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An Invitation to Dai-Tōhoku


iKrolm
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Encrypted to Dai-Tōhoku:

Dear Mr. Nakamichi Minoru,

On behalf of Selenarctos, I once again congratulate your government on achieving independence. It has been too long since Japan, even a portion of it, has demonstrated the resolve to independently rule itself. In the spirit of fostering positive relations, I humbly invite you to join me in Manila to discuss the formalization of trade relations between our two nations.

Sincerely,
-President Hygin Romero
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Encrypted Reply

 

Mr. Romero,

 

Thank you for your kind words and gladly I will visit Manila once I return from the Americas. The relations between nations in Asia are important and we would hope that a fruitful relation can be established between our countries.

 

With regards,

Nakamichi Minoru

Minister of Foreign Affairs

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The Foreign Minister's approach to Selenarctos carried him first over the islands of the Outer Territories, the regions' relatively low levels of industrialization left the landscape a pictureque contrast of green tropical jungles, blue waters and intermixed towns and farmland. Such scenery would not produce an economy the size of Selenarctos' however, and the view changed dramatically as the plane entered Greater Manila. Here the countryside and wilderness had long ago surrendered to progress, with industrial and commercial projects growing in number and size until the all seemed to merge together and Manila proper began.

A sprawling mess of intermingled housing projects and industrial developments marked the outskirts of the city, apartments and factories alike the product of two decades' research into highly automated manufacturing that boosted the country's GDP to the detriment of unskilled labor and the environment around them. The sky darkened and greyed as the plane descended into Manila's smog but more of the city had yet to be revealed. Commercial buildings replaced the industrial complexes as the plane flew onward, the buildings around them growing taller with alarming speed before a slight course correction brought the heart of Manila into view. Here the monolithic, hyper-modern polymer buildings of the new Manila stretched high into the sky as monuments to Selenarctos' engineering and technological ability.

Then the plane landed, taxing past rows of planes carrying people and goods from around the world as Ninoy Aquino International Airport's automated flight management software bypassed the queues to bring the Foreign Minister to NAIA's diplomatic receiving terminal, and stylistically mild affair largely unchanged in the years since Selenarctos' founding despite many expansions to the airport.

Inside the terminal an honor guard from the 16th Mechanized Division presented arms to mark the minister's arrival, the Sergeant of the guard snapping a polished Kampilan sword into a salute, the twin pings singing through the air as it swung. Dr. Odon Zelaya, Secretary of the Economy to President Hygin Romero and who had once again been selected for the honor of welcoming committee, stepped forward to greet Mr. Minoru. "Good day and welcome to Selenarctos," Dr. Zelaya offered and handshake and half bow in the culturally mixed greeting common to Selenarctos, then presented himself and the Foreign Minister for a photo op to the anxious journalists and photographers behind the honor guard. "I hope your flight was not too arduous?"

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Minister Nakamichi had already been to quite a few places, among them the metropoleis of Tokyo and Beijing, which seemed to do rather well within the Tianxian Empire. However he was astonished everytime again when he entered such large agglomerations, which, despite being the product of mass production and having been influenced by globalisation and mass culture, seemed to keep a certain individuality. And so even Manila gave Nakamichi a new impression of what a metropolis could be like, surrounded by industrial parks and lush rainforests, inmidst the archipelago that was the Philippines. And given with Sendai Dai-Tōhoku's largest town was just over a million people, altough many people thought of Japan as an island filled with megacities, the Federation was a rather rural place in comparison.

 

The minister would reciprocate handshake and a polite bow, not too different from his own japanese customs. "Greetings." After having the photo of the the handshake taken, he would continue. "It was fine. I got to see this city from above, which alone is impressive enough to be worth the flight. Thanks for having me."

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"Ah, I'm glad you enjoyed the view because there's yet more to see. The President will meet us in the Capital Building; please, right this way," Dr. Zelaya directed the Minister past the photographers and escorted him through the terminal. Presidential Security staff kept the press a polite distance behind them as the two officials walked a short ways through the terminal, then up a flight of stairs leading to the roof. A pair of glass doors opened outward as they approached onto the terminal's helipad where a trio of Blackhawk helicopters awaited. Dr. Zeleaya leaned in to the Minister to be heard over the sound of a plane taking off in the distance. "A plane is just one of the ways to see the city."

A stiff breeze carried them out of the terminal's positive pressure into the humid Manila air-- only partially allieved by the cool, filtered air passed up through bracks in the halipad walkway beneath them. Smog was not particularly bad today, but it could still come as a surprise to foreigners not expecting the quite-visible air pollution in a city of Manila's wealth. The Minster and Dr. Zelaya were handed wireless noise-blocking headsets as they entered the helicopter by another member of the Presidential Security Team, fully geared in the Standard Combat Uniform, his pulse rifle slung across his stomach and a standard-issue gas mask hanging from his belt. The helicopter's door slid closed, sealing as they shut and the chopper's own air conditioning and filtration system soon had the small space back to a comfortable temperature and healthy particulate level. Similarly equipped Presidential Security staff occupied the other two helicopters, but the Minister, Zelaya, the copilot and pilot were the only people in theirs. And the utilitiarian bench seats had been replaced with ones that offered a little more comfort to their civilian buttocks'.

Then they were off, the helicopters chopping their way over the airport and into the city. Against a background of planes taking off and landing a handful of private helicopters were present at the busy airport, their pilots slowly and carefully climbing until they reached a conservative altitude above the intervening buildings to set off on their way. Zelaya's pilots were not civilians and they set off on a beeline for the towering skyscrapers of Manila's central downtown district determined subtly, if safely, impress the visiting Prime Minister. In a tight line, one chopper to the front and one to the rear, they threaded their way through the sealed polymer skyscrapers high above the streets below them where pedestrians threaded their way through an endless of gridlocked cars and mopeds, and the tops of the buildings stretched even higher.

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Through the city they flew until suddenly the onrush of towers was broken, the air around them opened up and, looking down, the buildings below had suddenly transformed into a modest affair from a century ago. The helicopters descended slowly towards the green lawn of one building in particular, it's green domed roof and colonial stonework architecture marking it as the Capitol Building of Selenarctos. The chopper's doors slid open as the helicopters touched down softly on the grass, the lawn itself surrounded on the edges by manicutred hedges and trees that masked the wall behind that truly protected them from the streets beyond but not even the most aspiring landscaper could hide the towers in the sky at this distance.

More Presidential Security Team members awaited their arrival, ushering the Minister and Dr. Zelaya forwards towards the entrance of the Capital Building. Inside, past a security checkpoint that between the domed ceiling and polished stone floor waited President Hygin Romero. "Welcome Minister Nakamichi, thank you for taking the time to join me today," he greeted them.

29_philip_salvador.jpg
President Hygin Romero

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When flying over Manila, Nakamichi felt impressed by the many towering scyscrappers, the millions of people and the clear atmospheric proof of industrial activity. However, he could not help feel a bit unsettled by the scenery that was altogether different from his hometown. The urbanisation did stress him a bit and while industrialisation was a good thing, he preferred the scenic mountains and forests of Nagano. But of course, he would not state such unpolite opinions to his hosts, and once they landed at the capital building, it was at least somewhat better.

 

"I rather thank you for having me, Mister President. I hope all is well in Selenarctos. I got to see a glimpse of this country and its strong industrial potential already on the way here."

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"Thank you Minister; we have worked very hard to build Manila into the city she is today, and not without costs nor is the hard work done yet, but I am a firm believer that the results should speak for themselves and in Manila, I think they do.

"But standing in this hall is no way to carry on a conversation. Please, come this way," President Romero led Nakamichi across the echoing marble floor though a pair of heavy wooden doors into the Presidential Office: a light and airy affair decorated in classical fashion with ornate--but comfortable-- wooden furniture and large windows that opened onto a patio, beyond which the presidential garden was as beautifully manicured as ever. Even in this setting the influence of technology hardly absent, merely more subtle as the ceiling appeared to emit an even sun-toned glow without any distinct lights, and the surface of the president's desk was illuminated with a display screen indistinguishable from the wood around it when turned off.

"Please, make yourself comfortable. Would like anything? Tea or coffee or something to eat perhaps? The kitchen staff is amazing, a product of my predecessor the late President Diokno, and no matter how many times I tell them I am satisfied with a simple Pares stew, they insist on something more elaborate. Such is the life of President, I suppose: in charge of the country but not my own kitchen.”

Hygin Romero settled down to business after food and/or drinks arrived. “I asked for a meeting with Dai-Tōhoku, in part to formalize trade relations, but also to meet Selenarctos’ newest neighbor. Japan has been a part of Tianxia for quite a few years now and Dai-Tōhoku’s independence is a relatively new development. Perhaps you can provide a first hand account of Dai-Tōhoku’s political structure and the leadership’s goals for the future?”

Edited by iKrolm
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"Well, better this way than the other way round. And if the food's still good, it is not a bad deal.", Nakamichi would remark on the 'rebellious' chef, as he heard of the President's laments.

 

After visibly taking a look around the Presidential office, the least he could do to politely honour his host's sense for aesthetics and the efforts of Selenarctos to present itself well, the minister would answer the request. "Indeed, Dai-Tōhoku, despite the age of Japanese civilisation, is a rather young creation, that may have come rather unexpected. But I guess, also because we Japanese have a long history, we have sought home rule. Which brings me to the political system of our country. I would say, the Dai-Tōhoku Renpō, as it is called in full, is a rather independent state, even if some make us out as a Tianxian tributary. And it may look like this a lot, given the much stronger international standing of the well-established Empire of Tianxia, compared to our newborn state, which still has a long way to go to reach such heights, if that'd ever be the case. But to us, our country is not subservient to Tianxia and it is not of lower rank. Rather, we see Tianxia and Dai-Tōhoku both as equal members of the Imperial Commonwealth, sharing historic ties and a personal union of our heads of state. In this sense, the bonds we have with Tianxia stem not from a lack of sovereignity, but rather from our shared respect of each other and our shared loyalty to the Emperor." Nakamichi would pause for a moment, take a breath and wait till the words had sunk in for a bit, before continuing.

 

"In that sense, it cannot be denied that it is an ambition of ours to be acknowledged as a sovereign country and to establish for ourselves a reputation and international standing that allows us to be seen as a more equal part of the Commonwealth. We do not think it easy, given large parts of Japan itself even, are outside of our country, remaining with Tianxia, which sadly shows that even within Japan there seems to be a certain reservation towards our independence, but as the current governor-general and leader of the home rule movement already said once, with effort we can create confidence and with time the rest of Japan will rally behind us. But only if we respect that it needs time to build up trust, can we expect that people will respect Dai-Tōhoku. And it is a basic principle of the democratic system which we adhere to.

 

In regards to the foreseeable future though, our ambitions mostly are establishment of ties, of trade and securing the continued safety of the Japanese people. And while it may sound modest, this alone already is not an easy objective. As a President of such an old nation, compared to most regimes these days, you surely know what efforts are required, just alone to preserve the well-being of one's citizens..."

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  • 4 weeks later...

OOC: Appologies for the delay, life because busy and I almost forgot about this thread.
IC:

"Lofty goals, but ones I believe Selenarctos can appreciate and support. You suggest building trade ties, and I agree that they are an excellent way to build a relationship. Might I propose a trade and non-aggression agreement with clauses to reduce tariffs, open water ways and speed the flow of people and ideas between Japan and Selenarctos?"

Edited by iKrolm
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OOC: No issue. We are all busy around this time of the year.

 

IC:

 

"I would think that such agreements can be made without problems. The peace in the Pacific is something our nation values and I can only see it being strengthened by a non-aggression pact and peaceful civil cooperation.", Nakamichi would answer smilingly.

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