This winter Shogun Iesada made up his mind. The Americans would never stop coming. And after dealing with their internal problems, they would definitely change the rules of engagement. We should be the ones making the rules, not them. Also, I forgot to say, this last year there was a global financial crisis starting from the USA. Japan was spared, but only because it had a closed controlled economy, our trade partners suffered. What can be done?
In January we managed to catch and destroy one fleeing American trader.
In February we learned about two gold discoveries in Northern America, one in the lands of the USA, ripe for taking. We should not disturb the British, but the Americans, especially in California and beyond are fair game to fund our rise!
Many Daimyos, especially from the South eager to be praised by the Shogun and the Emperor, will take part in the invasion.
So, the decision has been taken. The spirits of the nation are very high, Emperor Komei commented that it was a great moment for our nation. An opportunity to catch the Americans off guard. Yes, they are powerful, but can they resist us? 3 invasion fleets are being constructed in Yokohama (1st Invasion Fleet), Sendai (2nd Invasion Fleet), and Kobe (3rd Invasion Fleet). The Yokohama one will be ready very soon, given the shipbuilding infrastructure there. The journey across the Pacific will be long and perilous, so we've decided to make the Kingdom of Hawai a stepping stone. It should become a vassal of our nation, like the Kuriles.
Many young Japanese flock to man the invading army. The event gives limited colonial actions to Japan as well as a boost in officers and conscripts. This is done to abstract this early expansive attitude.
We have decided for two potential approach routes. The Northern (I) and the Southern (II). The I has the advantage of being protected by the huge Nez Perce buffer zone of Eastern Oregon Territory, which we hear are in unofficial war with the Americans, coming and pillaging as West as the Willamette Valley and as North as the British Canadian territories. The II is less dangerous as far as weather goes and can give us the opportunity to capture the fledgling Los Angeles Coaling Station to moor our warships as they bring in more troops. The Apache on the East are a much weaker buffer.
As you can see here, only California is in the Union. It is surrounded by unincorporated territories. We, as Japan, are especially interested in the extended Oregon area, even if we'll have to go against the Native Americans!
The Americans are 3x times stronger still, but are concentrated in their lands of the East (Atlantic side). Only California is an official American State, Oregon Territory is still being organized. The map shows San Fransisco as an objective city and Seattle (the region around) as strategic city, although not quite sure if in PON strategic cities play some role apart from extra warscore and AI bias.
In less than 20 days, the first samurais had arrived in Hawai, thanks to the good winds. They were welcomed and we immediately captured the American facilities (a mission) there. The tradepost was burned down by the fleeing American citizens which we apprehended. The Hawaians are more than us, we should stay friendly at the moment. The mission will be converted to a Buddhist temple. The capture of the American facilities in Hawai gave us even more national morale!