After a century of occupation, the Japanese finally agree to return San Francisco to the United States. However, they stipulate that the colonial administration must remain intact; there will be no elections, the economy will continue to be dominated by Japanese businesses, and colonial-era Japanese laws and values will remain in place. This compromise is called 'one country, two systems'.
After a few years, San Francisco begins to lag behind the rest of the US economically, causing discontent among the working population who continue to labor under colonial conditions despite the end of formal Japanese rule. Pro-Japanese demonstrators demand that the Emperor 'free' them from the US; they wave the Japanese colonial flag, and fly to Tokyo to meet with representatives of the Japanese government. The Japanese media paints the demonstrators as 'pro-democracy', ignoring their government's obvious role in the unrest; the US government is, meanwhile, denounced as 'oppressive' for attempting to exercise sovereignty over its territory.