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五箇条の御誓文 (Gokajō no Goseimon).
~ The Empire of Japan's motto.
For the honor of the Japanese Empire!
~ Japanese Commander during the start of a match.

The Empire of Japan (Japanese: 大日本帝國), also known as the Japanese Empire and Imperial Japan, are a military faction in the 2008 video game Call of Duty: World at War and the 2021 video game Call of Duty: Vanguard. Though they appear as secondary hostile factions, they act as the primary antagonistic faction in the Pacific campaigns of both installments, going against the United States Armed Forces.

The empire was a powerful nation state that joined with the Axis Powers due to the economic and political decline after the Great War, and started their conquest of Asia in the pacific. During the Second World War, the empire became enemies of the United States following the attack on Pearl Harbor, thus bringing America into the war. Despite their brief dominance, the empire would be defeated by the United States due their "island hopping" tactics, thus causing the dissolve of the nation state in 1947.

History

World at War

They're making their last stand in the jungles and caves that surround the heavy guns on the point. We take them... and we take Peleliu.
~ Roebuck in the opening cutscene of "Relentless".

In the Pacific Campaign, the Empire of Japan appear as the antagonist faction, with their military branch, the Imperial Japanese Army, being the hostile faction, as the Imperial Japanese Navy only appear in the mission "Black Cats". In the campaign, the Marine Raiders are the main protagonists, doing "island hopping" to reclaim each island to defeat the empire. The Empire of Japan's soldiers act different than the Nazis, using tactics to surprise or ambush the Marine Raiders in each mission.

Vanguard

You Nazis... you make me miss fighting in the stinkin' Pacific.
~ Wade Jackson when captured by the Nazis.

The Empire of Japan's naval branch, the Imperial Japanese Navy, are the antagonist faction in the Pacific campaign missions of Lieutenant Wade Jackson. In "The Battle of Midway", the imperial navy attempted to lure the American's aircraft into a trap to destroy their ships to prevent Japan's barrier from being breached. The attempt was foiled as Jackson and his partner, Mateo Hernandez, succeeded in protecting their squadron from imperial zeroes, and destroying the Japanese aircraft carriers. As a result, the imperial navy was dealt a devastating blow, and the battle became the turning point for the Pacific war. Additionally, the imperial navy would never able to rebound from the battle, as the Empire of Japan was unable to replace the material and trained pilots that were loss in Midway.

The imperial navy return in the next mission "Numa Numa Trail", hunting Jackson and Hernandez after their plane was shot down on the island of Bougainville. The navy attempted to find the two after not finding their bodies in the crashed plane, and eventually captured the officers when they reunited. Despite this, Jackson and Hernandez were rescued by the 93rd Infantry Division, and assisted the unit in capturing the island by flying enemy aircraft.

Nazi Zombies

In Treyarch's "Nazi Zombies" mode, the Empire of Japan appear as reanimated zombies in the map "Shi No Numa", being Imperial soldiers brought back to life due to Element 115. Despite appearing on one map, they share similar characteristics of the Nazi counterparts that appear in the other maps. In Black Ops II, the Japanese Empire are mentioned in the map "Origins", with Takeo Masaki being sent to investigate the Nazis mechanized weaponry since the Emperor is concerned about said advancements. Though they don't appear in Black Ops III, the Imperial Japanese Navy appear in the opening cinematic of "Zetsubou No Shima".

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