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    Real Strategy Requires Cunning

Slan

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Glad to see your democracy at work, getting every kinds of events related to that :) And hopefully the fix for the USA's trigger-happy foreign minister will also help. By the way, you do know that the Marco Polo Bridge Incident requires you to be autocratic? :rolleyes:
 

HecNev

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Glad to see your democracy at work, getting every kinds of events related to that :) And hopefully the fix for the USA's trigger-happy foreign minister will also help. By the way, you do know that the Marco Polo Bridge Incident requires you to be autocratic? :rolleyes:
I suspected this already. :D
But, considering that I don't want to rush starting a war anyways, that doesn't really matter.
The only issue left might be a conflict between manchukuo and the Soviets in 1938, which i probably can't avoid as long as Manchukuo is my puppet.
 

TheBromgrev

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I suspected this already. :D
But, considering that I don't want to rush starting a war anyways, that doesn't really matter.
The only issue left might be a conflict between manchukuo and the Soviets in 1938, which i probably can't avoid as long as Manchukuo is my puppet.
Yeah, now that the Changkufeng Incident is an actual skirmish you're going to fight the Soviets whether you want to or not. The real question is: will you allow the conflict to escalate, or will you stop the fighting as soon as you're able to?
 

HecNev

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Before anybody's wondering why I'm online here almost all the time: I just had my written A-Levels 2 weeks ago and now I'm having pretty much spare time until the end of May :D

I really like the style of writing this uses
Thanks.

Yeah, now that the Changkufeng Incident is an actual skirmish you're going to fight the Soviets whether you want to or not. The real question is: will you allow the conflict to escalate, or will you stop the fighting as soon as you're able to?
I'm currently thinking of this situation.
Ingame, it's currently February 1938 and I just received the event.

Yet, I'm confused:
Manchukuo is my puppet, thus I should also be receiving a declaration of war from the Soviets. Yet, this hasn't happened and, because of the presence of my army almost along the entire border, the Soviets didn't dare to attack either.

Still, the situation is anything but easy. In rder to lead the war with even a slight hope for victory, I'll need to withdraw divisions from the Chinese border. And I don't know how the Chinese will react to this.

As I'm well aware of my lack of troops, my production is pretty much focused on troop recruitment by now.

Stay tuned for what I'll decide in the end, but the lack of a Soviet declaration of war does surely offer me at least a little time to reposition my army.

How Manchukou feels that it's puppet master become a democratic nation? Isn't this cause tension?
It's somehow weird because Manchukuo and Mengkukuo are both autocracies and therefore drifting towards the axis. To be honest, they are already in the axis-corner, so they can't drift further.
Still, they cannot join the axis because of me and I'lll keep it at this. The ultimate goal is joining the allies before getting my hands on Asia (the casus belli would then be the close position the Chinese Republic has to the axis).
I've also embargoed Germany because they were trading with my puppets and constantly offering me trade with oil. I'm in need of money, but still, I embargoed them because I want to limit their influence.

All in all, there were no tensions because of this so far.
 

Slan

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This is pretty much why it is a bad idea to use a beta for an AAR. The DoW was issued by Manchukuo and only them, because the skirmish should happen in their territory. But because of how the event command works, that won't bring you automatically into the war (it is handled as a Limited War). If the war was started by the USSR, that could involve Germany if the Japanese are already in the Axis, and we don't want that to happen.
Another reported problem is that the event ending the skirmish does not happen when it should. I'm not yet sure why, but when you fight a battle with at least 500 casualties, the winner of that battle should get an event to end the skirmish, but according to testers, it does not happen. I'm working on it, but you might pretty much get stuck in a war with the USSR, unless you can ask for peace, which you should be able to I guess. Although I'm not sure if they would accept or not...
 

HecNev

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This is pretty much why it is a bad idea to use a beta for an AAR. The DoW was issued by Manchukuo and only them, because the skirmish should happen in their territory. But because of how the event command works, that won't bring you automatically into the war (it is handled as a Limited War). If the war was started by the USSR, that could involve Germany if the Japanese are already in the Axis, and we don't want that to happen.
Another reported problem is that the event ending the skirmish does not happen when it should. I'm not yet sure why, but when you fight a battle with at least 500 casualties, the winner of that battle should get an event to end the skirmish, but according to testers, it does not happen. I'm working on it, but you might pretty much get stuck in a war with the USSR, unless you can ask for peace, which you should be able to I guess. Although I'm not sure if they would accept or not...
As I already mentioned, I know what I got myself into when downloading the beta, as I'm a modder myself :p

Thus, judging from this statement, my borders are definietly safe and as longas my men are in Manchukuo, the Soviets won't attack, either. And my relations with them are continuously improving because of trade.
So, maybe, in the end, I might be able to avoid war after all.

We'll see how I deal with the issue, maybe I'll also try to starte short conflict and then ask them for peace once I captured Vladivostock or so.
 

HecNev

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Chapter 3

15th of August 1936



“This is outrageous!” exclaimed Kaito and threw the newspaper in the dirt.
“Calm down, damnit! You won’t change anything by complaining about this!” Takumi tried to calm him down.
“If the Emperor were still in charge of the government, then our people would not lie in the dirt before the Communists and have to beg for resources for our industry! My father didn’t fight in a war against them 30 years ago only to see this happen now!”
He spat on the paper.

“Kaito, the Emperor IS in charge. We’re living in a Constitutional monarchy, so he still needs to approve of all this! From my point of view, he and the government are doing the right thing! They are trying to get those materials we can’t produce on our own with the help of diplomacy. On the short-term, this is helping our industry, on the long-term, this will improve our political relations with the Soviets and help us to secure peace in Manchukuo.” Takumi explained.

“Are you really against all those principles we were brought up with? Like that Communism is a way of government that makes the very people it is supposed to serve bleed out? Are you even aware of them concentrating their armies near our border? The government is financing the Soviet threat! They are supporting our enemy!”

“Actually, I had always thought your Western education had opened your eyes at least a little bit, but, in the end, it seems they put up a second blindfold. You have seen that democracy can help a people to prosper and that diplomacy that is done using words rather than weapons is not treachery. I went to university in Japan, but, obviously, I was educated more openly then you were in Paris, Oxford or wherever.”

“The communists are trying to make us feel safe! They are an enemy of our state just like the Chinese, who are also concentrating their army along the border! If only my father were in that government, he’d have us beat up the Chinese and the Soviets directly afterwards.”

“We are living in a democracy, not in an autocracy anymore. One noble is no longer worth the lives of hundreds of simple people. My family lost everything during the depression, but still, I am here. That’s because we tried to get comfortable with the new circumstances we found ourselves in. Maybe, you and your family should do the same instead of crying like babies because of the sudden disappearance of the old structures.” Takumi said and left.

They had had arguments like this ever since the establishment of the democracy. Kaito, his noble-born friend, thought the new government to be a bunch of traitors to the people because they were establishing diplomatic relations with the enemies of old.
Kaito’s father had served in the Russo-Japanese war about 30 years ago and lost his left leg during combat. Back then, the war had ended with a treaty which left the Japanese with rage because some of their conditions were not met. His father had probably passed his bitterness about all these events on to his son.
And the hostile attitude, it seemed, was almost a major criteria for calling oneself “noble-born” these days. Takumi could understand why the government had sent them to this desolate place. To keep as many nobles off from the parliament as possible so that they cannot possible launch another coup to re-establish an autocracy.

Takumi sighed.
It would take a lot of time and effort to make the democracy accepted, especially amongst those who lost something because of it.

-----

25th of September 1936


Isoroku entered the fore-room of the Secretary for Outer Affair’s office. He greeted the clerk, Ai, with a short nod.
“Hello Isoroku, can I help you with anything? The secretary is currently having a longer telephone call with the British embassy.”
“Actually, I just needed these files to be passed on to him. They are somehow quite important, so I figured I’d get them to him myself to make sure it’s done fast.”
“You can leave them with me, I don’t think he’ll allow anyone to enter during the next few hours.”
“May I ask what happened or do I need to wait to read it in the newspaper tomorrow?” Isoroku asked jokingly and suddenly curious about what might have happened.



“Well, I don’t know much and all this is not for certain, but it seems that, over in Europe, some country is slowly rising to become a threat to peace over there. The British think that war might erupt soon and they decided to stop the trade with rare materials or so.” Ai explained vaguely.
“That would slow down our own growth and make us more dependent on trade with the Soviets and the US.” Isoroku concluded.
Ai nodded shortly.
“Hopefully, this won’t mean an uprising by some nobles who consider our enemies of old to be our enemies in the future…” murmured Isoroku and left the room after.

Of course, he could not tell anyone about these on-goings unless they were made public in the newspaper, or maybe there was nothing to report in the end, because the secretary might manage to re-establish trade.

Only a few days later, the government announced a trade-embargo against the German Reich, which led to British approval and the trade with rare materials was started again, but at a much lower scale.
Because of the trade-relations with the Soviets, this impact was not as heavy as it could have been, but it made the improvement of the production of rare materials all the more important.

-----

30th of October 1936

“Yuki, pack your things! We’re leaving town for a week.” Haruji said as soon as he entered the door when returning from work.
He looked stressed and also somehow helpless.
“Why? What happened?” she asked as surprised as she was confused by the fear in her husband’s eyes.
“Some Europeans have decided to get their hands on each other’s throats again. It seems that, in this country, Spain or so, there were people demonstrating against the outcome of the local elections and now, there’s civil war.”



“But how does this affect us? Europe is on the other side of the globe!”

“Obviously, distance is no measure these days. After the right-winged parties heard about the events, they claimed that democracy is condemned to fail or so and started an uprising in town. The garrison is currently fighting them, but my boss has told everyone to stop working and get to safety. Luckily, the factory is not that close to the town-center, so I could get out quite fast.”

“But… Do you not want our Emperor to be in charge of affairs again? I mean, in hundreds of years, the rule of an Emperor has never proven to be bad for Japan. Maybe it is the right way to re-establish a monarchy.”

“I want the Emperor to be leading us, too. But do you not see what the democracy has brought to us? It has made the nation prosper, with new trading-partners helping us to sustain our increased growth. By democracy, it is possible that each and every opinion can be voiced and will be heard, instead of being imprisoned as an enemy of the state.”

“But isn’t this what would happen to those who have started the uprising? If the Emperor were our only leader, we could easily resolve this riot.”

“Whether this riot could be resolved quickly or not doesn’t matter. To me, it is important that I can raise my voice without being harassed in return. Also, due to democracy, my work-place is made safe. Due to the new employment laws, I’m able to offer you and Souta a decent life!”

“You’re spending too much time with Isoroku! He has always been against the Empire!”

“Are you so blind that you really think any good would erupt from the nationalist or the socialists gaining power? They would abolish all that was achieved during the last months!”

Haruji had always known his wife was in favor of the Emperor. To be honest, he hadn’t known what to think of the newly established democracy at first, either. But, despite all its disadvantages like the increased taxes, he figured that the democracy didn’t harm him and his way of life. It was even improving it. And, as the Emperor was still the Head of State, he really began to approve of the system.
Yuki, however, had not experienced the benefits of democracy as closely as he had. Probably because she was a housewife whose daily climax it was to go to the market and gossip with her friends. To, her nothing in her life had changed and she only got to hear about the negative aspects of democracy, thus her bad attitude. He really did love her, but sometimes, he simply couldn’t understand her ways of thinking.
 

HecNev

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Chapter 4

15th of January 1937

Somehow, the happenings of the last few weeks had proven to be, whether it was planned or not, in a perfect coincidence.
On the one hand side, there were significant improvements in agriculture, i.e. more food was grown, which would help to sustain a growing population.
But, due to better technology, there were also more unemployed people streaming into the cities and leaving the old people behind in the villages of the mountainous hinterlands.
These people could, due to a huge economic growth, immediately find work in the numerous factories of the large cities in the country.





Yet, it took some time until all of the newcomers had found a new job.
During these weeks, the streets became a rather dangerous place, because the disappointed pavement-dwellers tended to the use of crime in order to gain food or coin.
Thus, it was advised by the government that none should step out of one’s house alone, least of all women and children. This meant a lot of limitations to every-day life. Souta had to get up a lot earlier in the morning because his father would escort him to school when going to work. On the way, they’d eventually pick up some of his friends, too.
In the evening, the family left the house together to do some grocery-shopping, always worrying whether someone might break into their house once they left it, while they did not dare leaving one of them in the house in the evening.

Luckily, this situation did not last very long.
After about a month, the streets were safe once more.



Again, this was made possible by further industrial improvements that created a lot more work-places, also in the military.
Those improvements also reflected an attitude that Haruji did often see in the factory or at one of the monthly meetings when all of the workers would gather up for the boss to tell them about the next tasks or company news.
In recent times, the air of such meetings had grown more and more confident as well as euphoric. The economy was growing throughout the country and it seemed like the last remnants of the Great Depression were finally disappearing.
This month was to enter history books as “Golden January” because of all the above.
Also, and Haruji could see this, too, this month helped establishing some faith in democracy amidst the population.

-----

16th of March 1937

Takumi was once more at the borderline-checkpoint.
This day, however, his friend Kaito was not with him. Just as it had been the last few times. The men were continuously at each other’s throats by now because their perceptions on what the current government was doing were all too different.
Actually, Takumi had always thought that such an issue might never cause damage to their friendship. After all, he was nothing more than a commoner, but the noble-born Kaito has never had any problem with this.
They had been friends since they joined the army, about 6 years ago. They were both 25 now and had finished the officer-training as exceptional recruits. And now, their friendship broke because of the question whether the people should decide about their fate or not.

He sighed. In the end, it was the fault of both of them, because none of them wanted to give in regarding such a question.

This morning, news about the further plans for military research had reached them and, although he had not seen him, Takumi could imagine Kaito once more swearing about it. The government stuck to the old doctrines and decided to improve them even further instead of trying something new.



The times when he had to guard the border were the worst of all.
There was nothing one could do but standing and waiting for something to happen. They were here now for about a year and, unfortunately, in this timeframe, he and his men had obviously run out of good stories to tell for entertainment. Thus, they stood there, some walked circles.
Others were smoking cigarettes all day long. This even went to such an extent that Takumi wondered whether the next war he would fight in was to gain more space for tobacco plantation.

Today, their boredom was eased by a slowly approaching cart.
It was a huge, wooden cart with massive wheels and it was pulled by two oxen. A mid-aged man was walking besides them, holding a tow that was connected to the yoke. He wore a large straw-hat and simple clothes. Everything pointed at him being nothing more than a simple peasant, which roused Takumi’s attention.
Peasants didn’t cross the border. At least not in these lands.

Once he arrived at the turn pike, Takumi and ten of his men were already waiting for him.
Two of them spoke Chinese fluently and they announced to the peasant that he needed to present his papers as well as agree to a searching of his load.
He repeatedly insisted he had nothing on his cart that was worth being searched for, but Takumi and his men insisted on it because the procedure required it. Also, the more they went in-depth, the more time passed they didn’t have to spend completely bored.

They unloaded the whole cart and, with every package they unloaded, the peasant grew paler.
Noticing this, Takumi had all of them opened instead of just a few random one for testing. Indeed, they found several goods hidden within.



It was nothing big, though. Some porcelain and other consumer goods.
All those goods required a high toll to be paid and the peasant said he had no money with him. He couldn’t arrest the man, either, because the government had ordered them to avoid any tensions with the Chinese.
Thus, they sent the peasant home and, after checking with the local commander, called the Chinese border patrol to get the goods at the checkpoint.
 

HecNev

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Chapter 5

18th of March 1937 – Early Morning

Haruji bought today’s newspaper in the morning on the way to the factory so that he had something to read during lunchtime.
Therefore he did only have a quick glance at the front-page.
The headline was talking about the establishment of several new factories in the north of Honshu, a region that was so far only known for its rare resources and low level of industrialization.



But this region was also where most of the people that overran the cities in the south hailed from. Hopefully, the new jobs created by the new factories would keep people from leaving the area and give them new opportunities instead.

-----

Lunchtime


In all the years he was working in this factory now, it had almost become an established tradition that he brought the newspaper which he and several of his colleagues would then read at one of those large tables in the cafeteria.

They reacted to the front-page article just as he had.
As he turned over to the second page, his eyes widened in shock.
Huge letters announced that there had been an assassination attempt at an opposition leader in Nagasaki.
Luckily, the assassin had failed. Unfortunately, the people were suspecting the government of this deed, which was, quite frankly, absolute nonsense.
Why would the Social Conservatist Party try to kill a politician of the Market-Liberal Party? Both were quite similar in their ideas and had a central position in the political spectrum.
This left the radical parties as suspects.



Once more, several different opinions surfaced and a discussion erupted, with topics reaching from the reasons for the attempt towards someone insisting that this very politician deserved nothing but a bullet in his head.
Haruji always had to smile at this, because people were performing one of the basic foundations of democracy –free speech- and still, they mostly complained about it.

However, this event proved to be only the start of a chain of unfortunate events.
A few weeks later, there was a gathering of radical parties in Nagasaki, which had seen the military put down all uprisings after the assassination-attempt.

Again, the newspapers were full of pictures and description of the events, and it seemed like the government, in order to protect democracy, as was the official reasoning, decided once more to use force and arrested the leaders of the gathering.
The population got upset at this and the Social Conservatists lost a lot of popularity and had to face a population that grew more and more discontent with the status quo.

This internal conflict would last for the next months to come.

Several more assassination attempts at all kinds of politicians were made, but most of them failed.
The government had learned its lesson and refrained from using force to restore order again.



Yet, the ensuing costs for cleaning up the remnants of the chaos were expensive and the ruling party did not enjoy more popularity because of it.

-----

10th of June 1937


In June, the Social Conservatists had lost a lot of their popularity and, for the first time since the democracy had been established, their popularity had sunk below 30%.



Haruji hoped that this would lead to the government taking another course in their administration so that the continuous protests could cease and the situation go back to normal again.
Unfortunately, his pleas were not heard.
Instead, the situation became even worse as a huge newspaper uncovered a secretary who had accepted bribes. This hurt the public perception of democracy even more.



5th of August 1937

Today was a great day. Takumi had been invited to Tokyo together with several other officers from brigades serving everywhere in the Empire.
Although the government has most recently denied a restructuring of the ministry of war, this didn’t mean that there were no military advancements made.



As the Imperial Japanese Army was benefitting heavily from the latest research, a parade had been announced in Tokyo to celebrate the construction of the first Japanese tanks.
This parade, however, would be held outside the city on a wide field in order to protect the streets from the heavy damage they might take from the chains.
Recent advancements had led to a special kind of tank that was slow enough to be able to efficiently support the infantry on its advance and offered enough fire-power to protect it from enemy tanks.





The tank-brigade was driving up to the improvised plaza. Safe for the drivers, their crews sat atop the tank, waving their hands at the cheering crowd, as if they were heroes returning from a glorious campaign. The officers, in their box besides the podium from which the Empire would speak in a few minutes, remained quiet.



It took some time for the tanks to get into position and for the crowd to calm down.
As only the sound of a weak wind could be heard, the Emperor raised his voice.

“It fills me with pride to see my people gathered here. The reason we are celebrating this day is that we have finally caught up with the great military powers of our time. We have accomplished what they have used for years now: tanks.
Even in the face of this great advancement, this does not mean that it is the state’s intent to start a war. These tanks were rather constructed to be able to meet a potential foe with even odds instead of lacking a military device that could be decisive for our own protection.
This day is a success for democracy. Together with the people, all this was established and it would not have been possible, had it not been decided that I pass the rulership of Japan on to you.
There are times when this decision leads to results such as the Golden January, which do make me proud of it. And there are times like the recent weeks, when the spread of political radicalism threatens to undo the decision I have made.
They say I should be the ruler of Japan once more because my decisions are the best that can be made. So I ask you, was it not me who decided to cede my throne to the people? It was my decision, and it was the right one, if one can believe them at all.
So, why all these uprisings?
So you not see that you are only hurting yourselves by it?
The tanks were constructed to defend the people, not to defend against it. Democracy is a chance for each and every one of you to have his opinion heard, so why do you try to abolish it so constantly? I will not step back from my decision, just as these tanks will not in case of an open rebellion.”

The speech was short, but convincing.
Takumi had not expected the Emperor to defend democracy so fiercely in the face of his people and those who wanted him to be the one and only ruler of Japan. Of course, he liked this system a lot more than the old one, but he couldn’t say the same for some of the noble-born officers in the assembly. They looked quite paralyzed and Takumi expected it wouldn’t take long until the first ones would raise their voices and claim that the Emperor was forced to say this.

But this was a problem for another day.
Now, other people were to hold their speeches about their appreciation of this advance, and, afterwards, he and the invited officers would enjoy a dinner with the Emperor. An incredible honor, although the Emperor had merely a representative role by now.

Thus, he decided not to trouble his mind further with any thoughts about the current stance of the state.


-----------


Author's Note: Is this even read by someone?
I'd really appreciatew some feedback on this, otherwise I might as well quit this whole thing...
 

lordvagrant

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It seems your attempts at eternal peace are being met with internal dissent. Some people just wont be happy.
Perhaps the emperor will have to guide his people a little more.
 

Slan

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You recieved at least two votes in the AARland Choice Awards, so yes, I would say there are people reading this :)

Anyway, I see you have some trouble keeping your young democracy together. It is quite thrilling I would say! ;)
 

unmerged(215796)

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I am also very interested in this AAR and see how you are going to handle dealing with the democracy you now have and your foreign enemies. Really enjoying the style of this AAR as well.
 

Baltasar

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<-- reading this, though I have to swallow the idea of a democratic, pro-allied Japan ;)
 

HecNev

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Chapter 6

10th of September 1937

The economy was booming.
Recent advances in matters of refining rare materials had been improved, marking a small step towards independence from importing the resource.



Yet, this step did not ease the high amount of taxes the people had to pay. As convinced as he was about the benefits of democracy, Haruji had to admit that, as the Tenno was still ruling, taxes had been a lot lower.
Of course, the amount of education Souta received had decisively increased because of an increased budget for education, but the taxes were still too high. In fact, their rise did not match with the rise of the worker’s wages.
Haruji and Yuki were actually forced to draw money from their savings in order to pay taxes.

Obviously, the government hadn’t learnt the lesson of the radical uprising a few months ago. Even now, many of his younger colleagues were aligning themselves to either left-winged parties who promised them a worker’s paradise. The older ones tended to start supporting the old cabinet that had served in the autocracy because “everything was better in the old days”.
He, however, didn’t know what to think. He was about to lose faith in democracy, but he didn’t want to life in an autocratic state again, and least of all he wanted communism. The latter was probably fueled by his own education, during which his teachers told him that communism was the worst evil that could befall a state and its people. Thus, he belonged to the large group of those people who felt a certain disenchantment with politics, leaving the radicals to act.



Being aware of this development, the government decided to stay still while the power of the radical parties grew because they didn’t want even more dissent amongst the population, which would ultimately be the greatest danger for democracy.

-----

30th of October 1937

Today was an important day for the 16th Homengun.
The motorized corps had received some brand-new trucks to transport its artillery and anti-tank brigades.



Although the new transports meant a decreased maneuverability especially when entering mountainous terrain or forests, it was nothing that could be compared to the morale boost this offered to the men, including both Takumi and Kaito.
To them, the trucks were another sign that they were indeed able to keep up with the great military powers of their time and that they could stand a chance against them, should one of the decide to turn on them.

Kaito and Takumi hadn’t seen each other for some weeks now and Kaito was obviously still hostile towards him because of their endless arguments about whether democracy worked or not. Takumi had made his peace with this because he knew about Kaito’s incredible stubbornness. It was sad that it seemed to end their friendship now, but both men had arranged themselves with it.

While Takumi was continuously trying to forget about the catastrophic situation at home which didn’t look too well, as his sister had written him in some letters, Kaito rejoiced at this, proclaiming that the time of democracy was running out. Ironically, he was also fond of all the technological improvements that were made because of democracy.











Of course, Takumi’s point of view that all those advancements were only made because of democracy were rather questionable, for there had also been research in the Empire.
However, it had been focused a lot more on military instead of industry and education. Also, the increased investment in education since the establishment of democracy had sped up research. Therefore, Takumi liked to point this out as the benefits of democracy should a discussion arise.
After all, the worst enemy of any dictatorship were well-educated people.

-----

6th of December 1937

The ministry of outer affairs was like a bunch of scared hens in a cage: Everyone ran everywhere, and none knew his destination.
Isoroku was in their midst, sitting at his desk and writing a report about the recent events so that the incident could be passed on into the archive.

Another band of smugglers had been caught about a week ago, but, unlike before, the government had decided to keep the goods that Chinese smugglers tried to bring into Japan.
Ironically, the ruler of the Republic of China considered this to be thievery and demanded the goods for himself.

But the government’s decision was a fix one.

About a month ago, the country had seen another assassination attempt at a leader of one of the radical parties.



It was decided to let things calm down without serious involvement by the state. The current situation in Japan and the reaction of some politicians made it an easy conclusion for everybody that the government was somehow involved in this. He didn’t want to burden his mind with the knowledge about the truth of this, however. He wanted to earn him and his wife a living and enough savings so that they could have a decent life after his retirement.
It was only about 5 years until then. His children were adult and married and his grandchildren were the light of his life by now.
To him, they were the reason why he had always been for democracy. He had wanted them to lead their own lives, free from the influence of any totalitarian ideas. This attitude had grabbed him 40 years ago, in his early twenties as he had been meeting an employee of the American embassy in Tokyo. Being a social worker back then, he cooperated with the American embassy to find houses for its employees because some of them were still learning to speak Japanese.
Of course, he did have to hide his attitude towards democracy or else he would have been fired and maybe even arrested.

The uproar that was caused by the recent assassination attempt had led the government to decide that democracy couldn’t be saved by opposing anti-democratic political streams. Instead, it was to be saved by making it more attractive to the common people, upon which the system as based, after all.

Thus, the ministry of financial affairs revised the tax system, lowering the amount of taxes that was to be paid by the citizens.
In order to minimize the financial losses caused by this, the whole system had been reviewed and improved rather than just lowering the taxation-rates.





Still, the government was losing money.
Therefore it was decided to keep all goods that are smuggled into the country and found during the process. They were sold afterwards on markets, providing the government with desperately needed money.

As is obvious this lead to increased tensions with the Chinese, which is why everyone in the ministry was apparently going mad at the moment.



The funds gave the government a little room to think of something to minimize the financial losses, but the cost for this was a worse relation with China. The task at hand was therefore to improve the relations again to stop the Chinese from declaring war before the Japanese were ready for it.

This case wasn’t very likely to occur, though.
At first, it had seemed that the Chinese Republic might be able to win the war against the Communists but, as spies reported, they were defeated at the gates of one of Mao’s numerous mountain-forts and the Communists were even pushing south now.
The Chinese did therefore have more urgent enemies to deal with.

And, as for the Japanese government, the continuous activities of bands of Chinese smugglers on imperial territory might prove to be a casus belli when the time was right.
Some of the smuggled goods were weapons, thus the conclusion that could be drawn from this was that the Republic supported Chinese settlers in Manchukuo, eventually even aiming at founding an armored guerilla-resistance.

As much as Isoroku was for democracy, he still despised this if it was true, as would many others of his countrymen once the information was made public.
But, for now, peace was more important.

------------------------------------

Author's note:
Thanks for the positive comments!
I agree that the internal enemy is definitely a difficult one to keep in control, especially if one doesn't want to waste lots of IC on consumer goods.

However, bringing back the Emperor can only be achieved if the PA is coming back in charge of affairs again, but they are but a minor party by now. Actually, the majority of population is shared by the Merket Liberals, Social Conservatists and the Fascists.
 

Elastic Fish

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This is a brilliant AAR, I wonder how democratic Japan will fare in wartime, as surely the fanatical support forced on its population in the real war will not happen...

What about the Navy, Japan needs a strong navy as an island nation, doesn't it?
 

Slan

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Can you sell supplies to one of the majors? Preferably the USA or the UK, maybe even the Soviets. That should help earning some money :)