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Evangeline Anovilis
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The NHK (Nippon Hōsō Kyōkai/Japan Broadcasting Corporation) is the national broadcasting service of Japan. Owing various TV channels and radio networks, the NHK is available almost everywhere in Japan, but also has is available to international audiences via the NHK World channel, in both Japanese and English.

 

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Prime Minister Nakamichi announces nation-wide elections for the Diet

 

With Japan united in one nation state again, Nakamichi Minoru, having assumed the position of Interim Prime Minister has announced elections. While according to the inherited structures from the Dai-Tōhoku Renpō the Nakamichi would still have two years in his current term, the Prime Minister followed the advice of Governor-General Konoe and large parts of the old Diet to announce elections to preserve the democratic quality of the coming years, as the three quarters of the Japanese people outside the Northern regions have not been able to vote on the current government.

 

The elections are expected to take place within two weeks.

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Second cabinet Nakamichi takes office

 

Today, Prime Minister Nakamichi has presented his new cabinet. As a center-right/right coalition of Hoshutō and Shimpotō, it combines much of the moderate right-wing forces of Japan. The cooperation between the two parties is unsurprising, given that both are ideologically close, with the Shimpotō historically being a splinter of the Hoshutō. Additionally, both parties already cooperated in Nakamichi's last term in Dai-Tōhoku.

 

As major programmatic points, the prime minister has announced the transformation of Japan into a strong country. Citing the motto for the next term to be the old Meiji era phrase "Fukoku Kyohei", the new cabinet wants to finally tackle internal problems of Japanese society, strengthen the Japanese economy and build up a military that is able to compete with major rivals of the Empire. To this end, it is interesting to note, that the Fleet Agency has been promoted to a full ministry, headed by the old grand fleet proponent Date.

 

Prime Minister: Nakamichi Minoru (CP)

Deputy Prime Minister: Matsushiro Ken (PP)

Minister of Internal Affairs and Telecommunications: Higashiyama Subaru (CP)

Minister of Justice: Matsushiro Ken (PP)

Minister of Foreign Affairs: Nakamichi Minoru (CP)

Minister of Finance: Kato Akira (CP)

Minister of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology: Tamura Junroku (PP)

Minister of Health, Labour and Wellfare: Tada Hiro (CP)

Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries: Soga Keijiro (CP)

Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry: Amahara Yukino (CP)

Minister of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism: Katsura Asami (CP)

Minister of the Environment: Hata Kanehito (PP)

Minister of Defense: Fukishi Daisuke (CP)

Minister of the Fleet: Date Seiranko (CP)

 

High Commissioner of Minami-Kechua: Kuroda Kojirō (Independent-Army)

 

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Imperial forces achieve a decisive victory in South America

 

Today, the first soldiers of the South American war have returned to Japan in the form of the Karafuto-gun. Welcomed by the euphoric cheers of many Japanese, these soldiers have fought for weeks against a foe of the Empire. But through their bravery, endurance and sacrifice, the Imperial will has triumphed.

 

About three months ago, the Imperio Republica, emboldened by a wave of international anti-Imperial sentiment, headed by noone other than the Athenian Federation, has declared war upon the Empire of Tianxia, in an attempt to force the Emperor into accepting their completely unreasonable claim to the entirety of South America. Without much hesitation, the numerically inferior armies of Dai-Tōhoku have taken the offensive and beaten back the greedy fascist hordes. After heading from victory to victory in an aggressive campaign to subdue the enemy, yesterday in the morning hours, our forces received a notice of unconditional surrender by the Republica forces.

 

The whole of Nippon is proud of its glorious soldiers that traded their efforts and partly their lives for a better world.

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New Face in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs

 

In a surprising turn of events, Prime Minister Nakamichi has resigned from his duty as Minister of Foreign Affairs and has given the position to a member of his coalition partner. Altough many suspected he would lay down the office once Prime Minister, for over two years now, Nakamichi has held both position simultanously. The reason for this sudden change in his cabinet are still a matter much of speculation.

 

While Nakamichi stays as Prime Minister, the role of Minister of Foreign Affairs will in the future be up to Akechi Mitsuki. A native of Shirakawa, Gifu Prefecture, Akechi is one of the first non-Northern ministers of Japan and it is said that her personal influence in the regional politics of the Chūbu region is considerable. However, apart from her origin, Akechi has much in common with the conservative cause and she herself stated that she is looking forward to working with other ministers of the cabinet, especially Date.

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The Fourth Naval Bill - An Eight-Eight Fleet?

 

At least that it would be, if the Fourth Naval Bill really passed. According to the content of the new law, the fleet is to be expended by over a hundred ships, of which at least six will be battlecruisers and another six will be battleships, allowing for the possibility of reaching an age-old objective. Drawn up by Fleet Minister Date, the ambitious project is both an asset for national security and a prestigious accomplishment for Japan, as it "finally will command a fleet that is worthy of standing in the Japanese naval tradition."

 

The grand fleet however also adresses more than mere prestige. As the Empire grows, it finds itself less and less capable of administering the far flung collection of territories, which has caused concerns that during the time the fleet stays at one base, other colonies or even the Home Islands might be open to surprise attacks by forces hostile to the Empire or Japan.

 

One question that remains, however, is the exact design of the ships in question. While it is universally regarded as necessary to improve the battleships-to-be over the almost finished Project 01-class battleships that will most likely finish within the coming year, there exists a local minority, arguing for the construction of at least two ships larger than the rest, to make up for the initial weakness of Project 01.

 

Comparatively little discussion however happened on the matter of naval aviation, where the construction of eight new carriers of various sizes has been approved without greater issue. According to the plan, the nation is thus planning to construct at least three classes of additional carriers, half the new flotilla being larger than the Soryū-class in service.

 

The overall price tag of ¥21,400,000,000,000 for all planned naval additions "says quite a lot about the foreign policy of certain people in power", Yannasagi Makoto, long-standing head of the Jiyūtō and respected senior member of the opposition notes. The sum is equates about four percent of the annual gross domestic product.

Edited by Evangeline Anovilis
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Toyohara, Karafuto Prefecture

 

Nakamichi administration wants to continue developing the North

 

As part of a push for initiatives to tackle the structural issues of Japanese society and economy, Prime Minister Nakamichi has today announced a first measure in the form of extending the Northern Action Plan. The NAP, having been started already before Japan's complete independence, has been a great effort to improve the northern economy. Altough with reunification, the plan is no longer essential for overall prosperity, Prime Minister Nakamichi has pledged to not only continue the program, but to even extent it. Trough establishing infrastructure, improving connectivity with the South and adding certain financial incentives through subsidies and tax cuts, Nakamichi wants to prevent the "wholesale degradation and impoverishment of a whole region".

 

Also geographically, regions formerly deemed too peripheric, like Karafuto, but also the Northern Territories, have now been included. Altough their main economy lies in ressource extraction, the government in Tokyo plans to revitalise these traditional parts of the Empire through improvements to efficiency and by establishing a local industry of ressource processing. New people from Honshu are envisioned to resettle north and to boost population.

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Nakamichi declares State of Emergency, Government prepares help for affected Japanese

 

After the two confirmed nuclear explosions in neighbouring Russia, Prime Minister Nakamichi has declared a State of Emergency for Japan, as fallout might get blown towards the main islands. To avoid exposure to radiation, all citizens have been advised to stay inside and to follow instructions provided via radio and television. Iodine pills are being handed out to the population, just to make sure people are prepared as well as possible. Do not panic. Keep calm and carry on with checking on your preparations.

 

Meanwhile, it has also been decided that, as insurance companies refuse to pay for the damage, the government give affected Japanese, Ainu and Karafuto Koreans at least some financial assistance. While not covering all expenses, Prime Minister Nakamichi has promised to at least provide enough to carry on living.

 

For the time being, the Russo-Japanese border has been sealed, to prevent unwanted refugees. All Russian citizens wanting to enter Japan will be required to request a special visa in Wakkanai, Hokkaido.

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  • 2 weeks later...

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Harbour facilities in Prince Rupert, Albertan Dominion

 

Crisis in Western Canada

 

After an internal crisis of the Albertan Dominion prompted the Japanese state to intervene and secure order, today the American commonwealth has summoned the ambassador in Washington, Kisakinomiya Chifuyu to the White House. But not without mobilising considerable amounts of its military forces, which are now engaged in a stand-off with the Nihongun. Veterans of the South American war might feel a bit of a deja vu, however this time, Japan is acting without the backing of Tianxia, in securing what Prime Minister Nakamichi lines out as the protection of a people friendly towards Japan and a valuable trade partner.

 

For years prior to this incident, the Fuso company, a partnership between the Japanese state and private investors, has operated in the regions, to promote the export of ressources from Western Canada to Asia, helping the regional economy and providing employment. Especially in the northern regions of Japan, investors now fear for the losses that might be incurred by a closing of the Fuso Company, which had boosted northern manufacturing and was a source of pride, even for Prime Minister Nakamichi himself. Given that this constitutes now already the second time forces of the American Commonwealth and Japan are clashing over territorial matters, this time with considerably more at stake, many wonder whether consequences will be as light as the first time.

 

The Imperial court, without showing any clear favour for one particular side, has called upon both parties to search for a diplomatic resolution. The result of which is still not out, though of course we will report on it once nore is known.

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Protests in Tokyo - Nakamichi resigns

 

After Minister of Foreign Affairs Akechi Mitsuki's short press conference regarding the Alberta incident had sparked minor protests in front of the Diet, Prime Minister Nakamichi has today announced his resignation as head of the Japanese government, stating that he had to take responsibility for the harsh blow Japan had to suffer in North America. Having been one of Japan's most charismatic politicians according to polls, many believe that his resignation will not come without issues for the Hoshutō/Shimpotō coalition that carried his cabinet and which now is without leader.

 

Protests in front of the Diet, numbering in the hundreds of protesters, have clearly shown the level of discontent amongst the Japanese people, who feel their government handled the affair in a crude manner and lost Japanese prestige abroad, but also against the American Commonwealth, following Minister Akechi's statement that the Commonwealth once again threatened the use of massive force against the Japanese nation. Some, like young student K. Ichiro are supportive of the Japanese course of action, stating "I don't think Nakamichi did anything fundamentally wrong. If there was one issue, then it is that we did not stand up to the challenge. It was a great loss of face and has shown the sorry state of our forces." Further down the protesters camp, the NHK spotted a small group of what seems to be apparant sympathisers of the Minister of Foreign Affairs, holding up a sign "Ganbatte, Mitsuki-chan!" The curious group, a rather small minority, attracted suspicious looks from by-standers when we asked them for their motives, which was merely answered with "I don't know. There was this guy with that sign reading 'Mitsuki-chan, don't be so tsun.', which we thought was rather funny. I mean, it's kind of sad how she handled our Foreign Affairs and one wonders whether the coalition has truely no better people than some backwards stern girl without any sense of humour that can be seen. I mean, just look at the recordings... she never laughs and at times she wears a hakama. In diet sessions. Makes her cute, as a girl. But as a minister..."

 

The feelings in Japan are mixed, it seems, and should the coalition fall, who knows what will happen.

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The Formation of the Kokumin Hoshutō

 

After Prime Minister Nakamichi resigned from his post last week, many expected a break-up of the Hoshutō/Shimpotō coalition, however, it seems that for all it's worth, both parties have not merely upheld cooperation, but have went one step further. In a move to most likely secure their hold on the country, the conservative forces of both parties have joined forces as the so-called Kokumin Hoshutō (National Conservative Party) under the new leadership of Tachibana Rika. Tachibana, formerly having served as mayor of Niigata and up to now a rather unknown politician has been called a rather unusual choice for a party with such high profile and many wonder what prompted this move.

 

The party and their new candidate for Prime Minister have, after the most recent defeat of Japanese diplomacy in North America, called for a softer and more balanced approach to foreign policy, with a more pronounced restructuring of interior policies to strengthen Japan at its core, instead of the foreign-policy driven Nakamichi administration. Nevertheless, Tachibana reassured that the Japanese Empire would stand behind its allies and that overall the objectve of a Japan as great power in the Pacific was still an objective of the Kokumin Hoshutō.

 

Also, as an unusual move, Tachibana announced re-elections, stating that despite the party holding a majority in the Diet, a policy of national reconstruction would need a clear approval through popular plebiscite.

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Two of the country's new F-3 fighter aircraft

 

Defence budget jumps to record high

 

Following announcements made by the North Americans to deploy more forces to the Pacific and calls for an increase of their defence spending, it seems that Japan now responds. Prime Minister Tachibana today stated that the defence spending be increased further, in an effort to bolster the strength of the up to now comparably rather small Nihongun. While no remarks were made on North America by the Prime Minister, to most Japanese it is rather clear what Japan is arming against. After the F-3, Japan's newest fighter aircraft took to the skies last week, the mere mention of strategic bombers at the American west coast has led to debate in the National Diet to increase the number of ordered F-3 fighters from 120 to 180, in order to be rather safe than sorry. Prime Minister Tachibana exclaimed that Japan would seek peace and stability in the Pacific, however it would not let the country fall back any further behind regional and international adversaries that could aim to harm the Japanese nation.

 

Especially amongst the elderly, those old enough recall the days of the Great Pacific War. Back then, already once the Americans committed to a terror bombing campaign against Japanese cities, razing many of them, most prominently Tokyo. Back then, the lack of effective Japanese air defences cost hundreds of thousands their very lives and millions lost their homes in the flames of American firebombing.

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Behaving like solid stone... the wrong way

 

Japan Exchange Group plans for recovery

 

With stagnation in the Trans-Pacific Partnership Talks, a diplomatic meltdown with North America and Japanese prestige shattered, the Tokyo Stock Exhange (TSE), once Asia's largest and a solid foundation of Japanese economic growth, has been declining at record rates for the past years. Now, the Japan Exchange Group, operator of Japan's two large stock exchanges in Tokyo and Osaka, has announced that it will change its ways radically, to allow for a recovery of lost ground, instead of having the TSE "sink like a concrete bloc", as CEO Umeji Nabehiro put it.

 

While Umeji can call only upon politics to solve the largest roadblocks, such as a sharp decline in Trans-Pacific trade within the last half year, he sees potential for the Japanese stock exchanges to take measures themselves to allow for more trade with abroad. "There are many strict regulations, which discourage foreign investors from trading papers in Japan. Whoever wants to have their business listed here, has to go through a mountain of forms and translations, which is not worth the effort to many.", he explains. According to the new policies, this will change. CEO Umeji wants to establish a more deregulated market, with a more customer-friendly policy. For example, the extensive translation work might soon be left to the Stock Exchange itself, with the requirement for informations to be provided only in Japanese, to be provided also in Mandarin, for more convenient trade within the Commonwealth.

 

But Umeji does not just eye foreign investment, he also calls for a less strict policy of listing domestic comanies. In the past, the TSE gave great care to encourage investment into stable business with little to no risk. "While we do not say that our customers throw out their money, Japan's largest businesses have enough money to make it. It is small up and coming entrepeneurs who need the stock exchange to provide the necessary capital. If noone invests there, we are strangling our future economic potential as a naton.", Umeji states. And indeed, while the economy saw some growth in the last few years, this mostly can be seen in the nation's largest business groups, while small and medium enterprises struggle to make ends meet.

 

However, while the stock exchange has seen certain decline, there is one branch which has seen a rise. Trading of mining products, especially iron, but also lithium from Minami-Kechua has turned into one of the major businesses in Tokyo, with potential that maybe soon, the nation might become a new hub for trade with at least South America.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Naval incident off Chishima embarasses new destroyer

 

In a tragic accident last night, destroyer Okikaze of the new, highly appraised Shiokaze-class, had capsized in stormy weather. The Nihon Kaigun had lost contact with destroyer Okikaze at 4.55 pm, shortly after ordering her back to port, due to bad weather. Originally the ship was due to conduct a patrol near the Chishima islands, islands of Tianxia which however are part of the extented home perimeter of islands which are of strategic importance to the security of the home islands and thus also are the Nihongun's responsibility to protect. Thanks to the rapid response of the two destroyer escorts Kuwa and Omi, who were in the area, Okikaze's crew was retrieved without fatalities. Okikaze herself was floating upside-down for half a day, before emergency measures started to refloat her. It is expected that after a damage assessment, she might be repaired and returned to active duty.

 

However, the incident has opened up a can of worms, as the Okikaze incident does not speak well of the design of the Shiokaze-class, which has been in service for a couple weeks now and had been praised as a great asset of the naval forces by the Ministry of the Fleet, despite much criticism for her lack of capabilities and frequent reports of cost overruns. Naval architects are highly critical that the incident might have proven a fatal flaw in the overall design of the ship, which could be of great importance, given there are still seven destroyers of the class in active service. The Nihon Kaigun has created a board to investigate the case of Okikaze, meanwhile the other destroyers of the Shiokaze-class have been ordered to stay in port.

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Japanese women do not have it easy

 

Prime Minister Tachibana looking for women-friendly labour market

 

Trying herself where Nakamichi's administration failed, that is how Tachibana seems to portray herself, when she announces her intention to improve conditions for women in employment. While her predecessor was criticised for an utter lack of social reform, Tachibana sees the traditionally for women rather inflexible labour market as one of the main concerns for the nation's economy.

 

It has been a long-standing issue, which had hardly been resolved in the past. For women, a career often ended once they got pregnant, when they had to give up their employment to devote themselves to their offspring. With little to no support by their workplace, it is impossible to reconcile the duties of an employee and a mother. After the child comes of age, they will face harsh competition for reentry into the labour force. Many young women would thus be facing a rather harsh decision between giving priority to career or to family.

 

While traditional values in the past have emphasised a woman's role as the one looking after the house and children, the old model comes increasingly under scrutiny. Not just due to its traditional role models that may no longer fit into todays day and age, but also because the increasing difficulty of families to sustain themselves through one person's earnings lead to less incentive for young couples to have more than one child. some say, the revision of women's role in Japanese society might be one essential step necessary to address declining birth rates and the associated aging of the society.

 

But there also is an economic incentive of keeping women on the labour market. On average highly educated, young Japanese women dropping out of work due to pregnancy is also taking away large parts of potential skilled labour, a loss that becomes increasingly felt, as the population stagnates and the economy starts to grow again.

 

While Prime Minister Tachibana has not stated any concrete measures yet, a government agency has been established that has been tasked with furthering the compatibility of work and family for young women, "in order to improve the future of future generations of Japanese women and also men, as it profits us all.", as Tachibana put it.

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  • 7 months later...

As elections are upcoming, Conservatives splinter

 

The Kokumin Hoshutō yesterday experienced most likely its second major blow, since the Shōkaku Incident. After Premier and Party Leader Akiyama announced internal reorientation, to make the party fit for the elections, pressing for a new political style of the conservative forces in the country, to avoid getting associated with the stigmata of the past. Some in the party see it however as a disguised attempt at undermining the independent actors within the party and it is thus not surprising, that yesterday Osaka mayor Mado Rintarō  announced the formation of a new conservative force, the Shin Shimpotō (New Progressive Party), as an actually new and clean conservative party, with an actual conservative non-fascist agenda.

 

This is a very troubling development, as it severely undermines the position of the Kokumin Hoshutō and Premier Akiyama in the upcoming national elections. Premier Akiyama refused to give lengthy commentary, merely stating that with obstructionists gone, the reforms can finally continue, to move the conservative cause forward. Political observers do not know what to say. This is not the first time the conservatives have splintered and the party will survive. However, it is not yet clear, whether they will stay in power, or even a major party. The coming elections will show and mch of the success will depend on how Premier Akiyama's reforms work out.

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My name is Tatsuhiro Satou and I know the truth.

99% of what people consider conspiracies are simply delusions or deliberate lies. 

Does that make the remaining 1% legitimate?

The reason nothing works out is because of deliberate conspiracy of isolation.

It's a sinister secret society known as the N.H.K.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=18gGaL9HI9Y

A vast sociological experiment designed to create recluses.

Why haven't we noticed something this obvious before?

Edited by Generalissimo
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welcome_to_the_nhk_logo_by_brainstorm_bw

My name is Tatsuhiro Satou and I know the truth.

99% of what people consider conspiracies are simply delusions or deliberate lies. 

Does that make the remaining 1% legitimate?

The reason nothing works out is because of deliberate conspiracy of isolation.

It's a sinister secret society known as the N.H.K.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=18gGaL9HI9Y

A vast sociological experiment designed to create recluses.

Why haven't we noticed something this obvious before?

The program would immediatly be cut and replaced by a new episode of Ore, Twintails ni Narimasu, while a top secret notice was given to the Public Security Intelligence Agency (Kōanchōsa-chō), to investigate the case and make sure that this individual would not propagate the truth his message of insanity any further...

 

OOC: I expected this the moment I made the topic. Took long enough...

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Dear Government of Japan:

 

On behalf of the Regency Council allow me to extend our sincerest apologies for the delayed response.  Currently there are various security issues related to the Emperor that we can not go into specifics for security reasons, but until such a time as he can speak on behalf of our government we will be speaking for him.  We are inclined to grant your requests as well as conduct a meeting to address any lingering concerns there may be.  Our hope is for a more positive relationship as well as our sincerest hope that you choose to remain in the Commonwealth.

 

Signed,

 

Knight Commander Ryu Hayabusa, Protector of the Realm, On Behalf of Empress Madeline and the Regency Council

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New government formed by Conservative-Democrat Coalition - Nakamichi resurfaces!

 

After an astonishingly short time, it seems Akiyama has been able to convince the Democratic Party (Minshutō) to enter into a coalition with her National Conservative Party  (Kokumin Hoshutō). This comes as a great surprise mainly due the extreme speed at which the two, normally opposing parties, found a common ground. Overall, chances for a NCP-DP coalition had already been high, given the election results and a general reluctance of the National Conservatives to enter into a Right-wing bloc.

 

In general, it seems that both parties have agreed on a cooperation based on centrist policies and by splitting resorts, where the conservatives hold on to ministries related to foreign affairs, justice, finance and defense, as well as the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries, one of the key ministries for the conservatives Northern voters, while ministries related to social issues, such as the Ministry of Internal Affairs, the Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare and other such related areas go to the Democratic Party. This split in resorts is reminiscient of the very first Dai-Tōhoku cabinet, which too was a coalition of Conservatives and Democrats. However, back then, it did not last long, before the coalition made room for reelections, over the first foreign affairs crisis.

 

The ministers in the cabinet are mostly senior politicians of the two parties, many of whom have prior experience in politics, although especially on the Conservative side, personal has been shuffled around, since the last elections. So has former Minister of Finance Kato Akira been shifted to the Ministry of Defense, as has Tada Hiro, who was moved from Health, Labour and Wellfare to the Fleet Ministry. Kato's place is to be filled by Tachibana Rika, who moves over from Foreign Affairs, where she makes place for most likely the most illustrous returnee, Nakamichi Minoru. Having left the cabinet after the crisis in Western Canada, it seems Nakamichi has returned to politics and is back in his ministry.

 

Prime Minister: Akiyama Kagami (NCP)

Deputy Prime Minister: Chiba Tamon (DP)

Minister of Internal Affairs and Telecommunications: Takamori Kogoro (DP)

Minister of Justice: Higashiyama Subaru (NCP)

Minister of Foreign Affairs: Nakamichi Minoru (NCP)

Minister of Finance: Tachibana Rika (NCP)

Minister of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology: Chiba Tamon (DP)

Minister of Health, Labour and Wellfare: Maeda Michiru (DP)

Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries: Soga Keijiro (NCP)

Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry: Amahara Yukino (NCP)

Minister of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism: Mori Daisuke (DP)

Minister of the Environment: Fudo Hidetaka (DP)

Minister of Defense: Kato Akira (NCP)

Minister of the Fleet: Tada Hiro (NCP)

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  • 2 weeks later...

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Aerial view of Majuro

 

Establishment of the South Pacific Agency

 

It seems the Akiyama cabinet, among other things, is working quite quickly and assertively on their foreign affairs. Yesterday, a small flotilla of Japanese destroyers has anchored in the port of Majuro, most populated of the formerly Selenarctan Micronesian islands, and with little further ado Prime Minister Akiyama has proclaimed her intention to integrate the islands into the Japanese Empire. While the move caused concerns among the Liberals, the government coalition seemed rather willing to follow through on such plans.

 

The islands, which are populated by about 120,000 people, are planned to be organised as the South Pacific Agency (Nan'yō-chō), a special territory of Japan. While the islands have little to no direct economic value, shipping lanes of great importance pass through them, and it is the vital importance of Pacific shipping security, as well as the inability of these islands to properly sustain themselves in the current Asia-Pacific atmosphere, that has been cited by the Akiyama cabinet as the main reason for the integration of the islands.

 

Within Japan, many are rather unenthusiastic on the matter, as there aren't many Japanese on the islands and it is expected to be a constant drain on the treasury. As much as ¥24 billion per year might flow to the new territory, merely to keep basic services running and develop the few industries that exist. Many think, the move mostly profits larger business, though it is acknowledged that shipping security across the Pacific is vital for the whole nation. People on the islands themselves have mixed opinions on the matter as well, though many think that there is not much of an alternative, with Tianxia engulfed in civil war and Selenarctos disintegrating.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Commonwealth expands into Alaska

 

Today, the American Commonwealth has announced its presence in Alaska, following a local collapse of governance. The surprising move has caused much consternation among the Japanese public and Prime Minister Akiyama expressed that "it is kind of worrying." The presence of Commonwealth troops in formerly Imperial Alaska brings the Commonwealth's military presence one step closer to the Japanese nation. It seems that while Imperial power is receding, the Commonwealth continues to rise.

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  • 3 weeks later...

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It has been some time since the Bank of Japan saw a fair forecast

 

Public debt goes through the roof as government spending reaches all time high

 

Prime Minister Akiyama today has been criticised by the opposition in the Diet, regarding the excessive spending that has been going on during the not even two years in power. Public debt has, during Akiyama's tenure alone, reached 158% of the GDP, the highest since the days of Prime Minister Tachibana a decade ago. The main reason for these extreme expenditures are a firm policy of backing small and medium enterprises, funding for developing Japanese social welfare as well as a sharp increase in defense spending. The Prime Minister has stated that the spending policies are well-planned and mostly necessary steps in order to allow for necessary reforms in the areas of economic and social development, as well as military strength. While the Akiyama cabinet is however pointing out these issues, there are those, such as the Liberal Party, who see the policies of the coalition as disastrous runaway spending that will do more harm than good by undermining the confidence in the remaining economic stability. For no less than five hours, the Prime Minister was interogated by the parliamentary opposition on the government deficit, with heated verbal duels between both sides.

 

The policy of Prime Minister Akiyama however polarises opinion across partylines, as even within the coalition it seems not all too clear what the common policy should be and the murky policies of compromises between the centre-left and right-wing parties have definitely not caused much confidence in Akiyama's ability with people. It is the image of half-baked deals which worries many, though, experts, such as Minase Ryo, professor for political sciences at Kyoto University deems the situation rather stable. He states, the current vague support actually keeps the government in power. Would public support fade further, the coalition would break apart. Akiyama must set everything on the success of the reforms, so as to rally the Japanese public behind her, before she could think about calling snap elections at this point of time.

 

The most controversial aspect of the spending policy is the massive armament of the nation, despite relative peace. Due to the tensions with the DPRK and the American Commonwealth, the military spending level has pretty much doubled to 8% of the GDP during the last year. The Prime Minister calls especially the newly planned capital surface combattants to be a very costly affair, though worthwhile. Still, the Koreans have not done much to be able to threaten Japan itself and the Americans are more of a threat than Pyeongyang, especially after the recent Commonwealth intrusion into Alaska.

 

In general, Minase-sensei sees the issue as a huge gamble of Akiyama. Should the Prime Minister succeed in convincing the Japanese of the advantages of the program, through successes at least on the social and economic front, it might give Akiyama the necessary political liberty to act on her own, without the constraints of a coalition partner or the split loyalties of her own party. But should the plans fail, there's no saying what would happen if people lose their belief in their own country after the existing failures of global governance. In such a case, the very best scenario would be the end of her political career.

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Fleet Ministry discloses information on four planned cruisers

 

As the situation in Korea worsens, the Ministry of the fleet has today announced that naval construction will again follow the Date plan, with solely minor modifications. However, one such modification has today been disclosed. Despite the already ambitious numbers in quantity and quality that is asked for in the Date plan, the Fleet Ministry, following inquiries by the Prime Minister and the National Diet, have shelved the plans for two further battlecruisers of the Myōkō-class and instead construction has begun of four new more capable battlecruisers.

 

"The Japanese Navy is the premier line of defense of the Japanese nation. But despite such importance, it is clear that the fleet is not equipped adequately to deal with serious challenges to our security posed by foreign expansionism. If we already lack quantity, we must not lack quality too.", Minister of the Fleet Tada stated in a press conference. The ships are said to be no less than 10,000 tons heavier than their predecessors of the Myōkō-class, which would make them comparable to the Mutsu-class battleships in size. Details on armament were not published, however, it is rather clear that with such dimensions and statements, the class will not lag behind existing battlecruisers and might be more in line with the battleships in service.

 

Although it was not stated, it is interpreted by most experts that the upscaling of naval construction is designed to compete with the American Commonwealth, which has been one of the most hostile states in the past towards the Japanese people. Retired minister Date, who drew up the various past Naval Construction Bills stated in an interview with one of our reporters, that "the American Commonwealth is following an agenda of Imperialism and expansionism, as can be seen in their neglect of any principles of sovereignity in the Americas. The four new battlecruisers of our Navy are a vital step towards achieving parity with this obvious threat. Sadly, they are only a move towards parity, given the Commonwealth already now posesses more battlecruisers with dimensions on par, if not exceeding the ones we are laying down. It is thus hard to criticise the step up as militarism, for it is far more of a move to ensure our security by levelling the playing field."

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  • 3 weeks later...

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The Navy Ministry Building, old post card of the Meiji era

 

Prime Minister Akiyama appoints Date as Minister of the Navy

 

The Ministry of the Navy (Kaigun-shō) is one of the most notable ministry buildings of the nation. Although it burned down at its original site during the 1945 allied air raids on Tokyo, it has been rebuilt on part of the Hibiya Park, opposite the Public Security Intelligence Agency. But striking is not just the central location of the building, nor that it is based on the old plans of British architect Josiah Conder, but also the importance this ministry has for the National conservative government.

 

As Prime Minister Akiyama has appointed former Minister Tada Hiro the official Resident-General in Korea, responsible for the Japanese-Korean relations and cooperation, his successor is noone other than his predecessor, Date Seiranko. Akiyama announced these news earlier today in a press conference on the Japanese-Korean relations and states that the move might seem strange, but she assured present media that she has full confidence in Date's abilities to improve the state of the Japanese Navy in these troubled times, where the threat emanating from the increased Commonwealth presence in the Pacific is unlikely to be resolved anytime soon.

 

Date Seiranko is seen by many as the creator of the new Japanese Navy and she also is credited with having played a vital part in the establishment of the Dai-Tōhoku Renpō. However, she also is known as a proponent of proactive diplomacy and a strong military. Date is chiefly responsible for the creation of every Naval Construction Plan, leading to the construction of no less than 10 aircraft carriers and 8 battleships. Her time as Minister of the Navy saw important events, such as the South American War, the Alberta Incident and the Carrier Incident, the latter which has led to her dismissal. Many thus wonder why the Prme Minister chose to recall Date into the cabinet.

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A map of the proposed canal

 

A new Nicaragua Canal?

 

Yesterday, Prime Minister Akiyama, Minister of Foreign Affairs Nakamichi and Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry Amahara in a grand celebration with representatives of the Japanese industry celebrated the foundation of the Japanese Nicaragua Canal Company (JNCC). The JNCC, a partnership between the Japanese state and Japanese private enterprises, will be assessing the state of the old canal, repair said damage if possible or reconstruct parts that have been damaged beyond repair. It is currently estimated that the project will require three years to be completed.

 

The restoration of the Nicaragua canal is widely seen as a move towards expanding and securing the trade routes between the Asia-Pacific region and the Atlantic coast of the Americas. The restored canal is not only supposed to rival the capacity of the Panama canal once completed, but it is also going to shorten the route between Japan and the Caribbean by a significant distance. Prime Minister Akiyama hailed the restoration of the canal as "a major step in securing trade between the Americas and Asia, bringing prosperity to both" and stated "the need for the Canal is there, as a secure connection and considering the troubles in the Athenian Federation that cast doubts on the security of the Suez canal.

 

In terms of who will be allowed to transit, the JNCC officially states that the canal will be open for all kinds of civilian shipping, provided a toll for the maintainance is paid, though military assets will have to request permission first from the Japanese government.

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Diet passes the State Intervention Act

 

The Ministry of Economics, Trade and Industry has today started its newest activities under the State Intervention Act, after the National Diet passed the law in its last session. The State Intervantion Act has been proposed by Minister Amahara, after the newest prognosis on the Japanese economy has been even worse than before. Despite an absolute and relative decrease in public debt, the Japanese economy is contracting again for the third quarter in a row. Reasons for this lackluster performance are most of all the collapse of Athens, the American Commonwealth and the Maratha Empire, as well as the regional trade partner of Meihua, which has significantly reduced the export market for Japanese manufacturing, causing increased competition with Tianxian business over the East Asian market.

 

As a response, the METI has requested no less than ¥2.4 trillion through the State Intervention Act, with which it has been enabled to purchase and salvage failing businesses to stabilise the economy. The Jiyutō has denounced the initiative as "one more step towards extensive statism", given that it is expected that several hundred enterprises may be bought, restructured and run as state-owned enterprises until they earned their cost back. To the Liberals, this approach sounds not economically sound and overtly simplistic, seemingly over ¥2.4 trillion down the drain. However, Minister Amahara in a press conference stated that the METI does have plans to economically run the enterprises it purchases and that hopeless enterprises will not see a single dime.

 

The Bank of Japan also has announced that it will lower interest rates, in order to assist businesses with financing themselves in these troublesome times and make investment more viable.

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