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Japan starts off with several territories under its control - mainland Japan, which consists of Kyushu; Hokkaido; Shikoku; Tokyo; and Kansai, and two others to the north: South Sakhakin and the Kurils. You are encircled by several different powers - Spain to the south and east, the Malay states (centred around Brunei) to the south, China and Korea directly to the west, and Russia in the northwest. Of these factions, however, only Korea, China and Russia are the most problematic - Spain is too engrossed enlarging its American empire, while the Malays are fighting a variety of enemies.
Expansion may prove to be problematic. Russia has an ally, Britain, which is currently based down in India, and although the Russians are fighting a war with France, their far eastern provinces are secured by a number of fortified settlements. To make matters worse, the Russians are also allied to the British. You do however start off the game with only 1 ally: the League of Nations, which currently operates from its base in Sumatra. An invasion of Korea is also possible, yet to invade Korea may result in an alliance between Russia, China and Korea to block your advance on Pyongyang or into China. Another method would be to attack North America by way of the Pacific, however it should be noted that any successful landing on North America could provoke a quadruple alliance of England, America, Spain and Russia against you. In any case, allies will be necessary. Some of these could be found in the form of the Central European powers, or possibly amongst the Asian potentates.
Although you have a fairly solid control over your nation, you need to note that the spread of foreign ideas and culture into Asian lands during the Imperial and Industrial Era will result in unrest throughout your lands - during these periods of unrest, you will lose tribute and territories at a certain level will also become rebel territories. You will have a choice of initiating Tenpo reforms which will annul this effect at the cost of being unable to create non-Imperial units until the Mechanisation Era.
Starting territories and diplomatic stancesEdit
Initial bonuses: 1 Warpath, 1 Pop Boom