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Japan, also known as Nippon, (COMIC: The Road to Hell) was an island nation off the coast of east Asia. The capital city was Tokyo.

According to Santiago Jones in 2010, Japan was 80% forest. (TV: Death of the Doctor)


One's 88th birthday was a joyous year for the Japanese. As such, Toshiko Sato celebrated her grandfather's by going from Cardiff to London to "watch grown men throw rice". (TV: Captain Jack Harkness)


Early history[]

The Battle of Minatogawa. (COMIC: Return of the Volsci)

The Ninth Doctor, Rose Tyler and Jack Harkness visited Kyoto, Japan in 1336, where the Battle of Minatogawa was fought between imperial Japanese forces and the Ashikaga. (COMIC: Return of the Volsci, TV: Bad Wolf)

The Eleventh Doctor and Rory Williams briefly visited medieval Japan. (COMIC: The Doctor and the Nurse)

The Seventh Doctor and Chris Cwej visited Japan in 1560. (PROSE: The Room With No Doors)

During the 1630s, Japan was ruled by the Third Tokugawa shōgun, who implemented the policy of Sakoku, isolating the country from the rest of the world due to a suspicion of Westerners and the spread of Christianity into Asia. (AUDIO: The Barbarians and the Samurai)

The Master had the TARDIS take the Eighth Doctor and Izzy Sinclair to Japan in the early 17th century, during an isolationist period, to witness the chaos being caused by the alien "Gaijin" - the Doctor had intended to land in the tenth century's Heian Period. The Clan Rikushira plotted to use the "Gaijin's" technology to depose the shogun. (COMIC: The Road to Hell)

The Doctor witnessed the Earth's fury at the Japanese island of Okushiri in 1720. (PROSE: The English Way of Death)

19th century[]

In the 1820s, the First Doctor, Susan, Barbara and Ian Chesterton visited Kyushu in Japan, where they were captured by Daimyo Takagi Mamoru and taken to Nagomi Castle. They managed to escape, with Mamoru's blessing, after the castle was laid siege to by the army of Shogun Tokugawa Ienari.

In the mid-19th century, United States warships sailed into Edo Harbour and demanded a trade agreement with the hitherto isolationist Japan. The shogun accepted the demand, ending the policy of Sakoku. At a later stage, Edo was renamed Tokyo. (AUDIO: The Barbarians and the Samurai)

20th century[]

In 1905, soldiers from the Russo-Japanese War were abducted by the War Lords for use in their war games. (TV: The War Games)

Japan became involved in World War I. (PROSE: Doctor Who and the War Games)

In the run-up to the Pacific War/World War II, it became Japan's ambition to unite Asia under the Asian Co-Prosperity Sphere. (PROSE: The Face of the Enemy) The Imperial Japanese Army invaded the north-eastern Chinese province of Manchuria in 1931 and reorganised it into the puppet state of Manchukuo in 1932 occupied by the Kwantung Army. They subjugated the Chinese peasants and used them as slaves and test subjects while seeking to develop biological weapons in Zhong Ma Fotress, in preparation for further conflict against either China or the Soviet Union. (PROSE: The Shadow of Weng-Chiang, Log 384)

In 1932, Shanghai placed sanctions on Japanese trade. Japanese soldiers were deployed onto the streets and clashed with the Chinese before Western powers intervened. Major Ryuji Matsu promised Sung-Chi Li that Shanghai would one day fall to Japan. He also claimed Japan was attempting to expand their rule to China to restore order to the nation which was divided by the struggle between Nationalists and Communists.

In February 1936, a military revolt by the First Infantry Division broke out in Tokyo in support of the Kodo Ha faction of the army. Numerous government ministers and civil servants were killed before the revolt was put down by imperial decree, leaving the Tosei Ha in charge of the army but they were more susceptible to the Kodo Ha pressure.

In July 1937, the army engineered a fight against the Chinese at Marco Polo Bridge to justify further expansion of the Japanese Empire into China. This signalled the beginning of the Second Sino-Japanese War. (PROSE: The Shadow of Weng-Chiang)

CIA Rex Matheson found a record of a pulp fiction author in Japan who was potentially Victor Podesta following his 1938 disappearance. (TV: The Gathering)

On Sunday, 7 July 1941, the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor in Honolulu, Hawaii, bringing the United States of America into the war. (PROSE: Only Connect) In February 1942, they declared war on the United Kingdom and went after the British Empire's colonies towards Singapore. (AUDIO: The Forsaken)

In 1945, two atomic bombs were dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. A third bomb was planned to be dropped on Kyoto, but the aircraft carrying the bomb, the Sky Jack, fell through a black hole. (COMIC: Sky Jacks) Japan surrendered to the Americans. Ishii Shiro and the other war criminals behind Zhong Ma and Unit 731 were granted immunity for their war crimes. (PROSE: Log 384)

In 1967, the film King Kong Escapes was released in Japan. It featured a character named Dr. Who. (PROSE: The Adventuress of Henrietta Street)

By 1997, Japan had an embassy on Piccadilly. At any given time, there were tens of thousands of Japanese tourists in the UK. Following the Martian Invasion of 1997, Japan was among the powers that made generous reconstruction grants to the UK, although Britain would continue to remember their inaction during the Dying Days for some considerable years. (PROSE: The Dying Days)

21st century[]

In 2008, a Samurai warrior was brought forward to the early 21st century by the Rift Manipulator where he began to terrorise travellers on the Tokyo subway system. (TV: End of Days)

During the Sontaran invasion of Earth in 2009, Tokyo was the first place of human deaths by the smog which was distributed by ATMOS. (TV: The Poison Sky)

According to Ianto Jones, Japan was one of the first countries where the Daleks landed during their invasion of Earth in the Medusa Cascade. (TV: The Stolen Earth)

Later in 2009, Japan was among the nations which agreed to let John Frobisher speak on their behalf to the 456. (TV: Children of Earth: Day Three)

In 2010, Santiago Jones' mother went to Japan, where she was trying to stop whaling ships. Furthermore she organised a rally in Japan. (TV: Death of the Doctor)

In 2011, Clyde Langer told Sky Smith about some cool robots which were invented in Japan that year. These robots could not think for themselves. (AUDIO: Children of Steel)

At some point in the 2010s, Colonel Alan Mace was stationed in Japan as UNIT faced a Silurian invasion of Great Britain. (AUDIO: United)

During the 2010s invasion of Earth by parallel universe Cybermen, Japan was among the places where they landed. (AUDIO: Master of Worlds)

In 2016, the Twelfth Doctor invaded the Shoal of the Winter Harmony agency in Tokyo. (TV: The Return of Doctor Mysterio)

In the early 21st century, Japan was renowned for its advances in the robotics industry. When Peter Dalton encountered K9, Luke Smith said that K9 was a new robot toy from Japan. (TV: The Wedding of Sarah Jane Smith)

Axos took over Japan through use of ingredients in the Goruda brand drink. The children who had drunk it turned into Axons. UNIT, under Major Hiraki, called in the Eleventh Doctor. (COMIC: The Golden Ones) The Twelfth Doctor encountered the Japanese UNIT branch again, this time represented by Colonel Ishiguro, when he dealt with a Kaznak Simu-System. (COMIC: Big in Japan)

Later in the 21st century, Tokyo had a T-Mat centre. (TV: The Seeds of Death)

In the 2050s, genetically engineered guard panthers were status symbols in Japan. (PROSE: Alien Bodies)

Due to the destabilisation of the Myloki conflict of 2066-68, Japan invaded New Zealand; by 2096, Tokyo was an independent city-state. (PROSE: The Indestructible Man)

In the late 21st century, Japan had been a key player in space colonisation but their once-mighty corporations were challenged, and defeated, by newly competitive foreign companies. (PROSE: Transit)

Post-21st century[]

By the early 22nd century, Japan was years into a recession and money had dried up for Martian terraforming. The resulting social collapse caused many to emigrate to the offworld colonies, including the Pluto Japanese-colony cities of Yamaha, Dentsu and Nagorno-Karabakh. (PROSE: Transit)

The Tenth Doctor and Martha Jones travelled to Tokyo in the year 3000, which featured a building known as the Mega Bank of Tokyo. (COMIC: Operation Lock-up)

At some point prior to the 38th century, Japan and India merged into Indo-Japan due to a tectonic realignment in the wake of the Great Catastrophe. (TV: Sleep No More)

Undated events[]

Missy stole a golden statue from Japan. The Twelfth Doctor followed her there but Missy soon vanished. (PROSE: Dr. Twelfth)


According to Ian Chesterton, Susan Foreman thought Japan was a county in Scotland before she was tutored by Barbara Wright. (PROSE: Doctor Who in an Exciting Adventure with the Daleks)

Among the guises employed by Chancellor Goth during his battle with the Fourth Doctor in the Matrix was that of a Japanese samurai. (TV: The Deadly Assassin)

Christopher Columbus initially believed that he had arrived in Japan when he came to North America in 1492. (AUDIO: Trouble in Paradise)

Izzy Sinclair was a fan of Japanese sci-fi shows and films. (COMIC: The Road to Hell)

Other realities[]

During the Year That Never Was, the Saxon Master destroyed Japan, watching the islands and its cities and inhabitants burn. However, when the year was erased from history, Japan was returned to its proper place and its people were returned to their homeland. They did not remember their own deaths or anything else that had happened. (TV: Last of the Time Lords) Martha escaped Japan and made her way towards Europe. (PROSE: The Story of Martha)

In a parallel universe visited by the Third Doctor, Japan was the leading nation in the Asian Co-Prosperity Sphere. (PROSE: The Face of the Enemy)