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5. Japan in 2300

5-1 Japanese Government Ministries in 2300
Available as a large GIF or PDF.

5-2 Japanese Government Structure

New forms of government evolved to make it possible to manage Japan's various overseas possessions and new companions, and what eventually emerged is, officially, the "Conederation of Japan, the Philippines, Micronesia and Amaterasu." More practically, it is generally referred to as just "Confederation Japan."

Withinthe Confederation, as its official name indicates, there are four member states, namely the Empire of Japan (a constitutional, hereditary monarchy with elected representation), thediverse nations of the Phlippines, the Federated States of Micronesia (elected representation by member states, which include a variety of government types), and the Dominion of Amaterasu (a constitutional, hereditary monarchy with elected representation)

The various governments have their headquarters in Kyoto (Empire of Japan); Agana, Guam (Micronesia); many cities in the Philippines; and Amaterasu-to (Amaterasu). The center of the Confederation government is located in Tokyo, Japan.

Because the Confederation is essentially controlled by the Empire of Japan, the two are often used interchangeably. Legally, however, the Emperor and the rest of the government of Imperial Japan are subject to the laws of the Confederation , in specific area covered by Confederation law.

The Japanese system of government is based on the British parliamentary system, although it has evolved considerably in the centuries since. It is divided into three branches: the legislative (National Assembly), the judicial (the courts) and the administrative (the diverse government ministries and agencies). Is branch is intended to serve as a check on the other two.

The 500-seat National Assembly, also called the House of Representatives, is elected from the general public. Of these, 300 are elected from single-seat constituencies and the remaining 200 on the basis of proportional representation from 12 national blocks. In addition, the total of 500 is split into two groups, with a roughly even geographical distribution, with a 3-year difference in the election years. The term is six years.

At the top of the heap are the Emperor (with no legal authority whatsoever), the Privy Council (8 members under the Emperor as chairman, with 2 appointed by the Emperor, and 3 each by the president and the prime minister), and then the president and prime minister.

The president is appointed by the Privy Council, and requires confirmation by the Emperor. He (or she) is responsible for external affairs, and as such controls key ministries including Foreign Affairs, Extra-Solar Affairs and Defense, as well as serving as the official interface between Imperial Japan and the Federation.

The prime minister, on the other hand, is appointed by the National Assembly, and again requires confirmation by the Emperor. His scope of affairs is primarily domestic, and naturally includes a wide range of ministries and agencies dealing with just about every aspect of daily life. There are three vice PMs, heading the National Land Ministry, Bioproductivity Ministry and Industrial Productivity Ministry.

The court is independent from both the National Assembly and the bureaucracy, in an effort to provide it with the authority to watch both. There are also prefectural courts, and most large cities have municipal courts. In Japan there is no trial by jury, but instead a majority decision is handled down by 3, 5 or 7 judges (varies with the level of the court and the importance of the case).


Political parties
Majority party:

Shinnippondo (New Japan Party): The biggest political party, a conservative force, regards the protection of human rights, democracy, and continued national and corporate growth as its fundamental missions.

Minor parties:
  1. Kaikakukai (Renovation Party): Its aims include the construction of a welfare society.
  2. Konmyokai (Association for Spiritual Illumination): Discard the extra-solar colonies and concentrate on traditional ways. Heavily influenced by Buddhism.
  3. Hokosaki (Halberd Society): Absorb the Federation into the Empire, full restoration of Imperial rule with an aggressive expansionist policy.
  4. Yamatodo (Yamato Party): An ultra-racist, Japanese-only platform.

5-3 Territory
Empire of Japan
Administrative divisions on Terra: Total of 48 prefectures, including the original 47 prefectures of Japan (the Kuriles are included in Hokkaido), and Karafuto (often called Sakhalin in English). Capital is Kyoto, Japan. It also controls the Sulu and Masbate protectorates in the Philippines. (Population 186,312,000, excluding protectorates)
Colonies:

Daikoku (Beta Hydri). Initial Japanese exploration 2205. Intensive colonization 2206-2213. 2239 Arabian colony. J. population about 10M.

Tosashimizu (Joi, 61 Ursae Majoris). 2257 Japanese colony with massive effort. Population 2,507,000.

Syuhlahm (Zeta Tucanae). 2254 Japan negotiated for a small settlement off the Chyuantii coast.

Outpost: Shungen (Davout, established 2211)

Shintenchi: The Japanese space habitat at L-4 (established around 2080)

The Nations of the Philippines

5 member states, namely Republic of Pilipinas, Visayas Federation, Islamic Republic of Mindanao, Bangsamoro, and the Palawan Caliphate. In addition, the island of Masbate and the Sulu Islands are currently administered as Japanese protectorates. (Population 74,480,000)

Federated States of Micronesia - generally called Nanyoshu in Japanese

Capital is Hagåtña (formerly known as Agana), Guam. It consists of 4 prefectures: Mariana Islands (including Guam), Carolina Islands, Gilbert Islands (including Kaitel), Marshall Islands (including Wake and Midway). The underwater city of Kaitel off the Gilberts is officially the property of the Gilberts, and leased in perpetuity to Imperial Japan. (Population 316,000)

Dominion of Amaterasu, Tirane

Capital is Amaterasu-to, Amaterasu, Tirane. It consists of 15 prefectures. (Population 119,437,000)

Confederation of Japan, the Philippines, Micronesia and Amaterasu
Several square blocks of Tokyo.

5-4 The Family

Each family unit, which might consist of half a dozen adults and an equal number of children (many old-style nuclear families are also found, though in the minority), is part of a larger clan, which is generally defined by the region they live in, although clans do exist which are defined by occupation (for example, story-tellers), and are scattered over wider areas. Generally, though, the tight family bonds make it difficult for families in geographically different areas to remain in the same clan. A clan may be composed of anywhere from half a dozen to several hundred families. The clans, in turn, recognize ties with the provincial group, with the provincial governor taken as a sort of spiritual parent-figure (this does not prevent the people from decrying abuse or bad leadership, however: a spiritual parent-figure, not an absolute ruler). The Emperor is recognized as the ultimate authority, although more of a spiritual one than a governmental ruler.

Interestingly enough, due to changes in the family structure and the collapse of the society, the Confucian ethic has changed from respecting a leading father-figure (patriarchal) to simply respecting an accepting leader-figure, of either sex. Traditional sex-based roles such as the housewife mother and commuting father have largely disappeared, although of course there is still a tendency for mothers of young children to stay near them for breast-feeding. Now that the family is larger, however, women (and especially mothers) have much more social participation than ever before.

In addition, while the Confucian ethic calls for the descent of blood through the male line, the chaos of the post-Twilight War years has changed it to follow the female line (matriarchal). The reason is obvious: the mother of a child can be determined at birth, but the father may not always be so clear. While both parents are specified on birth certificates and such, the mother is generally viewed as more important than the father in general social situations. The word "step-sibling" has little meaning in Japan today, because most people only think about who the mother was. Both sexes serving in all occupations in the military, government and society at large.

In the last decade or so, similar clan-like structures have been appearing (again, with active government support) within corporations and military units. In private enterprise, being hired by a corporation is closer to marrying into a clan, and links to your past clan are relegated to second place. The company becomes your clan. Spouses can be married and brought into the clan, and families can exist crossing clan boundaries. In the military the system is much less common, because of course the military (while it uses both men and women in all branches) cannot allow military personnel to carry babies around with them, it is also much more intimate when it does occur, with family units (10 to 20 adults) forming squads, and divisions existing as clans. This is still a process in evolution, and it is unclear how it will evolve.

The re-emergence of the extended family structure, although not in the traditional mold, had a number of deep-reaching effects. (Please note, these are general trends, not absolutes... they should be interpreted as comparatives to the "standard" American attitude.)

  1. Recognition of the active role of women in all phases of society, including the military. While women obviously require time off for childbearing, in 2300AD Japan men are also given time off to be with them. With (usually) additional women in the extended family group, the mother can return to normal work rapidly, leaving her child in the care of a trusted family member, often with extensive training in child-rearing as a "full time mom."

  2. Reduction in individuality. Traditionally, the group exercised enormous social pressure on the individual, so that unlike the threat of personal punishment used in the United States to guide children, the most common method in Japan is the threat of embarrassing other family members in the eyes of the community. While this may sound slightly silly to Western ears, as any child raised in Japan can testify, it works within the Japanese culture. The result is that the Japanese as a group are extremely uniform psychologically and culturally, and the degree of crime is, as a whole, lower than in Western cultures where individuality is treasured so highly. In return for lower crime rates, however, the Japanese also suffer from a lack of people willing to stand out from the crowd by making the first move: in short, social inertia. Japanese able to act decisively often end up in the Japanese trading world, where competition is active but yet accepted by the Japanese culture at large.

  3. Better group dynamics. Because most Japanese are raised in extended families with multiple adults and children, they are generally better at functioning within groups and in socially tense situations that Westerners. On the flip side, they are generally less capable of handling situations where they are physically, socially or emotionally alone.

  4. The multi-layer structuring of Japanese society, consisting almost of families within families within families, all inter-related by various obligations of trust and responsibility, has established the Imperial Family as a sort of vaguely-defined father figure for the entire population. In a very real sense, the Japanese accept the authority of the Emperor (or Empress, as the case may be) as the ultimate father figure, with rights and authorities above and beyond those defined in the Constitution.

5-5 Police, Crime and Weapons
The Police System

There is only one police force in Japan, the National Police Agency (NPA) under the Defense Ministry. For organizational reasons each prefecture has its own police department, but personnel, information and other assets may be swapped between departments rapidly because they all belong to the NPA. In general the police do not make an arrest until they are confident they can get a conviction, or in an emergency situation. With state-of-the-art computers, sensors and forensic specialists, every scrap of data is carefully collected and stored for later analysis and use, and in Japan records are never, never, discarded. Your driving record, for example, records every incident starting from your score on your driving test, and is cross-linked to which cars and license plates you registered. The information is, of course, kept in high-security information systems at NPA facilities.

The cellular telephone network, computer network and financial network are all provided with security backdoors to allow NPA access, although such access is only available after a court order has been issued, which in turn requires demonstration of a reasonable likelihood that a crime has been or will be committed.

In many cases the police are confident that they know who the culprit is, but can't prove it, in which case a common ploy is to arrest the suspect for any minor violation, such as spitting on the sidewalk or parallel parking, and hustle him off to the police station for up to two weeks of questioning. While torture is illegal and strictly punished, keeping a suspect up for 24 hours of questions for a few days in a row is not considered torture. Needless to say their approach often bears results, and if nothing else they can keep a baddie off the street for two weeks.

Police boxes (koban) are scattered throughout areas with high population densities, with one every few blocks in downtown districts. Each police box is the workplace for one or more officers familiar with the region, who use it as a base to patrol the neighborhood. A large red light burns out front 24 hours a day so people can spot it quickly. Police box officers are either on foot or on metal hydride motorcycle, but in any case encrypted communications gear allows them to summon vehicular assistance or other backup at any time.

Police are normally armed with only a pistol, which is connected to their belt with a steel cable. More potent weapons are kept in vehicles or at district police stations. Police training ensure that all officers are familiar with unarmed combat, and they are required to qualify in pistol certification tests once a year. Police training lasts one year for beat officers, more for specialists.


Crime in Japan

Crime in Japan is significantly lower than in the West, and in fact than most of Terra: in general, only 20 to 25% of the violent crimes, and 15% of non-violent crimes such as robbery or theft. The level of so-called "information crime" is, unfortunately, about the same, and rising at a pace similar to that of the other industrialized nations. The clearance rate (percentage of reported crimes where the perp is apprehended) in Japan is over 70%, compared to 20 to 30% levels more common in the industrialized West. The clearance rate for information crime is thought to be extremely high, although of course there is a higher likelihood that an information crime may not be detected at all, whereas a murder or theft is more difficult to conceal. Japanese policemen are also much safer than their Western colleagues, with the on-duty fatality rate only about 25% as high.

There are several reasons for this, including (1) a single nationwide number for immediate police response, (2) advanced information and communications technology at every level of the police structure, assuring rapid and accurate communication, quick response and excellent logistic support. The distribution of the koban through the urban area makes it more likely that an officer is close at hand, and motorcycles are commonly used as well. Officers are (whenever possible) assigned to the communities they grew up in, so that they are familiar with the geography, the people and local business, as well as automatically enjoying a close relationship with the community as a "local boy." Because the entire nation is controlled by a single police organization, there are no problems with jurisdiction and no need for "hot pursuit" laws. And finally, the Japanese NPA is perfectly willing to assign dozens or hundreds of officers to a single case that is important enough to warrant it, and pursue the case with vigor consistently until the time limit clause (7 to 25 years, depending on specifics) comes into effect.


Weapon Control in Japan

Japan has rigidly enforced weapons control laws since the end of World War II, even through the Twilight War, and in fact this was part of the reason the Japanese were so eager to provide transport back to the States for American troops and dependents left there as the Twilight War wound down. Basically, all firearms, energy weapons, and blades longer than 30 cm are illegal except in special circumstances. Anyone can apply for a weapon, but unless you live in the country and plan to go hunting with a rifle or shotgun (ie, too large to conceal under your coat), chances are you won't be approved.

Naturally, this means that the black market turns a fine profit on both imported weaponry and home-made arms. The police are aggressive about controlling weaponry, but the illegal trade continues nonetheless. Possession of a weapon almost certainly means a prison term.


Gangs in Japan

Japan is a strict society, but since people are people it also has its underworld. To some extent this is merely a place for people to escape the pressures and masks of daily life and blow off a little steam, but as with any other nation in the world, crime thrives. Interestingly enough, while many people encountered in this gray realm complain of the tight societal restrictions they face in modern Japanese society, members of the various gangs are restricted at least as tightly, and with considerably harsher penalties for violation. Not only codes of conduct, but also dress codes may be enforced!

There are basically three categories of gang in Japan:
  1. Street gangs, generally short-lived (3-10 years) and usually with members under about 25 years old.
  2. Turf gangs, or yakuza. Generally long-lived, firmly entrenched in the local community with a multi-generational approach to business.
  3. Corporate crime. Good old corporate rapacity, where a lack of ethics is coupled with the various things money can buy. All in the best interests of society, of course.

<Details of each type pending>


5-6 Key Places in Japan
Tokyo: the Financial and Technical Hub

Tokyo is the center of technology and finance in Japan, a metropolis of chrome and glass. The people here also tend to be metallic, with masks that hide almost every shred of emotion or humanity in public. <pending>

Osaka: Commerce

The home of most of the major corporations in the domestic market, and many internationally-active corporations as well, Osaka is the center of commerce and distribution for the nation. It is also well-known as a place for having fun, and the people of Osaka are quite different from the masked Tokyo intellectuals, with frequent laughter, jokes (often crude) and even public physical contact between close friends, such as hugging or back-slapping. <pending>

Imperial Kyoto

Kyoto has been the Imperial City basically since 794 AD, although for a period Edo (Tokyo) was where the Emperor officially resided. The Imperial Residence is now officially in Kyoto, and occupies a considerable area in the center of the city. All of the major Japanese corporations have small but extremely powerful local offices here, but most Japanese government agencies, and all embassies and other official foreign agencies, are located in Tokyo. <pending>


5-7 Public Service

After high school graduation, all citizens are required to take basic training at a militia training facility, lasting three months. Different high schools have different school terms across the nation, providing a steady stream of graduates to the training program throughout the year. As the Japanese education system stresses physical education, basic training does not need to spend excessive amounts of time on physical training, although of course that constitutes a large part of the program. Instead, courses concentrate on teamwork, following orders intelligently, analyzing and solving problems, and responding to various emergency situations including medical emergencies and natural disasters. All students are trained in the use of firearms, but only briefly.

Between the ages of 18 and 26 all citizens are subject to a draft for Public Service, with a term of two years. They may also volunteer, of course. If selected, they will be assigned to one of a variety of organizations serving the local community - in this case, generally at the prefectural level. These organizations include general public works construction, wildlife and forestry (including some coastal fisheries work), overseas service in the Japan Overseas Cooperation Agency (JOCA) providing a range of services and aid to the needy in other nations, and disaster preparedness and response. Volunteers may select their service, in most cases, and only volunteers may serve in the Home Island Militia (except in times of national emergency, when a military draft may be imposed).

Even after completing their term of Public Service, citizens are urged (but not required) to take "booster courses" on disaster preparedness every year, lasting only one weekend. About 25% of the adult population does so in any given year.

Citizens who do serve their nation for two years through Public Service receive a variety of benefits from the government, including two years of time counting toward retirement, access to the government health and pension programs (which is better than all but the very best corporate programs), subsidies for advanced education, priority selection of branch in the event they elect to serve in the military, and a major financial aid package in the event they elect to emigrate to an off-world Japanese colony.


5-8 General Notes
These are still in no particular order, just notes.
  1. The yen was devalued shortly after the Twilight War. One yen is now worth about US$100. Each yen is further divided into 100 "sen", so that each sen is worth about US$1. Each sen is further divided into 10 "bu" so that each bu is worth about ten American cents.

  2. The Federation Charter assures all member nations of the right to defend themselves, and also ties them into a mutual defense treaty. Japan, however, has individual treaties with each of the other member states, agreeing that Japan shall provide naval and space defense, for example, and forbidding the Philippines or Micronesia from providing their own naval forces without advance approval from Japan.

  3. In 2179, shortly after the initial colonization of Amaterasu, the Japanese government enacted the One-Gravity Law (1G Law), which made it a criminal offense to raise children under the age of 16 outside a gravity of 1±0.23 G without special rehabilitory assistance. This law earned considerable outcry from orbital colonies and certain smaller off-earth colonies, and while it is not enforced with any particular vigor by the authorities, it is still on the books.

Japanese addresses

The areas within Japanese prefectures (ken) are divided into four categories. Three of these have self-government – the city (shi), town (machi or cho) and village (mura or son). Areas which are not administered by one of the local governments, generally with extremely low population density, are administered by the prefectural government directly as counties (gun).

In addition, many urban regions are broken into regions called chome. Address are read from the largest unit to the smallest, so a typical Japanese address might read: Chiba-ken, Tsudanuma-shi, Minami-ku, Okusu 3-chome 15-3. In English, the same address would be 3-15-3 Okusu, Minami Ward, Tsudanuma City, Chiba Prefecture.


Zaibatsu

The zaibatsu mostly began in the Meiji era, when Japan was making an enormous and government-backed effort to bootstrap itself into the modern world. Originally, it referred to a family which controlled a large group of companies, often covering diverse fields. The Mitsue, Mitsuboshi, Hidachi and Sumitomi industrial groups all began in this way.

After World War II, the zaibatsu were dissolved by GHQ in an effort to break up the monopolistic industrial groupings. The program worked, but as Japan emerged as a leading economic power in the years leading up to the Twilight War, the former zaibatsu began to reform into "keiretsu," which are groups of companies with extremely close links. Most keiretsu formed around key banks, which included, for example, the Mitsue Bank, the Mitsuboshi Bank and the Sumitomi Bank... On the corporate level, many companies preferred to acquire or create a subsidiary to provide a required product or service rather than procure it from the open market, creating a plethora of subsidiaries involved in everything.

During the Twilight War Japan urgently required massive assistance from its industrial backbone, and while Japanese industry provided the required goods and services, supported by resources collected from overseas by Japanese trading firms, they also took advantage of the situation to firm up their inter-company links and essentially create new corporate feudal states. While often attacked (sometimes successfully) by government agencies, their fundamental structure has remained largely unchanged since, and in fact has continued to evolve in the direction of the feudal state thanks to the strong return to the traditional role of the group within Japanese society.

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