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Diplomatic Cable

To: The Japanese Government

From: American Commonwealth State Department

 

The American Commonwealth congratulates the Japanese people on their return the international stage and would like to restart diplomatic relations.  The American Commonwealth cordially invites you to send a representative to Washington DC to discuss matters of mutual interest and friendship.  We hope to hear a positive answer from you soon.

 

Secretary of State,

Christopher McNutt

 

 

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Diplomatic Cable

To: American Commonwealth Department of State

From: Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan

 

Mr McNutt,

 

The Japanese nation is honoured to have been invited to a meeting and we shall gladly accept this offer of yours. Although our past relations were far less than cordial, our government is hopeful that relations can be improved across the Atlantic and we hope this meeting will help in this regard. To this end, I shall personally travel to Washington D.C. for this meeting within two days.

 

With regards,

Nakamichi Minoru, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Japan

 

As stated in the communique, Nakamichi would soon fly to America. Last time he had visited the country, he had still used a chartered flight via Air Do, decorated with very kawaii, but also very inapropriate bears. This time, his visit would use an official Japanese government aircraft, flying the country's colours proudly.

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The Japanese delegation was cleared and directed to land at the Ronald Reagan Washington International Airport where their aircraft would be parked at a secure hanger owned and operated by the State Department.  The delegation would then be provided transportation and a DSS escort through downtown Washington DC to the Harry S. Truman Building where they would be ushered to the Secretary of State's own personal office where he was waiting to meet them.

 

"Minister Minoru, it is a pleasure having you here in the American Commonwealth" said McNutt as he greeted the delegation.  "Please have a seat, and can I offer you any refreshments?  I'm no stranger to trans-oceanic travel and I know how weary long distance traveling can be" he said as they all sat down.  "It is good to see Japan has once again regained its footing on the world stage, despite the fact that our last interactions did not really have good results.  But the past is the past.  The American Commonwealth would like to put the past behind us and move forward to develop a dialogue and partnership with the Japanese people".

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  • 2 weeks later...

Nakamichi with a friendly smile returned the greeting. "Thank you, Minister McNutt. I'm glad that we are able to meet. Indeed, our past relations were quite problematic, but I'm sure, with the right effort, we can overcome this troublesome history... and maybe even establish at least a certain basic cultural understanding between our countries."

 

"I'd sure appreciate a glass of lemonade, if it won't cause trouble. The world has sadly become no easier place since the Japanese crisis. I would think proper relations across the Pacific will be a good way to improve security in these troubled times."

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"Ashley, could you bring a lemonade for the minister please?" said the Secretary to one of the aides available who left the room and returned with the drink, which she handed to the minister.  "I agree.  The problems of the past affect the future only as far as we allow it to do so in the present.  The American Commonwealth seeks to establish a robust and mutual diplomatic, cultural and trade relationship with Japan, hopefully establishing the groundwork for further cooperation in economic and security issues that effect the Pacific and the world.  Would your nation be interested in pursuing such a relationship?".

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Nakamichi frowned for a moment. "Minister McNutt, I thank you for your kind words, but I would wonder what it is you want to suggest as a 'robust and mutual' relationship. The Commonwealth and Japan surely need to work on establishing a proper diplomatic and cultural understanding of each another, so as to not view the other with constant distrust. When however you also state the endgame is economic and security cooperation, then I do not see how you think such would work. Japan has in the past cooperated with countries like Tianxia in security issues in the Pacific, recognising the importance of this region for the national security of all the inhabitants. Security matters with the American Commonwealth meanwhile seem to always have been perceived as a zero-sum game, the Commonwealth has made it a point to proclaim that our country has no ground to interfere on 'your' side of the Pacific ocean and we were met with a Japanophobia, which has been noted very negatively by our people who feel threatened by a growing military presence of yours that is coupled with seemingly antagonistic tendencies towards our country. Our nation is very much willing to engage in a cultural dialogue to overcome the difficulties caused by nationalistic and jingoist press, but I'm pretty sure that at the current moment, your words do not match your actions and unless the American Commonwealth is not in the least willing to accept the Pacific as a shared space of interest, we are more inclined to not have you meddle in 'our' side of this ocean, just like we stay away from 'your' side. The Japanese Empire has no intention to invite your presence any closer to our country than the Californian coast, as long as relations are poor and only met by lackluster attempts of trying to assure us of your friendly intentions, while your troops occupy Alaska and inform us ex post facto of such a move. That's not really a very reassuring and trust-building measure."

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  • 2 weeks later...

"As I said this is the ideal end goal we will hopefully be able to achieve in the future.  I acknowledge that between now and then, there is much work to be done to improve basic relations.  I would also refute the notion that the American Commonwealth possesses any real measurable amount of 'Japanaphobia'.  Any such feelings were the result of the Alberta Incident and have long since passed.  Even then it was not some ingrained, natural dislike of the Japanese people, but rather a very real concern over its actions at the time.  The Japanese Empire at the time had established its very own colony in South America, something we overlooked at the time because we had no real interests there.  But to have a foreign enclave from a nation thousands of miles away appear right at our doorstep?  I'm sure if Russia had disappeared and my country moved into Kamchatka or Sakhalin Japan's reaction would have been similar if not the same am I not correct?  In any case if you do remember, even after the arbitration hosted by Tianxia the American Commonwealth kept its word and continued to allow Japanese business interests to continue in Canada without any interference outside of our own laws".

 

"I understand that our peacekeeping actions in Alaska were a bit sudden but we felt that time was a factor for us.  While our relations with Russia can be characterized as friendly we'd rather not see an even larger expansion of their influence in our neighborhood.  We have also had back channel communications with Tianxia on this matter and they have expressed their approval of our operations there so rest assured we are not attempting to steal away parts of a nation we both regard as a friend.  That being said if it eases your government's worries we could make a more public announcement with Tianxia to eliminate any doubts you may have".

 

"As it stands the American Commonwealth has never meddled in the affairs of East Asia and we have never wanted to become involved in the affairs of East Asia beyond fair economic activity and positive diplomatic relations.  You may characterize my nation's foreign affairs as a little enthusiastic but even you must admit that we have never wandered too far from our own shores.  We have our own problems to deal with and I'm sure you do as well looking at what I can only describe as that ridiculous regime that seems to have popped up on the Korean Peninsula".

 

"But you are correct, our countries have not done much on either side to improve our strained relations with each other, although to be fair after Japan collapsed we have not really had that opportunity until now.  And so we are at a crossroads.  For the first time in a long time we have the chance to change the relationship between our nations for the better and try to put the past behind us.  I don't expect vast and immediate improvements but if your nation is as willing as mine to try restart a relationship then we can move forward little by little and I believe we can get to a point where large improvements are possible.  It is my hope that your country is willing to try as well".

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"It should maybe be noted that the Japanese action at the time was prompted by inaction on the part of the American Commonwealth at the time, something you would not find the case with us, if instability ensured in our neighbourhood. But that aside, I would like to know how it comes that your people and government even at the time or now feel that there is any right in condemning Japanese operations in Bolivia. I might remind you, that our intervention in Bolivia was sanctioned by a UN mandate, that it was for a very good reason and that the Bolivian territories and people were put under our stewardship by the Emperor, so as to allow the rebuilding of the country, without causing a fascist backlash. Once again, where was the Commonwealth when South America decided to threaten the peace in the Pacific? I do not want to warm up old controversies, but if your government feels that it has any right whatsoever to lecture Japan for actually doing what was necessary and helping out Tianxia in this, and I do not see your people complaining about Tianxian actions in South America, then I do feel there is a certain singling out and discrimination against our people that cannot be left standing like that. Likewise, we do not deem there to be any legitimate claim by the American Commonwealth to be a steward of all the Americas, especially not if it has been others policing the region. A regional hegemon needs to establish a just rule, establishing a firm influence. As it is, Russia, Tianxia and Athens have all holdings in the Americas and historically, all three of these nations have had more political influence in these continents than you."

 

"Onto the Alaskan matter, it is reassuring to see that at least Tianxia has been consulted in this matter. I am however not sure why it seems that Japan has not been informed at all of such a handover in governance. It might be worth noting that the Japanese Empire is not part of Tianxia, but an independent and sovereign nation. If the Commonwealth feels that the Albertan matter was a problematic failure in communications by us, I do not think that you are acting any better now. The status of Alaska is of great importance to us, as is any part of the Pacific Rim that could be used to threaten our Home Islands."

 

"What is worrying to us, is that you may keep 'to your shores', but at the same time, these shores come ever closer to us. Our country is not terribly enthusiastic about the slow encroachment that is happening and while you may state that Alaska was close, what will be next? Pacific Islands? The fact that Alaska changed governance despite the continued existence of Tianxia does kind of undermine the security of the status quo in the Pacific and I saw it thus as necessary to underline that while my country has no intention to seek unnecessary hostilities, we are not going to merely sit idle, if there was ever any outside Imperialism in the Asia-Pacific region. Japan is very much able to take care of all and any security issues that crop up in our region, and will not hesitate to do so. The Korean peninsula may be a dictatorship and incredibly immature, but we respect the sovereignity of our neighbours, even if they are anti-Japanese dictatorships... Should the Juche regime however be developing nuclear weaponry or other weapons of mass destruction, you can rest assured, the Japanese Empire, after consultation with Tianxia, will ensure that this will not become an issue for the Pacific Rim. We do know our responsibilities, we do know when to respect the sovereignity of our neighbours, even if inconvenient and we know when to protect the regional stability due to wanton nuclear proliferation."

 

"We are willing to improve relations with the American Commonwealth and put these rocky relations behind us, but I do hope you do not expect us to just keep quiet about the disquieting movements that are occurring even while we are here. While we will hardly be able to address issues like South America or Alberta, which are things of the past truely, Alaska is in the present and I would thus like to inquire as to what your government is planning to do in the Alaskan region. I see no further need for us to needlessly cause issues between our countries over Alaska, as long as it will not serve further expansion of your shores towards ours or be used as basis for forces directed against us. This is a grave issue of national security for us, Mr McNutt."

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  • 3 weeks later...

“I too would like to be able to move past the previous issues between our countries but they do have some bearing here.  The historical precedent is one where Japan has sent a large military expedition into an area we consider not just vital to our national interests, but is in extremely close proximity to our own national borders.  The same cannot be said for the Commonwealth in regards to Japan.  Our military forces have never ventured into the Western or North Pacific in any meaningful numbers and have never conducted operations that could be remotely considered as threatening, even after Japan had sent a massive task force to take Western Canada.  Any and all military deployments by my nation in the Pacific have been entirely defensive in nature.  These are historical facts that speak for themselves.  I cannot recall off the top of my head anytime in living memory where a North American nation has ever undertaken any such aggressive actions in the Pacific or against a nation in Asia and so I find your fears of some grave threat from my nation to be a bit unfounded.  I would think that it seems we have more reason to be concerned about Japan then Japan should be with the Commonwealth”.

 

“Now I acknowledge that Japan has some valid security concerns in this matter but you must acknowledge that the American Commonwealth has its own as well.  And to that end I am not sure what you would ask of my country to do in this issue.  As it currently stands Alaska has been declared a protectorate of the American Commonwealth and it will be afforded the benefits all of our protectorates have, including the protection of the Commonwealth military.  Ultimately, in the end the people of Alaska will determine their own fate and we will honor whatever their decision may be.  Democratic values and the ideals of self determination are crucial cornerstones of our protectorate programs and nothing will change that”.

 

“That being said we consider the Pacific to be of extreme importance to not just us, but the whole world, in terms of trade and economic activity.  Bringing our two nations to more friendly terms would go a long way in not just ensuring the stability of the region but help foster further economic growth and activity.  To that end I ask what do you suggest can be done that both assuages your fears while fairly addressing the security concerns of my nation?”.
 

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"Two cruisers and a landing party do not make a 'massive task force' able to threaten the Commonwealth, Mr McNutt. If it suffices to send two of our cruisers, which are significantly smaller than the typical commonwealth cruiser even, to pose a real threat to the American Commonwealth, then either you are overreacting or your armed forces must be utterly incompetent. As I would not think that your armed forces are garbage, I assume that it was paranoia, which proclaimed defence spending would be increased to outspend the Japanese Empire, following the event. It might have escaped your notice, Mr McNutt, but at the outset of the crisis, Japan had two carriers, two battleships and two cruisers, while the Commonwealth had at least three to four times that. Not to mention that in terms of firepower, the Commonwealth seemingly deems a ship that we would class as a cruiser as a mere destroyer, which means that the security balance in the Pacific was utterly one-sided. If the Commonwealth then decides to embark on a massive program to up this force even further, it cannot be taken as anything but your country seemingly trying to deny our country any right to proper security. We cannot merely judge according to intentions... we also need to consider capabilities. The Commonwealth in this regard is a much greater threat to Japan than vice versa and it would be good to not accuse us of threatening your country, when we never mustered a force to attack you, nor were we in a position to, while the Commonwealth has mobilised a massive force to strongarm us out of the Americas. I am not saying that such can now be rectified, but Japan has not been the aggressor and the Commonwealth is not the victim here."

 

"In the more present issue of Alaska, Japan holds that Alaska should be guided towards eventual independence again, just like neighbouring Canada. It is our opinion that both our countries are best served in their quest of national security, if Alaska is not used by either party as a bridgehead for attack on the other. Thus, Japan has no claims on Alaska, but we are very much opposed to any move by the Commonwealth to integrate Alaska into the Commonwealth, which would alter the balance of power. similarly, we would suggest that Alaska not be used for stationing of more troops than necessary, especially of aerial and naval forces, which can pose a threat to Japan."

 

"Now, to the overall matter of security, Prime Minister Akiyama holds that our relation with the American Commonwealth is of importance to the stability and security of the Pacific. But as Prime Minister of Japan, her greatest concern is the security and well-being of Japan. In this regard, it is our opinion that proper friendly relations very much depend on both sides being secure of each other, which requires no expansion into the former Imperial buffer and a greater parity in forces, to make it impossible for one state to overpower the other. There are currently two issues that my government wishes to address in this regard, which would be for one, that we would like for the American Commonwealth to be a more active partner in nuclear disarmament efforts, given that we see the presence of such weaponry as a major security risk and would hope that soon another round of overall reduction in such weaponry occurs. And second, we would like to talk about the issue of naval parity. As it is, the American Commonwealth posesses more ships that posess ship-for-ship greater firepower. Japan is willing to meet the american Commonwealth as equal and cooperative partner, but this would imply that there must be equality and cooperation. as long as this naval disparity exists, there can be hardly much talk about equality and it would be not too cooperative if we could not find an agreement to improve the state of affairs. Thus, I would like to discuss with you the prospect of a naval agreement, which hopefully allows for at least qualitative reduction in the Commonwealth fleet, in exchange for a similar limit on how far Japan is allowed to go in its naval construction programs. I do know, this is not a very easy matter to discuss, given that the Commonwealth currently enjoys the comfort of having the upper hand, but Prime Minister akiyama has instructed me to reassure you, that in case the Commonwealth steadfastly refuses to reduce its strength, Japan will not hesitate to achieve a comparable strength of its own. In the interest of preventing our countries from engaging into an arms race, causing instability in the Pacific and excessive cost on both our tax payers, a naval agreement would seem prudent. The matter after all is not whether we meet, but where we meet."

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  • 4 weeks later...

“As I recall from the mediation hosted by Tianxia the party at fault in the Alberta Incident was determined to be Japan.  I should know, I was present.  While I do wish to move past this issue history is to be learned from and I believe that actions speak louder than words.  Prior to that incident the Commonwealth had friendly, or at the very least neutral, relations with Japan.  The actions taken by your nation in that incident were unwarranted and singlehandedly set back relations between our nations.  What came after was a reaction to Japanese actions and nothing more”.

 

“I would say that your country’s take on the matter was over enthusiastic, as was mine I will admit at the time.  Tensions and tempers were high in the aftermath.  But Japan left that incident with nothing worse than a little hurt pride.  For the Commonwealth it represented a significant upset to the very security of my country.  And for all the aggression you have accused us of you seem to forget that the deployment of additional forces was defensive in nature, never venturing anywhere near Japan.  Once Japan had left that was the end of it for us.  There was no retaliation on our part in any way.  Not militarily, not economically and not politically.  Japan on the other hand saw fit to eject our diplomatic mission and recalled its own embassy in DC, cutting all diplomatic communications.   This negative attitude of Japan seems to have continued to this day despite the lack of reciprocal feelings on the part of the Commonwealth after the passage of time”.

“The massive spending increase you claim we initiated was never begun in the first place.  It was something proposed by some of our more, let’s say conservative, law makers opposite the president’s party as a reaction to the incident.  President Marston ensured it did not pass at the after an appeal by the Emperor of Tianxia in order to stop the situation from getting even further out of hand.  Beyond what had already happened that was it for us.  Not all that long after Japan ceased to exist after that incident you had with your ship naming conventions, which really was quite an odd event to us.  We drew down our forces in the Pacific to a single carrier and all subsequent increases in our military capabilities was driven by factors that were distinctly not Japanese”.

“When Japan returned to the world stage we welcomed you back with the hopes it would be a new nation with a new attitude.  To that effect we maintained our low key military presence in the Pacific in the hopes that we would be able to improve relations.  I suppose this sentiment was not entirely shared by your nation as after your initial military rebuilding of your military capabilities, which of course we have no problem with, you come here threatening some arms race in the Pacific that we have not engaged in nor did we have any plans to start one”.

“While your proposal is interesting I do not know how feasible it would be for my nation to agree to such restrictions.  As your prime minister’s greatest concern is the security and well being of your nation, so it is the same for us with President Marston.  But unlike Japan the Pacific is not the only area of the world we have interests in.  You claim some sort of disparity in naval strength levels in both a quantitative and qualitative measure and I will acknowledge that as true, but there is a reason for that.  Unlike Japan our naval forces must operate not just in the Pacific, but the North and South Atlantic Ocean and the Caribbean as well.  Our naval forces are spread over 50% of the globe.  As a result our forces will never be as concentrated in any one theater necessitating a qualitative edge to make up for the inherent lack of numbers we will face in any one theater or another”.  

“You have asked that we address the security concerns your nation has but I ask you to consider that my nation also has its own concerns as well.  I’m sorry to say this but the Commonwealth cannot compromise its worldwide defense capabilities just to appease the concerns of a single nation in a theater that we have never really placed much of an emphasis on.  Even in spite of your nations large military buildup we have steadfastly maintained our small military presence in the Pacific.  But now your stated intention is to match us in an arms race to gain parity,  although if you were to try build up a force to match the combined might of our Pacific fleet you’d end up with a single carrier”.  

“You say that the balance of power must be equal to promote trust and good relations but with the differing needs of our nation’s military forces an equal balance of power may be impossible to achieve.  I would argue that we ought to let trust promote trust and good relations.  Despite your claims to fears of attack by my nation I would hope you at least acknowledge that since Japan has returned to the world stage that my country has done nothing that could be in any way construed as aggressive towards Japan.  In fact we reached out with the intention of normalizing relations which is why we're here today.  And despite the concerns of some of our policy makers and military leaders Japan has not taken any actions that are inherently aggressive towards the Commonwealth.  It is my hope that we can use this as a stepping stone to continued peace and better relations”.  

“Instead of a hard cap on either of our navies what I propose is this.  We would encourage that your nation voluntarily reduce its naval buildup in exchange for which we will agree to maintain at most a 1:2 ratio of naval forces in the Pacific in Japan’s favor and not a ship more to help alleviate both of our nation's security concerns”.  
 

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"Minister McNutt, you may have invited us, but I do not think you really were prepared to take the steps necessary to alleviate the tensions that are present. Not just in matters past, which we may overlook, because it has been over a decade since then, but also in the matters that matter now, which chiefly are Alaska and the Commonwealth's fleet presence. You continue to act as if the American Commonwealth was a great power with global comittments dealing with the Japanese Empire which you seem to at best acknowledge as regional power with regional comittments. I let you know that our comittments are no less great in scale than yours at the current point of time and it is thus not a very legitimate claim in our eyes to state that your country has thus any more right to safeguard itself than our country."

 

"Alaska is a matter of national security to both sides, not just to us. It is placed strategically well inbetween our two states and while in the past Tianxia ensured its neutrality, this is no longer the case. However, while you claim that you cannot make compromises regarding your national security in Alaska, you entirely disregard the Japanese interests, and the fact that while you have moved a troop presence into this neutral territory, Japan has abstained from doing so in the interest of preserving peace and not increasing its threat posture to your nation. as it is however, it seems you already regard Alaska as part of your national patrimony, simply due to the facts, the boots, on the ground. I would hope that there may be a change in mind in this matter, otherwise our country will, in order to guarantee our national security and dignity as a power in our own right, be forced to pursue a foreign policy emphasizing facts and actions over words."

 

"Similarly, your idea that Japan stop its fleet construction project for the promise of no further stationings in the Pacific is hardly an acceptable solution. The Japanese holdins are far-flung and while our relations are not all too poor, we do border nations that could pose a potential threat, necessitating a proper defensive force at home. And while your compromise might work in peacetime, in times of war it would be rather disadvantagous and thus unacceptable, given that while it would at most need weeks to transit fleets from the Atlantic to the Pacific, it needs years to construct new ships. Given these circumstances, I am not willing to accept anything that does not ensure a proper 1:1 parity both in quality and quantity in regards to both our full fleets. If you are unwilling to compromise here too, because your ships are finished and thus any reduction is compromising your security, as before, this merely forces a policy of action and creating fait accompli over words and diplomacy based on trust."

 

"You might feel that you did little to provoke tensions between our countries, however, as it stands, your tone still implies a certain inequality between our nations in standing and an American superiority in regards to the Pacific Rim. That alone already is already undermining relations. However, your utter unwillingness to reach acceptable compromises is making this talk a futile one and I am very disappointed that you consider this waste of my time to merely point out that your nation has more rights to defend itself and that our nation should keep out an actual attempt at reapproachment. If the American Commonwealth is unwilling to ensure the neutrality of Alaska and to allow for parity in fleet size, then it is my sad duty to inform you that the Japanese Empire will not accept your facts on the ground and that unless you are actually willing to take into consideration properly our national security interests, we will have to disregard the legitimacy of what then amounts to an American occupation of formerly Imperial territory and we shall continue our fleet building program at full force to reach an acceptable level of naval force relative to yours through our own efforts."

 

Nakamichi then stood up and readied himself to leave. "At this point, I'm sorry, but I think we exhausted our options for this day and I shall take my leave. as I see it, there's no point in discussing this issue further. Should you change your opinion anytime soon, please inform our ambassador Tanaka. Until then, I guess we will have to settle issues through our own efforts..."

 

For a moment Nakamichi pondered whether to say it. "... though, I can reassure you, any ships surpassing this 2:1 ratio will be stationed in the Sea of Japan, not on the Pacific side of our country. I do hope you that will let you sleep more peacefully at night."

 

With that, he left.

 

OOC: It's January. Stop wasting my time.

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