Blooming Chrysanthemum--The rise of a modern Japan

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medic911
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Blooming Chrysanthemum--The rise of a modern Japan

#1 Post by medic911 » Jul 26 2014

Here's a little intro story to my term as prime minister/emperor of japan.

Japan, 1936. The military hardliners, the traditionalists, and the reformers dance a delicate step. Some hardliners are traditional, some traditionalists are afraid of the military... the reformers seem to have a vague message of 'forward' but lack a plan and central leadership that can compete with the rich traditions of the Japanese system or the strength of the military. The emperor weighs his options carefully.

Sure, war with China, proposed by Prime minister Fumimaro Konoe and the war department, would grab resources and taxable citizens... but the coasts would be great. Somehow, the Chinese have a motorized army of 1.3 million, 5X our own forces of mainly leg infantry. The path to war in china would surely lead to war with England... such aggression would likely draw Russian attention... Do we have the manpower, the firepower, the resources? The warmongers pressure the emperor to invade. The reformers pressure new diplomacy, and financial reform and military cuts in the face of ever-growing armies in hostile areas... but a new voice emerges.

Kantarō Suzuki, recovering from the assassination attempt of 26th February, visits the emperor with a compromise. Suzuki proposes a diplomatic exchange with rising European powers and a redoubling of research efforts, thus appeasing the reformers (even if it means some extra taxes). Next, the military will deploy along a fixed defensive line in Manchuria, keeping the fear of china at bay, while a secret amphibious assault force is assembled in Korea and Formosa to quickly thrust to the enemy capitol and military production centers in the event of war.

All the while Japan should, according to Suzuki, Japan's massive stockpiles and increasing diplomatic presence will be sued to construct more factories and become resource independent outside of fuel.

The emperor likes Suzuki's plan and knows that, as a defender of the Imperial Army against the so-call "righteous Army" of the insurrectionists, the military hard-line will overlook his softer defensive approach. The are three caveats...

Oil--where will it come from in the event of war? is there some way to manufacture synthetic petroleum? will our scientists find it if it exists?

China and the Red Army: Traditional enemies growing ever stronger. Suzuki's proposed defensive front might absorb China's advance, but how could we hold two fronts? attacking now could eliminate this problem up front...

Diplomacy: Alliances, as WW1 taught the world, are a double edged sword. Sure they could help us, but what mess could we be brought in to?

"The reward is greater than the risks to your plan." Said Emperor Hirohito. "I advance you, Kantarō Suzuki, to Prime Minister of Japan. Out future is in your hands."

(first time trying pictures on here and it didnt work, but im looking for another way to do it... ideas?)
Last edited by medic911 on Jul 26 2014, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Blooming Chrysanthemum--The rise of a modern Japan

#2 Post by GIJoe597 » Jul 26 2014

I am looking forward to following this.
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medic911
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Re: Blooming Chrysanthemum--The rise of a modern Japan

#3 Post by medic911 » Jul 28 2014

Episode Two: Leaping forward, looking back.

November 1939:
"Like a prize winning flower, our great nation blooms under expert care and a measured application of resources. If only the needs of the nation were so simple as water and dirt."
To Prime Minister Kantarō Suzuki, the weight of the last three years felt heavier than the last thirty. "China eyes our border with equal parts hunger and suspicion. France has fallen to Germany. The Italians are fighting in the streets of London. How have we come to this?"

December 1936:
Puzzled though some were that nationalist Fumimaro Konoe's term was cut short and that Militarist Naval minister Mitsumasa Yonai was passed over for the position, the nation initially backed the aged former naval officer. As the Emperor's aide, they believed, Suzuki must have shown himself worthy—away from the public eye. His grace period lasted less than four months. Increases in taxes were expected, and people on the home island were prepared, but the Koreans were furious to see a rise in taxes and a cut to services. Then came the Rikusentai.

From the north, Rikusentai reserves (Marines) and Koheitai engineers marched over the mountains from Manchukuo, from the south landed thousands more. The amphibious troops stormed the beeches South of Chonju, pouring out from the sea in a wave of tan uniforms and glinting steel bayonets. General Yamashita's forces swept inland and secured the beech before pushing inland and establishing a base-camp.

Prime Minister Suzuki and Naval Chief of Staff Hiroyasu Fushimi watched aboard Yamamoto's flagship, the heavy cruiser Chokai.
Image
The combined arms exercise, a demonstration to appease the hard-liners, was a military success, but it was a Pyrrhic victory.

As the months turned into a year, the Rikusentai presence grew to nearly forty thousand. The new taxes paid for more factories, more resources, more jobs—all of them on the home islands. These troops were the only visible representation of the extra taxes placed on the Korean Peninsula. The reformers took notice of the dissent in Korea and began organizing. The military leadership grew more vocal in its warning about China. The army was kept busy fortifying the border and conducting drills in Formosa, but the navy began to act on its own.

The fleet stationed off Korea continued to sail toward China, probing the edge of their territory, trying to provoke a response that would lead to their desired war. Suzuki, a former admiral, used every ounce of his influence over subordinate commanders and naval staff to reign in the Navy. By September of 37', the navy ceased it's passive-aggressive maneuvering and docked at Cheju. With the fleet begrudgingly sequestered and the completion of the northern fortification immanent, Suzuki feared the emergence of a new, great enemy— an idle military.

Below is the Defensive line as it stands later in the game (date blacked out because im not quite there yet in the narrative)
Image
quite a few idle troops there, and 100K more in the two staging areas in the south (Korea and Formosa)

As he pondered the necessary peaceful solution that would simultaneously allow diplomacy to continue and placate the military, circumstances changed for the worst. Work stoppages in Korea and by sympathetic reformers created industrial, commercial, and military material shortages overnight. The economy ground to a half. People took to the streets and revenues plummeted. In less than a month, the government would be unable to pay its three hundred thousand active duty troops and three million reservists.

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Re: Blooming Chrysanthemum--The rise of a modern Japan

#4 Post by GIJoe597 » Jul 28 2014

Ominous.
https://www.youtube.com/user/GIJoe597


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medic911
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Re: Blooming Chrysanthemum--The rise of a modern Japan

#5 Post by medic911 » Aug 04 2014

Please allow me to break character for a moment... I am now, after this posting, caught up to where I left off play (prior to deciding to do one of these AAR for my game) so from now on I should have smaller time-spans covered in the posts and more game events w/ pictures. I'm still getting the hang of this, but I really want to continue, as it is a good creative outlet and helps me warm up on days where i don't feel like working on the novel. Thank you, back to character....

November 1939:
"The Emperor commands the respect of the people, but moreover he has their love—but I have him. His support keeps me, protects me, and empowers me to do as I must for our great nation. Without him, I am nothing but an old man waiting for death. In my position, it would be swift in coming."
Japan was the only major Asian nation to avoid colonization by European powers. The emperors and shoguns of the 1800s saw the power they were faced with, and saw what that power had done abroad, and came up with a strategy that proved most successful. This same strategy inspired Prime Minister Suzuki in his battle against the military and the financial crisis.
On the economic side, with the emperor's approval, Suzuki invited the governments and corporations of the world to trade with Japan below market value. Japans raw material and goods stockpiles were sold in large quantities, and more promised in long-term deals, even as mines and factories lay dormant. More goods and materials were borrowed from the colonies and throw at the foreigners. They were pleased and raised much money for Japan. This newfound wealth would not last long if the workers could not be convinced to return to the table, so Suzuki made several concessions. Funding for medical care and education were doubled, family subsidies were raised, and new infrastructure investment and construction promised in Korea by 1940. The workers gave in to reason and returned to work as the last of the new surplus went to procuring rubber. Budget shortfalls began to close.
The military required more finesse. Construction finished on the defensive line and the army in the north split into three groups. Two thirds were kept active on the border, under command of a loyal general, Masaharu Homma, the rest were sent to the reserves under the command of General Hisaichi Teruchi, a ruthless hardliner causing grief as the administrator of Korea. Suzuki hoped the dual responsibility of commander of Reserve-Army: North and Administrator would keep him too busy to cause much trouble. Yamashita's marines and Ozawa's naval forces continued to be a problem.

Neither commander was under control. Both were testing the limits of Suzuki's patience, and that of the Chinese. Alone, these officers posed a major problem, but together, they were sure to repeat the acts of Honjo and the Army in Manchuria and invade without orders. The only solution was to remove them from power, but many of the officers and troops were fanatically loyal to their commanders. Suzuki had to find a way to give them a mission, install new commanders, and keep the troops idle. He chose a diplomatic mission.

He sent one commander at a time (to avoid allegations of replacing them permanently and avoid open revolt by the troops) with a new diplomatic mission to the United States, Germany, and Italy. In this manner, not only Ozawa and Yamashita were sent away, but so to (at various times) were the Army and Navy chiefs of Staff. At no point would the navy and the army have their head officers both in country at the same time, decreasing the odds of spontaneous invasions of China, or worse, an amphibious assault on Japan itself.

Before Japan's diplomatic policy started to unravel, the economy had been stabilized, a non-aggression and transitory pact was signed with America, and alliances made with the Axis powers. The inclusion of high ranking military dissidents to the diplomatic missions resulted in arms treaties that brought superior military technology and designs from Italy, Germany, and the United States, including the b-17 bomber—Navy Chief of Staff Fushimi bought the first one himself.

(sorry, the next part happened so fast I missed the pictures!)

". . .How have we come to this?. . .Our nemesis, Russia, symbolically joined her new ally, Germany in declaring war on Poland the day of its surrender to the Nazi forces. How can we support them? How can we afford to stop? France, one of our top importers, fell in under a month, we have yet to see the impact to our financial sector. The Italians sent several thousand troops to London aboard merchant ships ahead of declaring war in a dastardly sneak attack as the BEF was cut in two and making its last stand at Dieppe and Caen—Do the Italians know no honor?"

"The American's have proposed an embargo, for the second time now. . . our prior refusal has cost us new trade contracts. They even refuse to import our new automobiles and turned away our latest military-diplomatic mission. Should we refuse again, I am afraid we would be ostracized further. The Italians appear to be meeting more resistance than they can handle. With luck, their failure will put an early end to this conflict. I do not know what I fear more, the events unfolding abroad, or the return of Yamashita from Berlin."

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