Alternate History

Japan (1983: Doomsday)

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Empire of Japan
Dai Nippon Teikoku
Timeline: 1983: Doomsday

OTL equivalent: Japan
Flag of Japan Imperial Seal of Japan
Flag Coat of Arms
Japan (orthographic projection)
Location of 大日本帝國
Anthem "Kimigayo (君が代)"
(and largest city)
Other cities Sapporo, Osaka, Kobe, Hiroshima, Fukuoka, Matsuyama
  others Korean, Regional dialects
Shinto, Buddhism
  others Catholic and Orthodox Christianity
Demonym Japanese
Government Constitutional Monarchy with a Parliamentary Democracy
  legislature Japanese Diet
Emperor Yoshihisa Nakashima
  Royal house: Yamato
Prime Minister Seiji Maehara
Population est. 44,000,000 people
Established February 11, 660 BC
Currency Yen
Time Zone Japanese Standard Time (UTC+9)
Japan is a state in Northwest Asia. Once the wealthiest and most developed state in Asia, it was hard hit by Doomsday, mainly due to the trade and military affiliation with the USA. Today, Japan is an isolated nation that has committed itself to self-sufficiency.



After the destruction of World War Two, Japan rapidly rose from the ashes and rebuilt, fighting tooth and nail to become the second greatest economy in the world, second to only the United States. Though maintaining the isolationist and traditional roots that had kept Japan separate from the world for millennia, Japan was quickly moving forward into the future, accepting Western cultural influences and stepping to the forefront of the world of science and technology. Democracy, innovation, and free expression were the emerging stars of Japanese civilization when Doomsday occurred.



Map showing nuclear strikes in Japan

Due to its affiliation with the United States of America, Japan was a target for Soviet ICBMs, although some of them also may have originated from China. The attacks were primarily aimed at American air bases stationed on Japanese soil and the surrounding military installations that lay nearby. However, six main cities were also hit in the Doomsday attacks. Targets included:

  • Tokyo - 3 MT (3 x 1 MT warheads)
  • Yokohama - 2 MT (2 x 1 MT warheads)
  • Kawasaki - 500 KT
  • Misawa - 250 KT
  • Iwakuni - 250 KT
  • Nagasaki - 250 KT
  • Naha/Okinawa Island - 4 x Tactical 20 KT

Post Doomsday Effects

The immediate effect of Doomsday was the millions of deaths in the cities and military bases hit by nuclear weapons.

The population of Japan on Doomsday was approximately 119 million, it is thought that nearly 27 million plus Japanese died within seconds of the bombs exploding, particularly in Tokyo where it is thought that nearly 9 million died including the majority of the government of Japanese government (The Diet) and the majority of the Imperial family, including Emperor Hirohito.

After the detonations of the nuclear weapons a large EMP spread out nearly 50 miles from the detonation zones knocking out all unshielded electronics. With the failure of the power systems many water and sewerage pumping systems also shutdown causing a cascading service failure over nearly a quarter of the country.

The radioactive fallout began spreading north and eastward following the common wind direction for Japan, luckily blowing the majority of the radiation out into the North Pacific Ocean. In the south of the country the fallout from the 250 KT detonations in Nagasaki and Iwankuni blew across the Southern Islands of Japan causing serious radioactive contamination. On Kyusu and Shikuoku it is thought that between nine and 12 million people died as a result of the fallout either from radiation poisoning within three weeks or from health problems such as cancer in the following ten years. On Southern Honshu another eight million died, particularly in the Prefectures of Kansai and Chugoku.

By early November the effects of the attacks began to be felt nationwide. With no official government in operation many surviving cities began to empty as the food supplies ran out, refugees made their way out into the Japanese countryside looking for food and shelter. Many hundreds of thousands died as a result of the harsh Japanese winter, particularly in the north of the country. For a larger part of the early 1980s, the only functional authority came from what remained of the pre-Doomsday government and the Self-Defense Forces, which came to be known as the "Sapporo Diet" in 1987 following the retreat from Kyoto.

As populations of rural towns and villages increased dramatically due to the influx of refugees from the surrounding urban areas supplies of food began to disappear rapidly, soon starvation began to take its toll of the survivors. The first winter after Doomsday nearly ten million Japanese died due to starvation.

By early 1985 the population of Japan had dropped from 119 million to close to 60 million, over the following five years the population continued to drop due to crop failures caused by the nuclear summer of '85 and to a lesser effect the summer of '86, a major outbreak of influenza in the winter of '88/89 and an outbreak of Cholera in the cities of Osaka and Niigata.

The population reached its lowest point in 1991 with a total population of 37 million people. Since 1991 the population has steadily grown due to increasing land available for cultivation as radioactive fallout decreases and a larger fishing fleet being built over the previous ten years.

In January 1995 a major earthquake struck the city of Kobe, measuring a magnitude of roughly 6.8 it caused major damage to the city, however the majority of the damage caused was by a post-earthquake firestorm that burned for five days. It is thought that over 20,000 people died and over 300,000 were made homeless; one in five buildings in the city was either destroyed or rendered uninhabitable.

As the new government of Japan began to allow trade from outside of Japan the population began to increase at a quicker rate.

By 2010 the population had increased to over 44 million.

Post-Doomsday Isolation

Massive backlash soon went against Communist supporters, having become associated with the Chinese and Soviets. By 1985, heated debates sprang out in the Sapporo Diet with regards to the nation's future. According to recent testimonies from Japanese officials, it was decided that the country ought to stay closed "for the present time" to ensure the Empire's survival. With all contact lost with the outside world (apart from Korean and Soviet ham radios) Japan thought itself as the only surviving nation on Earth.

What remained of the American garrisons became the target of Japanese anger. Having failed to defend them, in addition to making the country a target, the soldiers found themselves barricading their bases. After tense negotiations, an agreement was made to expel the majority of US soldiers to the nearest landmass: Korea. The main bulk of these left for the island of Jeju in 1984. Those that remained were absorbed into Japanese society.

By the late 1980s, surviving noble-blood officials and relatives of the Imperial family agreed upon a Provisional Regency to "indefinitely hold" the empty Chrysanthemum Throne with the consent of the Diet. Little else is known of this time period - according to WCRB data - but it is definitive that the Sakoku was reinstated in 1988. In 1993, the old Imperial Palace in Kyoto was refurnished in anticipation for the capital transfer the following year. The Diet, however, remained in Sapporo until 1997.

The Reopening of Japan

Until 2004, knowledge of a surviving Japan was passed off as speculation at best; a "denial of reality" at worst. This was further supported by reports from the now legendary USS Benjamin Franklin expedition to Okinawa in 1991. As far as the WCRB was concerned, the island nation was labeled a "high-risk wasteland."

In 1993, an expedition from Hawaii arrived at the Bonin Islands, an outlying island chain that administratively had been part of the city of Tokyo. The surviving population numbered less than 1,000, and the people were starving and had had no contact with the rest of Japan for a decade. Every Bonin survivor was taken back to Hawaii and resettled on the island of Maui.

The first signs of civilization from the Japanese came in the late 1990s from radio signals received by KGB agents in southern Sakhalin Island. As the signals became increasingly powerful, it was clear that some order survived, at least in Hokkaido. On 23 February 2004, USSR forces in Sakhalin sent an armed expedition across the La Perouse Strait; among the men were Ainu interpreters serving in the regional barracks. At 1:43 PM, the ship was intercepted off the northern town of Wakkanai by local police craft. The Siberian Commander, Col. Dimitri Zakharov, later reported on Pravda (Translated into English):

"We didn't expect any organized armed response to our arrival. At the time, the Japanese seemed to think my party as an front of an invasion. Apparently, they were still at war with us...perhaps the insignia...Had we not announced our peaceful intentions, it would have reignited what should have ended in 1983..."'

Despite the close call, this first meeting was tense. The Japanese delegation, led by one Mizuno Imamura, viewed the party with mistrust, as they were considered a link to the superpowers that brought about Doomsday. Both sides, however, managed to overcome their prejudices to the point of more amiable discussions.

As de facto representative of the Supreme Soviet Politburo, Col. Zakharov signed the Treaty of Asahikawa on 5 March 2004: The official peace declaration between Japan and the USSR, as well as the final closure to both the Second World War and the Cold War; until then, only a cease fire held the sides in place. With agreement from the Japanese authorities, the isolation rules were "temporarily suspended" to allow the Siberians to establish an embassy and return to Sakhalin, with some open-access privileges provided to Siberian diplomats. The closing statement of the Treaty reads:

It is our hope that the animosity forged in the atomic fires may one day fade into history. While we must never forget the horrors, the time has come to walk onwards into the future.

In 2005, delegates from the Philippines, ANZC and Korea arrived to extend their greetings. Much of the animosity lingering from World War 2 had by this point begun to heal considerably. In the case of the Philippines, arrangements were made to send back willing Japanese nationals stranded during Doomsday.

Aftermath of Reopening

From what is known, Japan is relatively self-sustaining after decades of isolation. More free trade regulations have been introduced though trade is still firmly monitored has allowed more commercial access for Philippine, Korea and Siberian ships. More recently, embassies for France and the ANZC have been established.

Despite warmer relations with the USSR, the Japanese retain firm reservations, with stern disapproval of its Communist/Socialist nature. There is considerable bias as well against the North American states, namely the Municipal States of the Pacific, North American Union and the Republic of Superior. The Japanese feel a sense of betrayal by the Americans following the events of Doomsday.

In 2008 a delegation from Hawaii approached Japan requesting permission to resettle the Bonin Islands. Officials were split over how to handle the situation. In order to avoid an international incident, as well as considering both the refugees and Hawaii's Japanese community, Japan gave its blessing to making the islands Hawaiian, provided that there was no military presence on the islands.

The Ryukyu Islands, since 2002, are once again part of "Imperial territory." With the aid of surviving local civil leaders, the remaining cannibal bands - similar to those who assaulted the Benjamin Franklin crew - were finally defeated by the at-the-time Japanese Self Defense Forces after a series of successive battles. The re-established prefecture center remains "temporarily" in the island town of Amani, while an outpost was established on Okinawa Island in the town of Motobu. The Ryukyuans, along with the remaining Ainu communities, are given representation in the Kyoto Diet.

Efforts to rehabilitate the regions targeted by Doomsday are slow and sporadic. Many Japanese remain traumatized by the event and considerable danger zones still exist. Government and private compensations however have resulted in additional farmland and new settlements. The most successful was the "restoration" of Nagasaki in 2002. As of 2010, Tokyo and Yokohama are completely off-limits to all except scientists and military personnel, mainly due to the yields of the detonations that occurred on Doomsday.

Contemporary Japanese culture remains peculiarly anachronistic. Traditional and pre-Doomsday elements blend and pervade in Japanese life. From insider and WCRB accounts, it is common to find fedoras and Western suits alongside kimonos in everyday attire. Images of the bomb and mushroom cloud as well as contrasting positive symbolism, pervade art and media.

As of 2016, it is not a member of the League of Nations, although the Diet is considering the option. Common consensus among Japanese politicians, noblemen and citizens, however, suggest otherwise, favoring instead the "Swiss option."

2011 Tōhoku Earthquake and Tsunami

The 2011 Tōhoku earthquake and tsunami was a 9.0-magnitude megathrust earthquake off the coast of Japan that occurred at 14:46 local time on Friday 11 March 2011. The epicenter was 130 km (81 mi) off the east coast of the Oshika Peninsula of Tōhoku near the city of Sendai, with the hypocenter at a depth of 32 km (19.9 mi).

The earthquake triggered extremely destructive tsunami waves of up to ten meters (33 ft) that struck Japan minutes after the quake, in some cases traveling up to ten km (six mi) inland, with smaller waves reaching many other countries after several hours.

Four main aftershocks have been recorded:

  • A magnitude 7.9 at 15.15 (local time), and a magnitude 7.7 at 15.25 (local time) on the 11th March.
  • A magnitude 7.1 on the 7th of April.
  • A magnitude 6.6 on the 11th April.

News from Japan after the earthquake and following tsunami is sketchy at best, an ANZC based merchant vessel Sydney in the area was ordered to investigate the Japanese coastline by the ANZC government, the surveys of the coastline between the 14th to 16th of March showed the destruction, in many places, to be total, with some of the smaller fishing villages being swept clean to their foundations.

Sydney tried to make port in the town of Minamisanriku, however the damage was to great for the small landing boats to reach the land, the captain of the Sydney has stated that the worst part was the silence, the entire survey of the damaged coast they saw only a dozen people, he estimated that there must be tens of thousands dead, at a minimum.

Towns destroyed or seriously damaged by the 2011 Tōhoku earthquake and tsunami (2010 estimated populations):

Tsunami heights

Fukushima Prefecture

  • Futaba (5000)
  • Minamisōma (32,000)
  • Namie (8500)
  • Naraha (2500)
  • Sōma (12,500)
  • Sukagawa (25,500)

Miyagi Prefecture

  • Higashimatsushima (20,000)
  • Ishinomaki (98,000)
  • Iwanuma (22,000)
  • Kesennuma (44,000)
  • Minamisanriku (18,000)
  • Natori (17,000)
  • Onagawa (6700)
  • Shichigahama (17,500)
  • Shiogama (23,500)
  • Shirakawa, (1500)
  • Tagajō (22,500)
  • Tome (31,500)
  • Yorisohama (250)

Iwate Prefecture

  • Kamaishi (25,000)
  • Kuji (28,000)
  • Miyako (32,000)
  • Ōtsuchi (9500)
  • Ōfunato (27,000)
  • Rikuzentakata (13,500)
  • Yamada (11,500)

Ibaraki Prefecture

  • Kitaibaraki (15,000)

A total population of the area is estimated as 569,750, it is possible from the destruction viewed from the sea that nearly a half of this may have died in the earthquake and following tsunami, this means that nearly a quarter of a million people died in the earthquake and tsunami.

5th April 2011 - official statement on the 2011 earthquake and tsunami

The Japanese government makes its first official response to the international community at 12pm local time. In a joint message to the League of Nations, ANZC and USSR it reads as follows:

The Japanese nation has suffered its worse natural disaster since records began, the disaster that befell the nations east coast has almost surpassed the damage from the 'so called' Doomsday events of 1983.

The great nation of Japan is saddened to report that the earthquake, tsunami and radioactive leaks from nuclear reactors has killed over 275,000 of our people, it is possible that the death toll will never be known. Many towns have been removed from maps, with the remains swept clean.

The Japanese nation cannot rebuild the devastated regions alone, we are asking for international help from friends and allies across the world

Nuclear Reactors

There were several working reactors damaged by the earthquake and tsunami:

Fukushima I Six reactors -

  • Reactors one, three and four had cooling system failures followed by large hydrogen explosions followed by partial meltdowns.
  • Reactors five and six shut down successfully,
  • Reactor two due to failure of the automatic shutdown system as well as the cooling systems causing a major meltdown and explosion spreading radiation for the surrounding 20 km, luckily the wind direction blew the majority of the radiation out to sea,

An area of 25 km diameter from the reactors has been immediately evacuated until safe radiation levels return. Experts believe that that will be within six months, however many residents believe they will never return home and have begun to look for accommodation elsewhere.

July 2011

The Diet has officially announced that an area 10 km from the plant will be abandoned due to the high levels of radioactivity for the foreseeable future.

Fukushima II

Four reactors - reactors one, two and three had cooling system failure followed by large hydrogen explosions and partial meltdowns.

An area of 10 km diameter from the reactors was immediately evacuated due to high radiation levels, however the evacuation zone was downgraded to a 5 km voluntary evacuation zone.


Two reactors - both reactors successfully shutdown.


Due to the scale of the disaster, Japan was forced to request aid from other nations to deal with the crisis. Brazil, ANZC, ASEAN, and others quickly pledged aid to the Japanese people. The Japanese government quickly began coordinating with other governments to bring aid to the affected areas. However, such high levels of foreign cooperation occurred in direct violation of Sakoku. Since the disaster, substantial debate has occurred in the Diet over the future of Sakoku.

Repeal of Sakoku

On December 10th, 2011, the Japanese Diet voted to repeal the Sakoku policy, which had been in place since Doomsday. Sakoku implemented a near-total ban on foreign trade and led to minimal contact with other nations. However, the Tohoku earthquake and tsunami forced the government to accept aid from other nations and begin to facilitate foreign trade in order to fund the rebuilding efforts. Recognizing that the policy was no longer practical, Prime Minister Seiji Maehara, elected after a parliamentary reshuffling in August 2011, moved to repeal the policy. After almost a year of debate, the policy was finally repealed.

With the repeal of Sakoku, Japan's economy is posed to experience a burst of rapid growth. Most of Japan's industrial infrastructure has remained intact since Doomsday and merely needs raw materials to move back into production. Technologically, Japan has also progressed, albeit more slowly than before Doomsday due to a lack of resources, which places it far ahead of most of the world's nations. Also, Japan's many port cities have remained in good condition and its merchant fleet is posed to set sail to the world's distant ports to facilitate Japan's new wave of economic growth.

Government of Japan

The government of Japan is a constitutional monarchy with a parliamentary democracy. The seat of the Japanese monarchy remained vacant for 28 years after the death of Emperor Hirohito in the nuclear attack on Tokyo. A new monarch, Emperor Yoshihisa was appointed in 201; the Japanese monarchy, however has remained relatively powerless since World War II and occupies a primarily ceremonial role. The Japanese Diet exercises legislative and executive powers within the Japanese government. It is led by the Prime Minister, who is typically the leader of the majority party or coalition in the Diet. The Diet also appoints the members of the Japanese Judiciary, which is an independent branch of government.

After Doomsday and the destruction of Tokyo, the Japanese Diet and SDF command relocated to Kyoto in late 1983. However, the dangers of radioactive fallout and large number of refugees moving through Kyoto caused the Japanese Diet to relocated to the city of Sapporo on the island of Hokkaido in the north of Japan in 1987. The Diet pledge to return to Kyoto at a later date when the region had stabilized and the immediate concerns had been dealt with. After the move to Sapporo, hardliners within the Japanese government came to prominence in the Diet and re-established the "Sakoku" policy of the Edo period, which banned all trade, and people entering and leaving of Japan. The Sapporo Diet also officially declared martial law, though it de facto martial law had been in place since Doomsday.

In the name of national security, the Sapporo Diet, which continued to be dominated by hardliners known as the Edo Faction, reorganized the structure of the government, specifically the government. The Emergency Governance Act, passed in 1986 shortly before the relocation to Sapporo, reduced the Diet to 50 members, one for each prefecture. Political parties were also banned in the name of national unity. New elections were held every ten years in order to allow continued stability of governance. The Emergency Governance Act also freed the military from many of the restrictions of the peacetime constitution, though few of these changes resulted in a change of military behavior due to Japan's isolationist foreign policy.

History of Political Administrations

The first Prime Minister of the Sapporo Diet, and the leader of the so-called Edo Faction, was Takahiro Eda. He remained Prime Minister from 1987 to 1997. His administration oversaw the consolidation of Japan's Sakoku and many of the post-Doomsday revitalization efforts. One of the most important long-term achievements was the Industrial Preservation Act, which helped preserve and maintain Japanese industry and high-tech capabilities. He also oversaw the return of the Diet to Kyoto in 1997.

The Edo faction continued to hold sway over the country into the decade. In 1997, Eda stepped down as Prime Minister and Yōhei Kōno was elected. The beginning of his administration oversaw the continuation of many efforts of the Eda Administration. In the later half of his administration, a minor military buildup was initiated in order to strengthen the Japanese military in relation to that of Siberia, but also Korea and the ANZC.

In 2007, a moderate group of politicians, known as the Fuji Faction, prevailed in the Diet elections. The new prime minister, Sadakazu Tanigaki, initiated a massive political reform process that sought to scrap the old Peace Constitution and the Emergency Governance Act, replace it with a new governing document, and reinstate full parliamentary democracy in the country. The new constitution, known as the Millennial Constitution, reinstated full parliamentary governance, recreated the Empire of Japan, and transformed the Japanese military into a full-fledged military force.

The current Prime Minister of Japan is Seiji Maehara, leader of the Democratic Party. He was elected in August 2011 in a special snap election called in the months after the Tohoku earthquake and tsunami. The Japanese public had lost almost all confidence in the government and their ability to effectively manage the crisis. As a result, a new election was called, the ruling Center Party was expelled from power, and the Democratic Party came to power.

Monarchy of Japan

The Japanese Monarchy is the oldest continual dynasty in the world. The House of Yamato has ruled Japan since the founding of the Empire in 660 BC by Emperor Jimmu. While the ancient emperors were considered children of the gods and absolute rulers of Japan, modern Japanese emperors have had their powers continually reduced through constitutional government. After World War II, the Japanese Emperor was reduced to a purely ceremonial role.

Although the entire Imperial Family were killed in the attacks on Tokyo in 1983, there was a debate over the fate of the monarchy. While some considered abolishing the monarch completely, a significant majority supported electing a new royal family from surviving Japanese nobility. Until 2011, the government was under a provisional regency. On September 23rd, 2011, Yoshihisa Nakashima, a grandson of Emperor Komei, was crowned Emperor of Japan, officially reinstating the ancient Yamato line as rulers of Japan.

Politics of Japan

The Diet of the Empire of Japan is divided between a handful of major political parties, along with several small parties and independents. The Diet is divided into two houses, the House of Councillors and the House of Representatives. The Diet is responsible for electing the Prime Minister, who is usually the leader of the ruling party or coalition in the lower house. Currently, the Democratic Party of Japan controls both houses. The Center Party leads the opposition.



Sumo tournament

Sumo tournament, 2006

Traditional domestic sport

Traditional Japanese sports, in particular sumo wrestling and various forms of martial arts, have enjoyed a renaissance since Doomsday. The sports were pushed by the government as national sports and disciplines, and are extremely popular.


Despite anti-American sentiment, Japan is still known to play the sport of baseball at a competitive, professional level. Observers from Siberia reported seeing practices by professional teams and a few Japanese league games in Kyoto, and being told that the government was pushing for fundamental changes to the game to make it significantly different from the "American pastime." To date, the fundamentals of the game in Japan have not changed, as doing so would make it impossible for Japanese teams to ever compete on an international scale.

Japanese professional baseball is divided into a four-team Central League and four-team Pacific League. The respective champions play in a best-of-seven Japan Series each fall. Japan's best teams post-Doomsday are generally considered to be the Nippon Ham Fighters (located in Sapporo) and the Hanshin Tigers, based in Koshien. The Kyoto Giants - named after the Yomiuri Giants franchise that was based in Tokyo, and disappeared in the wake of Doomsday - are another top club.

Japan and Cuba announced in March 2011 that their national teams would play a series in the fall of 2011 and 2012. The first series is scheduled for October, after the Cuban league season ends, in Cuba; the series will move to Japan in October 2012, following the conclusion of the Japanese league's season.

Rugby union

Rugby union has enjoyed somewhat of a renaissance after nearly going extinct in the wake of Doomsday.

The sport was first unofficially introduced to the country by British sailors in 1874, and officially to college students in 1899. Union attracted tens of thousands of participants and grew in popularity up through the mid-1930s. The sport's growth was stunted by the fascist government that came to power before World War II, and it all but died during the war. Post-war, union quickly gained participants and resumed its growth; by the 1970s, the Japanese national team was competitive against such powers as England and New Zealand.

The UAR and Chile have also aided Japan's federation in re-establishing the sport in that country. Rugby union was well-known in Japan before Doomsday.

Post-DD, anti-American and Australian perceptions in Japan threatened to kill the sport's rebirth (especially as the IRB was linked to Australia in the Japanese mindset); however, appeals to union's historical roots in Japan (one of the official 'fathers', Ginnosuke Tanaka, learned the sport as a student at Cambridge University in England) helped, along with the active involvement in redeveloping the sport by countries perceived to be Australian/New Zealander rivals. In fact, Japan has subsequently developed closer ties with the IRB and has bid for the 2019 Rugby World Cup.


The Asian Football Confederation and FIFA helped establish a First Division League which began play in 2010.

Japan's football (soccer) federation continues to talk with the sport's governing body, FIFA, about formal membership, and is likely to formally join by early 2012. The national team had scheduled several friendlies against other Asian national teams throughout 2011 (although the recent earthquakes have forced them to be postponed to the summer).

Other sports

Some western sports not strictly associated with the United States, particularly track and field, are played at all levels in Japan.

International Relations

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