JCC: Russo-Japanese War Director: Charles Sherwood
Japanese Side The year is 1904 and World War I is still a decade away. However, the complex and fragile power-balance between imperialist powers that would help spark that war have largely solidified. Within this complex web, the newly-risen Empire of Japan seeks to take its place as a respected imperialist power. The empire, having gone through the Meiji Reformation in 1868 and seizing its first major colonial possession from China in 1895, has already established itself as a powerful, modern state. Yet, on the world stage, it is still looked down on by its Eurocentric peers, and its ambitions have been intervened on by European powers. In particular, Japan’s expansion into Korea and Manchuria—which are both resource-rich and close to Japan’s home islands—has been limited by Russian intervention in the region. At the same time, Japan’s population has become increasingly nationalistic. They have been pushing their government to standing up and earning their place among Japan’s imperialistic peers, even if it leads to war. The date is February 8th. Negotiations between Japan and Russia to split their influence in Manchuria and Korea have sputtered to a halt. The Japanese government is aware of the power-imbalance between itself and Russia. Although Japanese forces outnumber Russian forces in the region, Russia’s overall naval and military capacity outmatches that of Japan. War seems inevitable as Japan’s populace clamors for Japan to earn its place among the imperialist nations. With that in mind, a bold proposal has been approved by the emperor—a sneak attack will be launched on the Russian Far Eastern Fleet at Port Arthur, starting a war with a decisive Japanese victory. Yet, if the Japanese fail to capitalize properly on this bold gambit, they may well find their imperial ambitions crushed and their people disillusioned by the lumbering giant that is Russia.