The Empire of Gao-Soto (御國, Mikuni) known in historical literature as the Third Empire of Gao-Soto (第三御國, Daisanmikuni) to distinguish it from the first and second, was an empire and dictatorship that existed from its foundation succeeding Hulstria and Gao-Soto in 4933 to the end of the Great Dovanian War in 4958. Its origins can be readily traced back to the democratic seizure of power in Hulstria in 4913 by the Kunihito-dan Kettō, or KDK. After the 'Dan' wrote a new, dictatorial constitution and founded the Empire as a one-party state ruled by itself (in the form of the Teikoku Sensen, or Imperial Front), Gao-Soto proceeded to embark on a campaign of brinksman military buildup and diplomacy. This culminated in the Great Dovanian War, the end of which saw the fall of the empire to Rowiet forces and the restoration of democratic Hulstria and Gao-Soto - albeit in a republican form.
For the entirety of the Empire's existence, businessman Mugendjikara of Clan Meiji (born Katahisa Meiji) was Emperor of Gao-Soto, having been nominated by the Kunihito-dan Kettō. However, despite having substantial power compared to other non-absolute monarchs, Gao-Soto was nonetheless effectively a constitutional monarchy, with the military and the Prime Minister (first party leader Takanashi Yoshihisa, then military general Kidehi Chojo after the former's assassination) holding much of the power. Mugendjikara had had no sovereign or governmental experience, and was simply a rallying point for the party and the Emperor. At the close of the 'interregime' years of 4913 to 4933, Takanashi would repeatedly stress the absurdity of an 'empire without an Emperor'.
The empire was intended to be a successor state to the first Empire of Gao-Soto, rejecting the 'weak' legacy of the second, which had peacefully existed in union with Hulstria proper until much of it was given to Ostland. It was designed to further the cause of the Kunihito race, assimilating Gisoten and Sekowans while eliminating all others, particularly the Hulstrians.
The policies of the Dan and the Sensen have been widely seen as imperialistic, fascist, and racist, especially towards ethnic Hulstrians. Aggression at home and abroad was widely denounced by the international community starting from the interregime years. The pent-up feelings of the electorate against Kunihito supremacist attitudes led to the landslide victory of the Hulstro-Mikun nationalist Empress Mizuki Society (TKMG) in the 4961 elections, the nation's first democratic ones as well as the first elections of the newly restored Hulstria and Gao-Soto. However, the Society enacted aggressive Hulstro-Mikun-favoring policies, which encouraged Hulstrians and Gao-Showans to intermarry with Hulstro-Mikuns and turned Hulstria and Gao-Soto into Mikuni-Hulstria (a revival of the eponymous, even older state) rapidly fell out of favor, allowing the umbrella Nationale Demokratisch Partei (National Democratic Party, NDP) and the far-right but racial egalitarian Sensen successor, the Nationale Arbeiterfront der Republik (National Worker's Front of the Republic, NAFR), to together outnumber the Society in the 4967 elections and create a legislative deadlock - which was removed in 4973, seemingly eliminating the last traces of the Empire.
KDK seizure of power
Since 4554, the Hulstrian nationalist Volkspartei Hulsterreichs had ruled Hulstria and Gao-Soto, and effectively made it a one-party state. However, from 4900 onwards, so confident in its strength was it that it decided to not bother campaigning in elections; a misguided effort, leading to plummeting voter turnout, but as it was the sole party to contest elections, just one favorable ballot more than the unfavorable would be enough. However, in 4913, Kunihito nationalists in Hilgar decided to seize the opportunity to form their own party, the Kunihito-dan Kettō. Voters - particularly conservative Kunihito in Hilgar - were eager for a regime change after centuries of lackadaisical Volkspartei rule, and they ushered the Dan into a total landslide victory, winning it all 750 seats in the Reichstag. A new cabinet was composed - the leading members of which were Defense Minister Kidehi Chojo (an active-duty general in the Reichsbürgerwehr and one of its biggest political voices for his rank), Foreign Affairs Minister Fukutsuchi Taroemon, and State Minister Takanashi Yoshihisa, who was also the chairman of the Dan.
The Kunihito-dan Kettō proceeded to engage in what is now known as 'the Great Bill Storm', a seven-year period in which a flurry of legislation cracked down on civil rights and granted far-reaching powers to the military, transforming Hulstria and Gao-Soto into a highly authoritarian state that nonetheless could not yet be considered totalitarian.
The very first one - considered by human rights organizations to be the worst of all - was the Act to Secure the Integrity of the Kunihito Race, an omnibus bill which banned multiple citizenship, direct mayoral elections, pornography, cannabis use, surrogacy, homosexual adoption, strikes, and sex reassignment surgery. It also allowed the military to use WMDs for any reason, to mistreat prisoners of war, and awarded it with the same responsibilities as the police (who themselves could now arrest people for any reason). The bill guaranteed those same rights to paramilitaries - clearly to empower the Danketsu Shita Jinmin no Chikara (Unitary People's Force), the Dan's paramilitary - and ensured that government employees would be handpicked by the Dan, as well as relegalizing the death penalty.
The Great Bill Storm was highly controversial among the populace, and the ASIKR's proposition in February 4914 instigated mass riots three months later across Hulstria and Gao-Soto, primarily damaging shops. 547 rioters were arrested (with the help of the Army, which was already exercising rights it had not yet been granted), but while many were Kunihito and many of their victims were Hulstrian, the pro-Dan media - particularly the Kyokujitsu Shimbun, which was seen as the de facto party newspaper - downplayed this and emphasized the participation of Hulstrians and the antagonization of Kunihito to galvanize party support.
When the Storm was reaching its climax, four terrorists linked to the Volkspartei attacked the Thague Naval Yards in October 4917 with car bombs, killing themselves and 18 Kunihito and Gisoten. The press had a field day, and the popularity of the Volkspartei received its killing blow.
Fear of persecution by the government for the riots led to the mass fleeing of ethnic Hulstrians for Luthori, most famously aboard the Mare of Orange, which arrived on June 13, 4918. In a bid to stop any more from escaping that was widely condemned among the international community, Hulstria and Gao-Soto labelled conditions aboard the Mare as 'cramped and unsanitary' and claimed that the crew was abusing the Hulstrians. The move, accompanied by new legislation, was not just to prevent word from breaking out of impending genocide, but also to ensure that Hulstrians with a talent for science were made to innovate for Hulstria and Gao-Soto alone.
The next day, enraged Sekowan Army units attacked, on their own accord, multiple border outposts belonging to Hulstria and Gao-Soto. The government proceeded to fiercely denounce the attacks, claiming that the attacks were in fact ordered by the Sekowan government and/or military high command. The threat of the Hulstrian military, which had been increasingly empowered and grown over the course of the previous few years, pressured Seko into issuing an apology and announcing that it would welcome any World Congress investigation into the matter. However, the Hulstrian Defense Minister, General Kidehi Chojo, continued to press the issue, also calling for the reunion of the Kunihito and Sekowan people, by force.
Chojo's words were coupled with repeated retaliatory incursions into Sekowan airspace, under the guise of defensive border patrols. Desperate to avoid annihilation, Seko resorted to completely disbanding its military on May 17 the year after, replacing it with the 10,000-man Guard and Surveillance Unit. But yet again, Chojo called for war, and in the end, Seko made a false confession of culpability in the attacks on November 8. Sekowan Foreign Minister Fijia Takeshi ended up literally begging for lenience, and an image of him announcing as such with tears in his eyes went viral on the Internet. The conflict would come to be known in Hulstria and the Empire as the 'First Great Trial', connoting to all in the international community its intent for full-on war. However, it was never deduced outside of the country as to when the war would break out until it did indeed do so.
Government and politics
The geopolitical arch-nemesis of the Empire of Gao-Soto was the Rowiet Union; their rivalry being seen from the latter's ascension in 4929 to the former's fall in 4958. Though there were of course inherent ideological differences between Gao-Sotoan fascism and Rowiet communism, points of economic contention and competition for Third World diplomatic supremacy also dominated the Rowiet-Imperial dynamic.
The Rowiet Union would go on to support subversive and insurrectionist activities throughout Gao-Soto, and by the 4950s had established an extensive spy ring that had access to sensitive imperial information. The Gao-Sotoans failed to counteract or replicate most of these efforts in turn, but did manage to assassinate Osian Badders and wound Jeon In-Seon, an episode of significant international controversy and condemnation.
The Empire of Gao-Soto was the subject of numerous attempted interventions by the World Congress - most of these interventions spearheaded by the Rowiet Union, but also backed by Narikaton & Darnussia and Deltaria, among other nations. This would ultimately lead to the Empire's withdrawal from the WC, an absence Mikuni-Hulstria continues to have at the General Assembly.
The Empire's relations with the Democratic People's Republic of Bianjie were complicated. Though Gao-Soto was an initial supporter of Khan Nikan; his son Khan Banai moved the DPRB away from Gao-Soto and towards the Rowiet Union. This increasing dissonance culminated in Bianjie joining the allies of the GDW and ultimately denouncing Gao-Soto as 'Fascist Bastards'.
Throughout its life, the Empire grew to have ambitions of uniting the Kunihito race under one banner - specifically the Bianjien, Sekowan, and Ostlandian Kunihito diaspora - but rarely acted on this until the Great Dovanian War. This was met with mixed levels of enthusiasm at first, but was a major ideological rallying point during the war.
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