To the north lies our three Asian tigers - China, Korea and Japan respectively. All three civs this have found their alternate leaders - so it's anyone's guess to see how they'll fare this time around.
Well, Tojo’s Japan wasn’t exactly a “fan favorite” what with its game-crashing bugs requiring Godzilla’s presence (and eventually an overhaul) in the BRv1. Indeed, the middling Japan seems boxed in: they are one of nine (nine!) Oceania civs, the same number of civs as Africa; not to mention Yakutia to the north and more incentives for the Inuit to settle Westward. Meiji warfare depends entirely on how many golden ages they can stretch out: so starting slow, turtling, and wonder building (i.e., rushing Taj Majal, Chichen Itza) would likely do them a whole lot of good, and their culture bonuses seem to do well to help out with that sort of start. Their unique Great General helps out with that as well, causing a free golden age should they choose to expend it. They can then emerge from their turtle-shell after having researched replicable parts, when they could mass-produce their strong ironclad UU for an extremely powerful navy to wreak havoc on the seas.
Ah Korea, the science civ. Were this not a domination match, their position would be very strong. But Sejong is going to need to break out of the Korean peninsula, and he is surrounded by strong enemies. His two UU's are very strong on the defensive, but he may struggle to apply that strength to attack. His UA is excellent for a human, but in previous AI game the AI has struggled to make it work. Sejong's best bet is to expand north, and build spearmen to try and beat the horse lords of the steppes.