Next Stop Japan

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Next Stop Japan

Post by Luxa on Wed Aug 03, 2016 8:17 pm

After stopping at the North Pacific Federation the HLS Vanguard continued on to Japan. It would be the first time the battleship would put in port in Japan, and the first time since the conclusion of the war that a former Allied Commander would visit Japan personally. The Lord Protector was confident that the meeting would go well. The Japanese had been informed of the ships arrival and route to allow for them to make preparations, as well as to alleviate any concerns that a battleship may arouse. As he prepared to disembark he readied himself. He didn't know how the Japanese would react and wanted to prepare himself for the worst, though he hoped for the best.
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Re: Next Stop Japan

Post by Kasumi on Thu Aug 04, 2016 1:26 am

As the HLS Vanguard neared Japanese waters, the ship's crew may have spotted a lone small aircraft closing in. Although somewhat small and hard to see without assistence, the speck flying just under the clouds was actually travelling quite fast and was already searching for the HLS Vanguard. As it finally made visual contact and the three-man crew identified the ship, the aircraft turned away again, as the Nakajima C6N Saiun had done its job. It now tried to stay at distance and be inconspicious, while trailing the battleship and reporting back to its carrier, the Aso.

Although some months prior, this occurance would have meant that a land-based air attack was imbound, no further aircraft could be spotted. Only once the HLS Vanguard entered Tokyo Bay, the still grounded aircraft onboard the two carriers present, Katsuragi and Kasagi, would come into view, as would the last operational battleship of Japan, the Nagato. By now though, the British ship had been informed of them being welcome and thus, although Nagato was barely in any condition to fight, visibly damaged still from the war, at least a gun salute was given to the British flagship carrying their leader.

Watching from the shores, surrounded by a small, but growing crowd of curious locals, a small welcoming committee had taken position to greet the guests.
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Re: Next Stop Japan

Post by Luxa on Thu Aug 04, 2016 2:02 am

Snow was impressed by the display shown by the Japanese. Though damaged the Nagato had earned the begrudging respect of many British sailors for the fight that it had put up in defending the Japanese Home Islands. Once docked he would descend to meet with the welcoming committee. He was glad to see Japan recovering from the war. No country deserved to be absolutely destroyed.
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Re: Next Stop Japan

Post by Kasumi on Thu Aug 04, 2016 12:27 pm

Mamoru Shigemitsu watched the arrival of the HLS Vanguard with somewhat mixed feelings. It had been quite fast that the British were seeking rapproachment with Japan, even considering the collapse of their American allies. Given the loss of British colonies in Asia, something Japan had no minor part in, the risk of conflict with Britain had drastically decreased, but so would have incentives to seek accommodation, as neither side was really threatened by the other.

Not that Shigemitsu was against rapproachment with the British. In general, he had favoured such, but circumstances... seemed less than ideal. After years of failed diplomacy and an all-out war, it seemed like it came a decade too late. And now, both Britain and Japan had seen a decline of their Empires and were ruled by regimes which were nebulous and hard to grasp what intentions they might have. Shigemitsu did not even trust his own government, nor did that government trust him, it seemed, as he glanced over to his new secretary. Although somewhat unconspicious, except for there being few women in the ministry, the young secretary in her simple kimono and hakama, as well as a western-style hat was not just there for stenographing the exchanges, but the intelligence officer was there to keep an eye on the meeting and those notes could be added to the records on Shigemitsu that most likely existed.

In this country, trust was a luxury few could afford, it seemed. Not in politics. Decades of military-civil feud, inter-branch rivalries and political turmoil, they now were continuing their squabbles over the ashes, as behind them, Tokyo stood in all its devastation.

As Snow landed, Shigemitsu however smiled faintly and politely greeted the British in English. "Good Day, Sirs. I hope the journey was not too long. We are pleased to have you meet our country, despite the circumstances."
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Re: Next Stop Japan

Post by Luxa on Thu Aug 04, 2016 4:20 pm

"It has not been too long indeed. Thankfully we stop relatively often enough for me to get off the ship and stretch my legs. As for the circumstances they are certainly better than what I had faced several months ago. The fact that this meeting is even happening is an example of that." He coughed. "I apologize. I still haven't recovered fully from the war. I would not recommend poison as a late night drink."
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Re: Next Stop Japan

Post by Kasumi on Fri Aug 05, 2016 1:14 pm

"Well, we are certainly grateful of your willingness to work with us to improve relations in these dire times.", Shigemitsu stated, before leading the British to a nearby convoy of black cars provided by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Along the way, the streets were flanked by police, armed with Type 38 carbines, keeping an eye on the crowd, so as to prevent any acts of terrorism.

As they drove along the streets, Shigemtsu noted. "The meeting will be held at the Imperial Palace, given it is one of the few mostly undamaged structures we have. Sadly, I cannot arrange for a meeting with the Emperor, as His Majesty is currently restricted in his movements due to safety concerns. We are very sorry for that. How is Britain doing these days?"
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Re: Next Stop Japan

Post by Luxa on Fri Aug 05, 2016 2:36 pm

"Britain is doing, alright. We are still rebuilding London from the bombing raids made by the Germans. Other than that we are busy rebuilding the Navy. It's far from it's glory days and many people back home wish to see it restored."
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Re: Next Stop Japan

Post by Kasumi on Fri Aug 05, 2016 11:30 pm

"As far as we are aware, the British Navy already is second to none. Is there a reason to make further investments at this time?", Shigemitsu asked carefully.
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Re: Next Stop Japan

Post by Luxa on Sat Aug 06, 2016 1:09 am

"I'm under pressure from the First Sea Lord to increase Naval Funding. The people are of the opinion that the British Navy can't defend our far reaching territories in the Atlantic. Personally I've had enough war for a lifetime but I do need to maintain support among the people."
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Re: Next Stop Japan

Post by Kasumi on Sun Aug 07, 2016 12:04 am

Shigemitsu nodded solemnly. "Well, I must warn you though. Our country has not made good experiences with appeasing the military for the sake of political survival. There are many dangers on that path and it would be a pity if Britain were to repeat our mistakes. Nevertheless, our country can certainly understand the need for naval improvement, as there are some debates on what plans to follow for our own naval forces in the future. As we lost many ships during the war, we do have our shortfalls."
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Re: Next Stop Japan

Post by Luxa on Sun Aug 07, 2016 4:54 pm

"Your advice in that realm is appreciated. Is there anything Britain can do to help? I would like to see Japan back on it's feet. You are currently the only stable actor in Asia and it would be nice to see you on your way to recovering from the war."
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Re: Next Stop Japan

Post by Kasumi on Mon Aug 08, 2016 3:04 am

"As long as our internal affairs stay orderly, I'm sure our nation will manage. Japan has seen many bad days, yet it has always been able to return stronger than before. I too hope Britain will manage to rebuild.", Shigemitsu stated with a kind nod, as the car finally arrived at the palace.

The gate to the large palace gardens was open, flanked by two soldiers from the Imperial Guard. In the distance, the roofs of the keep and the palace buildings was visible, once standing proud and majestically, now burned remnants, like most of Tokyo, which was covered in rubble from bombing raids. Hundreds of thousands had found their end in the fire bombing campaigns of the past years, which had laid waste to individual livelihoods and the general economy.

Shigemitsu and secretary guided the British to the Suwa no Chaya, a teahouse in the East Gardens, which had mostly escaped being incinerated, as it was a more free-standing structure with little value. Given there was not much else left, it had been decided to hold the meeting proper there.

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Re: Next Stop Japan

Post by Luxa on Mon Aug 08, 2016 5:24 am

"It's scenes like this which really make me regret the war," Snow said. He looked around and took in the scenery. "However I am sure that Japan can come back and grow more beautiful than it was before." He sighed. "I wish that we could have ended the fighting several years ago instead of several months. So much destruction could have been prevented."
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Re: Next Stop Japan

Post by Kasumi on Mon Aug 08, 2016 3:09 pm

"Well, what's happened happened. Sho ga nai.", Shigemitsu responded. "Do you want some tea?"

Before Shigemitsu could continue, the secretary silently handed him a note, which he silently read, before frowning slightly. "So, Mister Snow, what is the interest of the British in East Asia? Especially now that the British Empire no longer controls any key posessions in the area. Given that Japan is economically quite devastated, I do not think that there is much to discuss economically and we couldn't ask for rebuilding assistence, when Britain herself is not in the greatest shape either."
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Re: Next Stop Japan

Post by Luxa on Mon Aug 08, 2016 3:47 pm

"The Empire wishes to mend the relationships of the past. While we no longer hold territory here and while both of our peoples were hit hard by bombing campaigns I know that in the future we will both recover. As such I feel that now is the imperative time to begin a path towards possible friendship of the future. I want a new friendship with Japan, a friendship that will help prevent a war on the scale and devastation of the last from happening again."
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Re: Next Stop Japan

Post by Kasumi on Mon Aug 08, 2016 4:08 pm

"Such... can certainly be done. And I'm sure there may be things in the future where we can work together. On that note, our government is currently somewhat concerned about the general situation of Russia, which seems to have collapsed. As this is an issue, which I think may concern you as well, given the dimension of Russia or the USSR, it may be good to keep an eye on developments together."

As Shigemitsu talked, the secretary handed Snow a cup of tea.
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Re: Next Stop Japan

Post by Luxa on Mon Aug 08, 2016 4:54 pm

Snow would nod his thanks and take a small sip before speaking. "We are concerned about Russia as well. While we were former allies it was only of convenience. I am no fan of the Soviets. I would be more than willing to work with Japan on keeping an eye on Russia."
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Re: Next Stop Japan

Post by Kasumi on Mon Aug 08, 2016 6:28 pm

"We see no reason to needlessly antagonise Russia, but by no means do we trust them. As it is Russia does not pose a severe threat to either of us and we'd hope that we can both keep it that way, which would be best assured, by making sure Russia does not acquire the naval means of threatening our islands. Here, it would be good to keep a common stand and prevent naval technology from falling into the wrong hands.", Shigemitsu stated, with a note that he did not feel too pleasant about his words. "The Empire already has secured the Northern half of Sakhalin, to prevent a spread of instability and I do inform you, that if necessary, there may be further measures. There is no intention of waging war, especially with the current situation we are in, but should the situation deteriorate to the point where action is inevitable... we better see to it that it least affects our people."
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Re: Next Stop Japan

Post by Luxa on Mon Aug 08, 2016 7:02 pm

"Of course, needless antagonisation will only lead to conflict. Now about the naval technology, would Japan be interested in a joint naval research? We both have a long sea faring history and have probably learned from experiences during the war."
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Re: Next Stop Japan

Post by Kasumi on Mon Aug 08, 2016 7:17 pm

Shigemitsu looked slightly surprised. "I'm not a Navy man, so I cannot answer your question right away, but if you have any offers, I'll forward them to the Naval Staff."
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Re: Next Stop Japan

Post by Luxa on Mon Aug 08, 2016 7:33 pm

"Of course. Now other than those few things I don't have much of pressing importance. All that I really have is wishing for peace and friendship. I do wish Japan the best of luck in rebuilding."
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Re: Next Stop Japan

Post by Kasumi on Mon Aug 08, 2016 8:19 pm

"Well, I think that this is already a good first step and hopefull, relations can be normalised over time." Shigemitsu responded with a smile again. "I also have nothing to add. So, I guess we can leave it at that and I'll forward any proposals to our navy. We'll respond most likely via our next ambassador in London."
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