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Rising Sun and Morning Calm


Evangeline Anovilis
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Although Tsushima was not that great for sightseeing and lacked the glamour of most older Japanese towns, it still had a history. Mostly, a history of being the conduit for diplomacy between the Koreans and the Japanese for centuries. Positioned in the Strait that seperated them, it had long been a station along the trade routes and a strategic position for expeditions. Thus, Prime Minister Akiyama chose the island as a proper meeting point between the two nations.

 

A local conference center would be used, the interior refurbished some to give it a more appropriate appearance and the flags of both Korea and Japan be flown to honour the guest. Taking the Shinkansen to Fukuoka and then a regional flight to Tsushima Airport, Akiyama would be arriving on the morning of the meeting, to oversee the last few preparations, before awaiting the Korean President's arrival.

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President Park would be greeted at the airport by an aide, who brought him to the meeting place, where Prime Minister Akiyama was already awaiting him. The Prime Minister, a younger woman, maybe 30 or so, with typically long black hair and her stone grey eyes, was dressed in a simple white shirt, red tie and a long black skirt. It was said Prime Minister Akiyama was not shy in subtly advertising her image of affluence, nobility and being notably being of higher status than most of the Japanese.

 

As Akiyama saw the President arrive, she approached him and greeted him. "Annyeunghaseyo, Mr Park. I'm honoured and glad you found some time to meet."

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Akiyama gestured Park to follow her inside to the meeting room while responding. "Oh, it has been a challenge and required quite a bit of my attention, given that the fall of the American Commonwealth reshapes our national security strategies and trade relations, but making time to meet one of our brothers and neighbours from Korea is always a possibility. Also, I was hoping to discuss future cooperation between our countries, given we have a great interest in solidifying the Korean state and preventing any renewed communist revolution."

 

The interior of the building was much better, looking less like the small local centre it was, thanks to some refurbishment. The meeting room was laid out in dark wood with multiple beautiful vases holding regional flowers from Japan and Korea decorating the corners. At the ceiling was a chandelier and right beneath it an elegant table made from dark wood similar to the panelling. One of the Prime Ministers aides would immediatly approach Park once they arrived, to guide him to his seat.

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The President took his seat.

 

"A renewal in communist power on the Peninsula is rather unlikely at this point. Certainly, there are remnants of communist support in the far north that have the capacity to make trouble, but at this point most of the peninsula has been alienated from that particular ideology, making a return to power rather impossible.

 

That being said, we are still rebuilding, and as such we are always open to further cooperation with our neighbors. What exactly did you have in mind?"

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"Well, that's quite reassuring to hear. I trust you to have the communist under control then, given I know hardly anything more threatening to peace and stability in the region and the freedom of our nations, than the scourge that is communist thought.", Akiyama responded, visibly disgusted by the very idea of Marxist proletarian rule. "While I do not doubt your word that you are fully able to adequately address communist remnants, should Korea ever deem it benefitial to the situation, know that we are ready to cooperate, be it with open force or with more subtle means..."

 

As however the Prime Minister was reluctant to press that point further, she quickly changed to the other topic. "Well, it is sadly the case that the former regime has been an economic mess and has devastated your once proud nation. Given that to us, Korea is a friend and we share quite a lot of history, I would hope it is appreciated if our Empire assists with financial and technological assistence in the rebuilding of your nation, given Japan is an affluent country, we can share our wealth. I would think that current measures of public-private cooperations, especially in basic an heavy industry continue as is, given it can help create a strong pillar on which the economy can rest. But I would think that if it is made sure that the money is used responsibly, Japan could contribute also as a state foreign aid, in order to improve Korean conditions and help finance struggles against sympathisants of the anarcho-leftist course."

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"We would, of course, be very grateful for any aid in rebuilding our nation that Japan can spare. At this point, most of the South is on its way back to recovery, the North on the other hand, not so much.

 

In fact, I believe that there is some space for mutually profitable economic cooperation between our two countries in that particular area. After all, the mineral resources of the North have tremendous economic potential, and while there are a number of companies in Korea already looking to develop the area, we can hardly even come close to developing the entire area. We have been working to develop the Northern portion of the peninsula, and as such we would be quite eager for any foreign investment in that area, including possible cooperation with Japanese mining firms, assuming that any are interested, of course."

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"Well, as far as I know, the Mitsui Cooperation has made an offer to help cooperate with your private entrepeneurs to set up a steel manufacturing complex in the Northern part of your country, maybe Hamhung, as the Joseon Steel Works. Mitsui has quite a bit of expertise in the steel industry and other branches as well and they are among our largest and most renowned industrial conglomerates. I would think that possibly, one could try to privatise the large parts of metallic and chemical manufacturing, as well as the mining industry, set certain safety standards and leave the modernisation of facilities to the private sector. I'm sure our private entrepeneurs like Mitsui will be willing to invest in modernising and can bring in technology, given I do think this might be lucrative for all sides. Korean industrialists can raise money too and will profit from holding much of the shares in these companies and your country overall will in the end have a modern heavy industry sector in the North, providing employment and taxable revenue. Of course, that would require that the state provide for the safety in the region."

 

"Also, our state would be willing to help with improving your local agriculture. As it is, the Communist regime has been crushing the economy and has caused quite a bit of malnourishment, so I'd think modernising the agricultural sector would be advantagous. So, if I may make a suggestion, we do not want to cause issues by taking Korean land, given this has historically been quite a bit of an issue, but I would think that possibly, we could provide assistence by setting up the Korea Agricultural Development Bank, which gives out loans to Korean farmers to provide capital for modernising their farms. These would be low-interest loans, mostly aimed at giving them the means to become competitive and not be run out of business as soon as protectionism ends. As an added bonus, Japan would be willing to fund an Agricultural Research Institute and University, to share knowledge on Agricultural techniques, which we in Japan are constantly refining, given our lack of arable land and if you want, we'd gift the Korean state even with 2,000 tractors for free, as development aid in kind, on the condition they go to Korean farmers. I would hope such seem like decent suggestions. Our main interest does lie in the stabilisation and modernisation of Korea and hopefully good relations in the future."

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"A steel manufacturing plan in the North would be most desirable indeed. The chemical and mining industries is already undergoing privatization, although it will take some time to bring them back online and make them competitive in global markets. For the most part, we have been leaving the modernization of these industries in the hands of the private companies, and I'm quite certain that they will appreciate any investment that they can get. Safety regulations, sadly, have been more difficult to implement. Most of the factories and mines located in the north are not known for their high standards, and it is expected to take some time to fully implement changes. Providing security, on the other hand, should not be too difficult, aside from the more remote stretches of the North where there is still risk of communist holdouts. 

 

Starvation has been successfully staved off, once we managed to gain control of food stockpiles set up for the former communist elite and military. That being said, agriculture in the peninsula is definitely in need of an overhaul, and thus an Agricultural Development Bank would be much appreciated. I imagine there would be some backlash from hard right nationalists, but it is unlikely that they will get much public support once the economic benefits become apparent. As far as education goes, Korea already has a National College of Agriculture and Fisheries, but advanced farming techniques are currently not available in the curriculum there. I imagine that any knowledge that Japan can provide would be most welcome there. Similarly, Japan's gift of tractors would be most appreciated, and would of course be sent directly to Korean farmers."

Edited by Mr Director
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"I guess the industrial matters are settled then. I'll be advising out Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry to inform our own industrialists of this, so that they know of the opportunities for this mutually benefitial investment. I trust your forces to be able to hold back the communists, if not, feel free to ask for assistence. In regards to the agricultural college, I'm optimistic that we can send several experts on the matter to hold courses and exchange knowledge. Hopefully, the standard of Korean agriculture can be raised to a productivity similar to ours this way."

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"Well, given the economic matters seem to have been settled, I'd guess there are a few security matters I'd like to raise..." Akiyama stated, thinking for a moment, before proceeding. "While I in no way want to force you into any diplomatic arrangement, I would still like to offer Korea a defensive alliance. As it is, the Japanese Empire considers the Korean nation's independence as important and any unwarranted aggression against your nation will most likely be answered by a Japanese intervention to preserve the status quo. So I can already promise you our help on such an informal basis. The treaty would be merely for a more mutual and formal basis, if you so desire. I would of course deem it most prudent to limit it to attacks on our countries proper, not overseas holdings or stationed troops, both of which Japan has and where Korea might not be in much of a position to assist anyway. We do not want to drag Korea into fights after all, but it seems to me, assisting each other against outside powers would be mutually benifitial."

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"I believe that such an agreement would be beneficial to have down on paper. An intelligence sharing clause would also be of interest to us, if Japan is willing to sign one. After all, Korea is more likely to find itself in conflict with non-state actors such as Communist remnants, rather than actual nations, at least for the time being.

 

I suppose that "Japan proper" would be defined as the home islands themselves?"

Edited by Mr Director
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"The Inner Territories, that is, the Home Islands, including Karafuto, Chishima and the Nanpō Islands. Excluded would be the South Seas Territory in Micronesia and any other Japanese territory or comittment outside our East asian holdings. And intelligence cooperation naturally can be part of this. As it is, the threat from non-state actors is very much real and should be adressed and not be ignored. Cooperation on getting rid of subversive elements will hopefully protect the internal stability and peace of both our nations."

Edited by Evangeline Anovilis
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Akiyama waved at one of the diplomatic aides, who handed her a file. After fishing through several documents, Akiyama produced one sheet of paper which she handed Park for review.

 

 

Korean-Japanese Treaty of Cooperation

 

Preamble

 

Recognising their common interests in the security of the region and prosperity for their people, Korea and Japan hereby conclude on this day a Treaty of Cooperation to bring to paper and make official the bonds they share.

 

Article I

 

The two parties agree to cooperate in matters of intelligence, forwarding to each other any information critical to the national well-being of the other and assisting each other to secure the nation against internal subversion and hostile state and non-state actors.

 

Article II

 

The two parties agree that an attack on one of the two countries' core holdings, this is seen as an attack on both parties and will be treated as such. In the case that this article has to be invoked, both parties agree to cooperate militarily until the end of the conflict and avoid any seperate peace without consent from the remaining party.

 

For the purpose of this article, the core holdings of Korea be defined as the Korean peninsula, as well as all its islands in the Yellow Sea, East China Sea, Tsushima Strait and the Sea of Japan/Eastern Sea, and the core holdings of Japan be defined as its Inner Territories of the Home Islands, Karafuto, Chishima and the Nanpō Islands.

 

Article III

 

In the case that any of the signatory parties feels threatened by a third party and fears an impending attack upon its holdings, they can call for consultation with the other party to prevent or prepare for such an eventuality through common action. The invocation of Article III is not a prerequisite for the invocation of Article II.

 

Article IV

 

The Japanese Empire will, through the Bank of Japan, establish the Korean Agricultural Bank, which will be backed and guaranteed in full by the Bank of Japan and operate in Korea with the stated mission of improving the Korean Agriculture, economy and livelihood through providing adequate funding.

 

Article V

 

Amendments to the Treaty can be made if both parties' consent. Any of the two parties can cancel the entirety or part of the agreement, provided they give 6 months of notice to the other party.

 

Signatures

 

For the Republic of Korea,

 

For the Empire of Japan,

 

 

"Of course the other measures were not forgotten, but I think they are more initiatives of private ventures and our universities, which I cannot sign on their behalf.", Akiyama explained. "Anything I forgot?"

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"Thank you for your consideration. I'll also see to it, that adequate funding be made available via already existing channels, such as the Korean Development Agency. We are hopeful that future relations between our people will be good and that Korea can improve its standing after this bleak chapter of Juche."

 

Akiyama then took out a pen and signed the treaty with a neat vertical arrangement of the four Kanji that made up her name.

 

For the Empire of Japan,

Akiyama Kagami

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"For the moment, there is nothing more that I think needs to be adressed. as stated before, feel free to contact us, if anything arises that requires our assistence and I will see to the implementation on our part. I hope you'll have a nice day. Sayonara~" Akiyama then respectfully made a slight bow as she wished the President farewell and handed the document to an aide, so it could be sent pack to Tokyo ahead of the Prime Minister, with a copy for Seoul.

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