Before and during World War II Japan (just like Britain, France, and the United States) had a considerable empire. The Greater East Asian Co-Prosperity Sphere encompassed the Korean peninsula, several Pacific Islands, and holdings in China. Probably the strangest part of the Japan’s empire was Manchukuo, an artificial country in northern China that Japan made by (among other things) bombing a train and kidnapping the former Chinese emperor.
Listen to Manchukuo’s national anthem! It sounds like lots of other national anthems.
The New Imperialism and Post Colonial Development State: Manchukuo in Comparative Perspective is one of the better scholarly essays I read about this topic in preparation for this episode.