Part I: The Calm before the Storm The year is 1936, and the great nation of Japan is about to shake the world to it's very foundations. The nation has adapted significantly to western influence and taken it’s rightful place on the world stage. Some, still do not think we belong. Japan was late in coming into the Age of Imperialism, but that does not mean that we can not share in it's bounties. The country is overcrowded, with limited resources, and little food. New possessions awarded to Japan after The Great War are of little value other than for military purposes for future defense. The future of the country will depend heavily on the next decade. But first things first….. Because of the past alliance with the UK, Japan has built an impressive navy that would put fear into the hearts of a coalition of enemies. The Navy will be the branch of military service that the nation will ride to victory on. Expanding the fleet to meet future demands will be problematic at first. Our industry is already strained enough, and it will be some time before we can increase this. Already lined up for production are 1 CV and several CVL's (6) as well as a half dozen CA's. To make room for the needs of the army, all contracts for building destroyers have been cancelled. Two infantry divisions will take their spot at the front of the queue. The air force will have to make due with what they have for now. Research has grown by leaps and bounds recently and many important technologies are ahead of their time. As such all research will be directed towards significant technologies necessary for the future defense of our troops. Industry, agriculture, and supply production are the most dire needs, but also upgrades to small arms and doctrines. The biggest thing holding the nation back right now is raw materials. There simply is not enough to go around. Forced to look elsewhere for our needs, we find ourselves in sort of conundrum. By using the industry to produce Supplies for trade, there is less to build the defenses we need. Alas, we need oil and rare materials badly. The US is an appetizing thought, but it is decided to trade for these with the Soviet Union. Fuel and supplies, for oil and rare materials. Relations with China had been steadily decreasing lately, and as the year began to progress, it was decided by the IGHQ to begin a complete restructuring of the armed forces in preparation for a possible Chinese attack on Manchukuo. A Defense force was left to guard the Soviet boarder, while all remaining Divisions reported to Southern Manchuria. Six Corps would begin to dig into defensive position inside Manchukuo, while another four assembled inside the Home Islands and on Formosa. The Navy was split into four major squadrons, for the time being. Two carrier, and two battleship squadrons. This was deemed sufficient for the time being, as the only major threat against us does not have much of a fleet. May brought news of Ethiopia’s surrender to Italy, effectively becoming their puppet. Not long after we learned that Spain had erupted into civil war. Most devastating, were the numerous scandals and assassinations involving officials, creating civil unrest and further damaging industrial output. Early into 1937 we received word that Japan‘s technology could now support Marines. Two divisions were ordered of the specialized infantry units immediately. Their value will be enormous if they can perform as well as some think they can. But as it turns out, they will not be available in time. The Chinese boarder incidents can no longer be contained. Troops began moving into forward positions in June with orders to stand ready to attack.