Making Friends in the night is more of a proposed scenario than a fully functional timeline, on how Japan could survive the world war period while becoming a super-power in its own right. While certainly on paper its impossible as the number dictate that Japan would surely lose an aggressive war against the United States almost every time, this timeline tries to explore how Japan could had developed differently in the 1912-1941 period. We will also look on how Japan could market its self differently in the co-prosperity sphere.
Major Point of Divergence: Within the ranks of the military and political elite the original concept of Co-Prosperity sphere genuinely liberating Asian colonies as theorized remains. Ultra right wing forces still exist however. Events at the end of WWI, also treat Japan a bit more kindly on the international stage
Differences in the home country: Taisho democracy while weakened by the Great Depression never fails entirely, though it is scaled back. Prime Ministers make a mix of concessions and threats to the generals and also use more moderate forces to arrest the worst offenders before the assassinations begin. The emperor publicly supports these actions.
Tripartite Pact? Subtle butterflies, make the rising Nazis more distrusting of the Japanese, even while there is some feeling of common cause with radical military officers such as the Kahoda faction. By 1937 Japanese-German talks break down and German-Sino relations improve. At a slightly different time war still breaks out between the Japanese and the Germans. The Khaklin Gol incident is avoided, as many of Japanese officers who provoked it are out of the picture entirely or are less confident in their aggression.
Rays of the Sun: Even with the above changes, massacres (though on a smaller scale) still occur, and western nations support China. Leaving Japan to become isolated from almost all warring western nations and as a consequence more concerned with the opinions of Asian citizens. Some minor war criminals are returned to Tokyo- and even while these are mostly just presentations they still help improve Japan's image across Asia. As German style brutality inspires the Chiang regime, some more Chinese join the Japanese Invasion. Netherless, a mild western embargo occurs. Japanese agents then incites anti British riots in Hong Kong, and Singapore as tensions escalate at the dawn of 1940. Thailand also, feeling pressured from all directions joins Japan and participates actively in the war in China. Meanwhile, anger against Colonizers brims to a boiling point across Asia.
What happens next?
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