argentina) recognized the opportunity to assume new positions of importance on the world scene. With no need to continue making massive loan repayments to the World Bank and other pre-War funding bodies which no longer existed, there was a sudden surge in government liquidity, and for the first time in decades prices dropped. The domestic economy boomed overnight.

While both nations had developed extensive domestic production capabilities they still relied on imports from the industrialized northern hemisphere for advanced systems, and most of these systems were now unavailable. Programs were launched at once to develop local substitutes, but any R&D project takes time, and even more so when it must be carried through to manufacturing. Brazil, thanks to its extensive Japanese-ethnic population, was able to turn to Japan for technical assistance and capital. While the Japanese government was not thrilled about providing Brazil with loans, it did make a number of grants available, on condition that the money be used to procure equipment and services from Japanese firms. The Japanese government, of course, used this as a means to stimulate their own economy and reward cooperative private enterprises, but at the same time it provided Brazil with a major boost in the arm.

From about the middle of the 21st century, Japanese private enterprise also recognized the unique opportunities available to South America, with rich natural resources and no wartime damage, and massive corporate investment into joint ventures, local manufacturing subsidiaries, and raw materials production centers followed. While Japanese industry was investing, other sectors of the Brazilian culture turned to another cultural homeland: Portugal. While Portugal itself had little technology or capital to spare, France did, and had survived the Twilight War in remarkably good health. French industry was as quick to note the potential of South America as Japanese industry, and launched its own aggressive investment programs.

Both France and Japan began drawing on the raw materials and cheap labor available in South America, especially Brazil, and building strong ties with Brazil. Brazil, meanwhile, played its position in the middle cleverly, continuing a balancing act without committing itself to either. From the Japanese point of view, the separation of Brazil from the Pacific was invaluable, because it made it difficult for the two powers to enter into a conflict of interest over territory (in the South Pacific). Brazil, in the 21st century as well, continued its established orientation toward the Atlantic Ocean rather than the Pacific. The Japanese government also provided technical assistance in the military field, providing Brazil for aircraft technology and enabling it to establish manufacturing capabilities for both commercial (passenger, cargo) and military aircraft. Brazil expressed interest in Japanese naval technology as well, but was politely rebuffed and turned to the French instead.

By the early 22nd century, the Brazilian situation was largely stabilized, and there were few new investments forthcoming from either European or Japanese sources. Brazil had successfully bootstrapped itself from a third-world nation to a top-class world power. Unfortunately for Brazil, by about this time the stutterwarp drive was entering widespread use, and being a world power was no longer enough in an interstellar environment.


Korea

mid-21st Japan attempted economic domination of Korea, failed due to Manchurian action. Thereafter concentrated on territories off mainland Asia


The Chinas

America

While the Twilight War consumed enormous amounts of American troops and arms, America started the period with enormous quantities already on-site in Japan and Korea. As the Twilight War progressed and losses mounted, Japan became somewhat of a backwater, although it did suffer Russian nuclear and non-nuclear attacks against primarily American military installations. Between continuing combat requirements elsewhere, starting with the Korean Peninsula, and the bombings by the Russians, the number of American combat troops and materiel in Japan dropped rapidly.

Once the situation in the Korean Peninsula stabilized and American forces there were freed up for other duties, the Japanese government (in other words, Iwabuchi Gengoro's aggressive anti-foreigner policies) transported them back to Hawaii, also providing valuable transport for American troops being pulled out of the Persian Gulf.

Sea transport, protected by both Japanese and American naval assets, transported military forces and remaining dependents, but the emergency situation made it difficult to transport much else. As a result, considerable military resources were left at Japanese bases, and officially transferred to Japanese control. This included no aircraft or seaworthy vessels, but it did include considerable American armor and transport, as well as weaponry and supplies of all types, and of course the base infrastructures themselves (those that survived Russian bombings). This provided Japan with a rapid and welcome shot in the arm for domestic defense, although as it turned out there was never any invasion of the Japanese isles as had originally been feared.


Russia

2038 Far Eastern Republic established as Kamchatka and Pacific Coast. Russia reclaims Siberia, excluding territories along Amur River annexed by Manchuria in 2048.

2065-72 Russo-Ukrainian War. Japan entered war against Russia in 2070 to break the stalemate, Russia collapsed.

Japan annexes Sakhalin and the Kuriles at some point.


2-2 Military Development

This was a key period in the formation of the modern Japanese military organization. Prior to the military action in the Philippines, the role of the Japanese military was primarily defensive: defense of the home islands, of course, which was largely quiet with the exception of smuggling and piracy, and also convoy duty. While protection of Japan's merchant fleets occasionally demanded offensive combat, the opposition was usually small-scale, and thus Japan's deployments were also generally small. Missions during this time might consist of destroying pirate ships while at their moorings, for example, or commando raids on small enemy establishments. While Japan was aware of the possible threat of large-scale war from various quarters (ie, Indonesia and the Chinese mainland), it was viewed as highly unlikely.

The Philippines first requested Japanese military assistance in putting down what they referred to as "bandits and rebels" in 2046, and Japanese industry put considerable pressure on the government to provide assistance because their manufacturing facilities in the Philippines were being increasingly targeted. The complex and murky situation in the Phlippines rapidly led to full-scale combat between Japanese forces and Pilipinas forces on the island of Luzon.

That combat resulted in a large number of Japanese dead and wounded, and the following "peacekeeper" activities of Japan in the Philippines represented a continuous drain on the Japanese economy and people. Reaction was diverse. Right-wing elements demanded a stronger defensive posture to protect against the outside world. Some wanted to continue conquering, starting with Indonesia. Other groups in the government demanded a return to the "defense-only" stance taken by Japan between WW2 and the Twilight War. Everyone, especially the general public, was angered at the high number of casualties and the massive economic cost to the nation.

Over a period of about a decade, intense political and military maneuvering achieved a compromise of sorts. The Japanese Self-Defense Force was renamed as the Japanese Defense Force (JDF), and restructured to place top priority on navy and marine forces, while land forces (infantry and armor), which had suffered so heavily in the Philippines, were gradually phased out or transferred to new but similar roles within the new "Marine Expeditionary Force" established.

To ensure better protection of the Philippines (and therefore its southern flank), however, Japan established the new Pilipinas Fleet with its home base in Quezon City (it remained in Quezon City even after the new capital was constructed in Aguinaldo City).

Initially the governments of the Philippines were quite unhappy to be without their own naval forces, but over a period of several decades it became evident that the majority of actual defense work was naval, and they were just as happy to have the Japanese handle it for them. The Japanese, meanwhile, discovered that the Pilipinas ground forces were excellent and highly motivated, and began utilizing them in various operations outside the Philippines proper. As they demonstrated their expertise, their role was gradually increased, shifting from the initial light infantry emphasis to heavier units offering better mobility and striking power.

By the time Japan reached the point where it actually wouldn't have minded Pilipinas building it own naval force, the two nations were bound so closely militarily, economically and socially that there was no longer any point to it.


2-3 Economic Development

Needless to say, corporate Japan was shattered by WW3. There was the loss of essentially all overseas subsidiaries and resources, and though most domestic facilities survived the War, it was no longer possible for corporations to obtain resources from overseas suppliers, or sell products to overseas customers. Coupled with personnel losses, both from death and from general chaos caused by loss of essential services and the national need to shift resources to food production, many corporations failed.

The strongest were, as always, the corporate groups that had been known as zaibatsu until the end of WW2, although Teshiba had leveraged itself into the group since WW2. Teshiba, Mitsuboshi, Mitsue, Sumitomi and Hidachi were the major zaibatsu in the manufacturing sector (although they all had large numbers of group companies in almost every sector), and they were usually first in line to receive government contracts, usually made possible by government-supplied resources which, in turn, they provided to the government under different contracts. This is not to say that the zaibatsu survived untouched -- quite the contrary, many of their group companies went bankrupt, or were dissolved, absorbed or salted away for the future. Still, they had a powerful hold on government contracts, on many resources, and above all on production technology, which gave them an edge over most independent firms. Plus which, they could usually handle all aspects of a job in-house, maintaining their hold on the requisite technology and maximizing income.

Once Iwabuchi's government was up and running, Mitsuboshi was the first to receive a massive contract for new naval vessels to meet a changing tactical mission. This was followed by a host of contracts to the zaibatsu and a large number of independents, for a wide range of crucial items including agricultural machinery and chemicals; medical equipment and pharmaceuticals; tidal, solar and nuclear electric power generation plants; and resource recycling plants for items like private automobiles, which were being collected and recycled by the thousands.

The government was minting money as fast as it could, accepting a harsh inflation rate to ensure the survival of the nation, but money alone was not enough. Resources were also essential, and while there was a considerable amount of stored or recyclable material in Japan, it was hardly enough. Import was the only solution.

This was where Naya Namio and the Nanyo Koeki Corp came in. Nanyo Koeki (South Pacific Trading) had been active throughout the region for decades, although always as a second-string players in the field. Naya made accidental contact with a Japanese merchant working for Teshiba in the Philippines in 2006, and rapidly discovered that he could provide many of the services - notably, information - that the Japanese urgently required. By 2010, Nanyo Koeki had a clearly-defined mission of providing Japan with information for the Asian-Pacific region, and assisting Japanese efforts with a variety of clandestine operations. They never actually fought anything other than bandit forces, but they provided corporate Japan with details on where to go and who to talk to for access to resources, and were the key players in getting Japan access to the mineral riches of the Philippines. Until the Japanese corporate and military forces re-established their own information networks throughout the area, which took until about 2012, Nanyo Koeki was invaluable, and rapidly established itself as a major trading firm in the Philippine region, as well as a major channel for the transfer of goods between the Philippines (and therefore Japan) and rapidly-developing Indonesia. This information channel proved very useful for "under the table" negotiations between Japan and Indonesia in later years.


Technology

Japan already operated a considerable H2 extraction, storage and transport system, utilizing metal hydride, although the majority of the gas was used in industrial production rather than as a vehicular fuel. As petroleum shipments to Japan began to fall, and even after the tonnage was assured by the occupation of Saudi Arabia, it was clear that reliance on imported supplies of petroleum was not a strategically defensible method. Native power generation was essential. This resulted in a number of initiatives.

  1. Petroleum: In 2009, after the occupation of Saudi Arabia but before the start of the war with Iran, Japan occupied Sakhalin. (The Kuriles had been returned to Japanese control sometime by 2005, with no formal military action.) The enormous untapped petroleum reserves of Sakhalin were developed as a priority strategic project by a joint venture established by Hidachi, Mitsue and Mitsuboshi, named "Mogami Kigyo Kabushiki Kaisha" (Mogami Industries Inc.). With protection provided by the JDSF, massive petroleum drilling and pumping projects were initiated, including an undersea pipeline linking Sakhalin and Hokkaido; petroleum was eventually piped from the wells to refineries in Hokkaido. In addition to supplying Japan with petroleum, Mogami also developed rapidly as a key developer and supplier of engineering plastics made possible through petrochemical engineering. These "super materials" provided the high-strength components required for later development of undersea resources, and directly made possible the construction of the Japanese seafloor city Kaitel in the mid-22nd century.

  2. Tidal and ocean thermodifferential power: While both technologies had a theoretical basis and even trial generating plants in the 20th century, neither technology was mature. Crash development projects were started into each, with Teshiba and Mitsuboshi the primary industries in the tidal power project, and Hidachi and Sumitomi in thermodifferential power. Although significantly improved, neither technology was put into full-scale use due to the advent of SSPS.

  3. Solar power. To the Japanese, this meant satellite solar power stations (SSPS). The Japanese launch facilities on Tanegashima were untouched by WW3, and while they were in disrepair the technology existed. Hidachi, Mitsuboshi, Sagawa Heavy Industries, and Momota Technologies [Rotten to the Core] won government orders for space development. The first item on the agenda was to put Tanegashima back into working order, which was completed by 2007. In parallel with this infrastructural development, new launch vehicles were designed and trailed, while a variety of satellites were on the drawing board. The first satellite, a photoreconnaissance and communications satellite for the JSDF, was launched in 2033, to be followed by a variety of short-lived military satellites providing the same services to the JSDF throughout the Pacific Ocean. The first manned space shot from Tanegashima was in 2051, with the development of a large-capacity launch vehicle utilizing new solid-state fuels. A permanent manned space station was begun in 2054, and by 2060 it was a large settlement with a staff of about 50 people. By the end of the century, it was joined by a large number of SSPS and orbital factories. In addition to the search for energy, new technologies were also being developed, or moved from the back room to the front line. These included:

  4. Ocean resources. The most pressing need for Japan immediately after WW3 was food, and as an island nation Japan already possessed considerable resources for farming and harvesting the sea: aquaculture. Japan Seafood Corp (later to merge with a New Zealand firm to create the Poseidon Group) led the way, receiving a government loan to implement the offshore tuna "farms" it had been planning for over a decade. The massive infusion of capital paid off, and their technology for establishing netting "cages" underwater with aeration was rapidly adopted to a variety of fish, producing phenomenal yields. Simultaneously, Mitsuboshi, Sagawa Heavy Industries and Sumitomi began putting their seabed mining technologies into practice, moving from theory to small-scale commercial production by about 2060.

  5. Gengineering. The staple food in Japan is rice, and rice is chemically almost identical to cellulose (as termites have discovered) and petroleum. Nihon Idenshi Kogyo (Japan Gengineering Industries), which had been deeply involved in gengineering pharmaceuticals in the late 20th century, announced a range of plant-based biologicals utilizing phytoremediation to collect and concentrate radioactives, toxins and a variety of rare materials for harvesting. As Japan had a number of radioactive sites (Okinawa, Yokosuka) and numerous industrial toxins present (especially after Iwabuchi made environmental protection a low-priority task), these products were snapped up by the millions. An extensive range is still available in 2300 under the generic name "Gomi-Gobblers", and since they are both sterile and pre-programmed to die in about a decade, there is a steady market. Following this success, the firm developed a way to turn cellulose and hydrocarbons (like petroleum) into a nutritious but boring food source called "Yudango". This emergency food source was invaluable in saving the lives of millions of people throughout the Pacific Rim, and was generally called "Japamanna" instead of its proper name. Naturally, a wide range of pharmaceuticals were also developed to address the host of medical problems that came with the new century.

  6. Robotics. Industrial robots played a major part in establishing Japan's position as an industrial superpower at the close of the 20th century, and as Japan moved into its new role as the "Factory of the Pacific" robotic technology again played a vital part. Key manufacturers in robotics were Mitsuboshi, Hidachi, Sumitomi and Shungen Machinery (the parent firm of the Shungen Mercantiles Group.

2-4 Changes in Japanese Society

Japan has evolved into a group marriage system, where people (often multiple married couples) are bound into an extended family system with shared resources. In the early years after the Twilight War, while the group marriage system had not yet been established, groups were already forming, sharing resources to maximize productivity and child-rearing efforts while minimizing requirements for housing, food, etc.

Several key factors were involved in the development of the new society, notably (1) the extended family structure had been the norm in Japan for over a thousand years, and was not at all considered odd by the people, (2) people wanted a better standard of living, but understood that there just wasn't enough to go around for everyone, and (3) the traditional Confucian values of patriarchic society, respect for the aged and moderation, which had never been exterminated in Y2K Japan, came back full force. The new social system gradually expanded into clan-like units, supported by active national policy.

Another key development of this time was the strong emphasis placed on contagion, personal cleanliness, and general prevention of illness. In the chaotic years immediately after the end of the Twilight War, a variety of epidemics swept the world, and while Japan was spared the worst of them, the combination of epidemics, poor nutrition and lack of essential services (heat, water) and sufficient medical care meant high death tolls in Japan as well. The very old and very young were the worst hit, of course. The constant emphasis on contagion and infection, however, shaped the youth of 21st-century Japan significantly, and laid the foundations for the social pressure against human contact (the so-called "privacy shell") which is common in 24th-century Japan.


2-5 Changes in the Imperial System (2003-2150)

The Imperial family in Japan can be traced back to about 600 AD in historical documents, and considerably further in mythology. In spite of being accepted as a literal god for centuries, the Japanese Emperor was rarely able to exercise his authority, being instead maintained in (usually) luxury in the Imperial capital Kyoto while the real power was wielded by the shogun in a different city, the last of which was Edo (today called Tokyo).

While there is still considerable discussion over whether the Showa Emperor was involved with the Japanese expansion and conduct in World War II, there is no question that he did put an end to the fighting, in spite of vehement opposition from hard-line Japanese military forces, when it became obvious that the alternative was total destruction.

One of the prime tenants of Confucianism, which was stressed so heavily by Iwabuchi in the decades immediately following the Twilight War, is bowing to the authority of one's superiors. This has always been recognized to some extent in Japanese society, both at the individual level and the corporate level), but Iwabuchi raised a whole generation who believed in it much more deeply than the Japanese people had for several hundred years. And as these people matured and rose to positions of authority themselves, in all sectors of society, they began to have an effect on the fabric of Japanese society. It was not a planned or coordinated effort, but rather the result of the application of personal beliefs by the group of people most directly responsible for rebuilding Japan into an economic superpower.

Japanese society continued to ferment and change due to a number of major factors: Japan's emergence as an international leader in the Asian-Pacific region, the acceptance of the "White Japanese" citizens nationalized by Hatoyama in 2024 (strangely enough, the term "White Japanese" was also applied to nationalized Chinese and Korean ethnic groups), new power technologies as hydrogen and SSPS replaced petroleum, and the newfound strength of a reborn Japanese military.

In 2146 Sumiko assumed the Chrysanthemum Throne, taking the reign name of Empress Myouten (bright heavens). The citizens of Japan were wild with excitement, as Myouten was the first Empress to reign in Japan since the Empress Atosakumachi (1762-70). Even though gender equality had pretty much been achieved in Japan by this time, thanks primarily to the evolution of the new family structure, the "fairer sex" was of course delighted. Whether by intention or accident, Empress Myouten responded unusually strongly to media coverage, revealing herself to be a thoughtful, well-educated and serious woman. She was also willing to speak her mind, although often tempering her words to suit political reality.

Empress Myouten was strongly against war, although she recognized the necessity for defense, and the need to use offensive tactics for defensive requirements. She was by no means against the military, but she was adamantly against Japanese military expansion, and curbed various factions within the military who favored a more aggressive, expansionist Japanese international stance.

In her best-selling book, "The Willow Endures," she discussed the fundamental causes of expansionism and imperialism in history, and called for the establishment of a nation which would be capable of avoiding such problems. While she did not actually say she was seeking this policy for Japan, it was clear from her sketches of this "ideal society" that this was her goal. Coupled with her photogenic, open personality and the adoration of the Japanese public, the book became one of the most widely read works in Japan and throughout Asia and the Pacific. It took a considerable time for it to sink in, but her philosophies began to make themselves evident over the next few decades.

At the same time, she had established a precedent that the ruling Empress (or Emperor) was in fact a person, able to participate in the management and policy-making of the nation. While provided with very little legal authority, she had laid the groundwork for a significant expansion in Imperial authority in the future. She also largely shaped Japanese policy for the next half century.


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