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Evangeline Anovilis
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The rise of new American states was expected and appreciated by the Japanese, however, while Japan pulled out its forces slowly from newly independent lands, diplomatically Akiyama Kagami was still quite interested in pursuing good relations with the new nations. This had an economic rationale, given the expected increase in trade volume, a political rationale, cementing the new order, and a security rationale, preventing a new great struggle across the Pacific between the Empire and the Americans. However, there also was the matter of overlapping claims between the two states, which kind of worried Akiyama, given that any American war this soon after liberation was hardly in Japan's interests.

 

Thus, the Prime Minister prepared to meet the delegates from the new Americas in Tokyo, to discuss various issues concerning the continent. While the cabinet had discussed at length where to hold the meeting, Prime Minister Akiyama eventually agreed to Navy Minister Date's suggestion and once the foreigners would arrive, they'd be greeted by a delegation and be brought to the harbour, as in Tokyo Bay, the Nihon Kaigun had prepared its greatest and most magnificient vessel, the battleship Akitsushima. Given the vessel had been constructed as the epitome of Japanese naval power, but also was to be the new flagship of the Combined Fleet, Akitsushima provided quite some comfort and special quarters in case the Prime Minister was to use the ship for travels. A function it took over from the first Japanese battleship Mutsu.

 

As the ship lay anchored in the bay, calmly and seemingly unaffected by any waves that were far too little to rock such a monstrum of steel, the foreign dignitaries would be shipped out by a smaller boat that would ferry them to Akitsushima, where Akiyama awaited them already.

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Secretary of State Gabriel Adams was sent in President Coolidge's place after an important situation developed in Washington that required the President's attention. Japanese officials would be made aware of the change of plans in advance and the President would offer to come and meet with the Japanese government at a later date. Secretary Adams would head to the designated meeting location for the Japanese, Confederates, and Americans.

Edited by PresidentDavid
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On the deck of the Akitsushima, a small detachment of the Kaigun Rikusentai stood neatly in line, motionless, before Prime Minister Akiyama appeared to greet her guests onboard. The naval soldiers would immediatly and in perfect sync salute, to show their respect before the Prime Minister and the honourable guests.

 

Akiyama Kagami smiled calmly as usual, and although a cold wind was blowing across the deck so that even Akiyama wore her red winter coat to avoid freezing, she seemed no less friendly and approached the two foreign dignitaries. "Good day, Mister Davis, Mister Adams. I hope it was not too much of an issue to have travelled here, but with the rise of your states, I do think, it can hardly ever be too early to discuss certain matters. Though, if I may ask you to follow me inside. I doubt the deck, with this cold sea wind is appropriate for discussion. a room inside has already been prepared for us." As Akiyama ended, she gestured towards one entrance to the ship and guided the two guests to the meeting location.

 

The interior of the ship, though less windy, was still that of a naval vessel, of a battleship of Japan and apart from great cleanliness and salutes from passing sailors and officers, there wasn't much luxury to be found in these hallways. Not too much was happening onboard and it seemed rather calm. Most activity was the security measures that had been taken, given the visit was pretty much the main event of the month, and without any other tasks, now that the war was over, there was not too much else to do at this point of time. Once they arrived at the meeting room though, it was a wholly different story. The hallways already had at times left some room for movement, compared to some other crampier sections, but the room of the Prime Minister onboard was simply spacious. And instead of the laconian lack of decorations everywhere else on the ship (if one does not count flags and the large sakura emblem at the bow), this room seemed quite like a suite. The walls were held in a noble red, a chandelier hung from the dark ceiling, illuminating the room that had no windows to provide daylight. Expensive wooden furniture was present, most notably a table, to which the Prime Minister gestured. "Welcome to my private quarters onboard this ship. Please take a seat." As two sailors approached to receive any coats or such that the diplomats would want to have stored away for now, Akiyama added. "I'd hope your countries are doing well? How are things at home, if one may ask?"

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"Thank you for your invitation, Mister Prime Minister. President Coolidge wanted me to convey his apologies for not being able to make it today - along with the difficulties of reinstating a government, there was sadly a major disaster in the Vice President's homestate of Georgia involving a chemical plant. We aren't certain on the casualties as of yet, but we have estimated there to be over five-hundred dead and at least one-thousand who were injured or poisoned as a result of the accident. The President and the Vice President both felt it was necessary to head to Georgia and see after their countrymen. I hope you can understand, Mister Prime Minister."

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While Akiyama kept smiling as she turned towards Adams, but instead of warmth and friendliness, her eyes seemed more cold and condescending, holding back a bit of anger that was created by the ambassadors remarks. "It truely is a pity that President Coolidge couldn't attent in person. His perceptiveness and wit are already being missed. But my condolences that such a tragic disaster struck your young nation." The Prime Minister never had a high opinion of the people from the American Commonwealth, but the fall of the same did cause her to hope that with the end of the decadent, arrogant and most of all ignorant regime, the people would be showing less of these three characteristics too. But where in the past they got only the Japanese names wrong, today... Akiyama sighed internally, as she hoped that at least Davis was a decent fellow.

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"That is truly a shame, Mr. Adams. I give my greatest condolences to those injured and the families of the fallen." Davis said. "I hope we may continue on with this meeting, if that is OK, Mr. Adams. We in the Confederate States are hoping to strengthen our ties with you both." Davis smiled. "I believe it important to have relations with you both."

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Akiyama rolled her eyes, before nodding and putting on a friendly smile again. "Monsieurs, as you might be aware, the Japanese Empire has not come to the Americas to permanently occupy territory in an expansionist bid for colonies, but we came to evict the Commonwealth from Alaska and then to overthrow the oppressive regime which preceeded both your countries. What this means, is that we are not aiming at a permanent weakening of the American continent, but rather a reintegration of this sphere into the world's structures as a partner. For this, I like to propose to both of you an American-Japanese free trade agreement, as well as I would like to convey to both of you my hopes that the North American nations cooperate, for their own security and for that of the continent."

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For a moment, akiyama faked astonishment, given that the question, while it was one she personally would not have raised, she had expected. Thus, the answer was also kind of clear. "Well, I guess in the Southern States, it has been less apparant, but just ask those in British Columbia or in Québec. I would think that the act of threatening armed conflict with our country twice, as well as the war of aggression against one of their fellow nations in North America, leading to the death of over a million people, not to a minor part civilians due to the wanton razing of cities in terror bombardements... honestly, the Commonwealth has shown nought but hostility towards both nations outside the Americas and their own neighbours in the Americas." Her grim expressions brightened up a bit, as she friendly remarked. "The guilt and decadence of the American Commonwealth is proven beyond doubt. I'd hope though that there be no revisionist propaganda in the Americas, trying to draw up some apologist narrative to excuse mass murdering and a hostile foreign policy that ultimatively led to America's demise. The Commonwealth is dead and to remain dead."

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"The Senate would of course have to approve this agreement, but I know that the President will sign it once I return to Washington. With the Vice President's friends in the Senate, I am sure the approval of a free trade agreement between Japan and the United States will be an easy fix." Gabriel could tell that the Prime Minister either didn't want to be there or didn't want them there - most likely both - but he had an appreciation for how hospitable and courteous the Japanese always were, despite how uncomfortable or superior they may feel. When President Davis questioned if the Commonwealth deserved their faith, a small part of Gabriel died inside of him as he buried his face into one of his hands. 

 

"Mister President, the American Commonwealth was an embarrassment to the American continent. They only enforced the parts of the constitution they saw relevant, they oppressed the States, and they tried to force their twisted ways of governing on other nations like Faraway. Not to mention they arrested a sitting Texas Governor and several Texas legislators and did not give any of them a fair trial. Not everyone in that government was twisted though, the United States's Vice President Anderson was a Senator and the Governor of Georgia. While I wont speak for him, I can say that he has told plenty of stories of federal corruption in the Commonwealth and unchecked power. Though none of us wanted a war, well maybe the Texans did, the quick surrender of Commonwealth forces showed the lack of fortitude and even faith the military had in that faulty government. Prime Minister I don't want you to have a false impression on what Americans think of the Commonwealth, talk to any Governor in the United States and they will tell you how oppressive of a regime it was."

 

Gabriel didn't like the tension growing in the room so he switched gears back to what the Prime Minister had originally brought up about free trade. "American foreign policy is almost non-existent. This visit to Japan and the Vice President going to the Confederate States have, so far, been the only formal trips made by American diplomats and the President is still making his agenda. But, I can assure your Excellency that the United States has no interest or ambitions to overthrow any new American governments that want to keep the Western Hemisphere in a state of peace. One of the golden rules of diplomacy is that you don't speak for the party you are meeting with, but I hope President Davis would agree that our current borders are no problem? If you do, Mister President, then I can only see a continued peace in our future."

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"Well, I did not expect much to have occurred, given both your states are relatively new still. But this was also one of the reasons we invited you both, given that to our Empire, it would be detrimental to our interests in Pacific security to have any issues in the Americas arise. And some things better be clarified as soon as possible, such as the security of the North American continent, something I think we all can agree to be important.", Akiyama responded, while waiting for Davis response.

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"Mr. Adams, so you are aware, Mr. Milton Luke is the President of the Confederacy, not I. I am a senator from Texas. In regards to the borders, yes, they have been settled, so long as you are aware that we do own Kentucky, Tennessee, Alabama, and Florida. Just to confirm these considering they border the states confirmed as Union territory.

 

In regards to the treaty, would have to be approved by Congress, but I have no doubts that it will be approved fairly quickly."

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Akiyama clasped her hands, as she saw the North americans agree on something and hope rekindled that something good would come of this debate. "As stated before, we would welcome it if Americans would be working together and work towards strengthening the continent. In our experience, North America has either been a fragmented community of nations that were played against each other by outside powers, or it was dominated by one larger power that sapped the life out of the continent and most often was no better than the foreign colonies. In that sense, I'd like to know your opinion on creating a North American Council, which works towards preserving American freedom from outside powers, as well as from any hegemonial powers on the continent, so as to prevent the demise of North America once again. This is mainly the reason I invited both of your governments to send a representative here, so as to discuss this matter, which is of importance to all three of us." Akiyama paused for a moment, wondering whether to disclose it or not, but ultimatively decided to do so, given it seemed necessary. "Given Japan sees itself in this arrangement as an outside partner, not as a foreign occupation force, we would of course be willing to transfer the overall responsibility of our tremendous North american protectorate to any such organisation, in the spirit of North americans being in charge of themselves. But of course, such would first require an institution that represents the North american common will."

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"It sounds like a good idea Prime Minister, but there have been these North American or Western Hemisphere organizations before. At times Tianxia and the Athenian Federation demanded admittance; less trustworthy American nations, including the American Commonwealth, would relay secret information to powers in Europe and Asia, and these blocs have just turned into big treaty blocs that spell the doom of a dozen nations if one decides to show aggression to a nation outside of the New World. I feel that those in the outer world want to keep the Western Hemisphere, especially North America, in a separated and weaker state and that bringing them together in a group like this would be seen as a noticeable threat to the powers at be. What do you think we would have to do different from the past dozen Western organizations to stand the test of time?" 

 

OOC: Sorry it took me a while to respond, I was on vacation.

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"Times change, and so do circumstances, Mister Adams.", Akiyama responded. "The current world order is not the one that it was back in the day and the relations being sought are different too. However, that of course does not mean the Americas can merely think they were right back in the day and play the innocent victims that don't need to change themselves. The fundamental truth is, Mister Adams, that North America will not become any stronger when everyone works on their own, but North americans also must learn and adapt from past mistakes, if they want to have a position in future structures. You may curse the American Commonwealth, I do too. But I wouldn't say they merely sold out the Americas. Organisations like the North American Council of the Commonwealth, Faraway and the Hudson Bay Federation were among the most capable blocs this continent produced... which still isn't much, but at least something." The Prime Minister then sighed. "I will be honest with you, the world isn't sugar and rainbows and it is not a place where you can just blindly dream about, or you'll sleepwalk into your demise. The fall of the Commonwealth has most likely destroyed much of the global influence the continent had and I do not deem it likely that North America will not be on the receiving end yet again in the mid to long term, unless the American nations learn how to look out for their well-being. And with that I don't mean just their individual well-being, but their collective one. Japan is not going to be dictating you terms or force you into cooperation, however, your nations will learn to cooperate and conduct themselves within the frameworks of the system, or it'll be merely a matter of time until they die. Japan is willing to cooperate, but we are not willing to get cut down for any fundamentally flawed policy of the Americans."

 

"The success of this organisation relies first and foremost on the ability of Americans to avoid getting into unnecessary squabbles, their awareness of the need for cooperation, their willingness to integrate into the broader system and lastly... the stability of their states to not just fall apart within the next few years or decades. All things that even the Commonwealth managed to do, and which we'd hope his successor states keep up."

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"Sometimes I wonder if maybe we're just sleepwalking," Gabriel said after the Prime Minister. He took out his blackberry while keeping his physical attention towards the Japanese and the Confederate. After just a few moments of looking for something he set it back inside his pocket and folded his hands on the table. "I was just double checking the agenda that the President had given me to speak with both your Excellency and the Senator. The President and I never spoke about a North American organization of an sorts, but we did discuss trade and working with our neighbor. I think he would understand why I'm willing to entertain the idea of a North America, or even just Western, organization. I know that there have been many times in the past when successful groups filled with strong individuals were brought down by a few weak or foolish nations. I would never pass such an aspersion on the Confederacy, but as local governments continue to organize and more nations show up on our doorstep, we all know that there are going to be the nations who think their voice is all-knowing, or that they are all-important, or that their armies are all-powerful when really they can't even stop domestic conflict. My biggest fear are the nations like that, who we know will cause such chaos."

 

Gabriel cleared his throat. He looked around for something to drink and picked up his speaking again. "But you were right when you were talking about unity. A house divided cannot stand. That is definitely true when it comes to North America. I think it'd be worth the risk to try this, especially when there aren't too many sovereign states here to complicate things. Everyone here, and when I say everyone I mean the people of the Americas, have a great appreciation for the Japanese who risked thousands of lives to come here and overthrow the Commonwealth and, on top of that, do not want retribution in return. That is selfless, for sure. Tianxia has always been seen as the greatest foe to the Americas, my hope is that if we can keep ties between Japan and the Americas strong, we can tie Tianxia into our relationship as well. 

 

"You yes your Excellency, I'll agree that a treaty organization of some sorts should be made for us. When we are so separated and weak, we need each other. I think that when we are strong we'll be happy we have each other too."

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"I do hope that this can be worked on for now, I guess. The critical point in this matter however is that North America is aware of what matters, of what it can do and what it cannot do. I think noone here is going to deny that an invasion by any greater outside power would at the current point be disastrous for the continent, given that the Americas are by no means prepared for conflict. That's why Japan is still present and assisting your countries. This cooperation between Japan and the Americas can also continue into the future, if it works out, given that potentially much could be gained for both sides.", Akiyama stated a bit concerned, as she tried to get points across. "Be aware however, that the Japanese Empire has no intention to unnecessarily sacrifice its relations with Tianxia over any botched up diplomacy in the Americas. While there are degrees to which Japan is willing to intervene, even in the highly unlikely case of Tianxian aggression, we do hope that rather a bridge can be constructed between the Americas and East Asia and no pointless antagonism ensues. Tianxia currently occupies the least amount of American territory of all great powers, I think such is a good opportunity to continue at least part of the Commonwealth's foreign policy and keep cordial relations with Tianxia. I do not talk about kow-towing here, but I think statesmen like you understand the need for basic respect and decency and can see the potential that cooperation between the Americas and East Asia brings with it. For the time being, it is our hope that cordial relations can be established, that the Americas can work on organising themselves in peace and find a means to effectively coordinate their continental affairs. Over time, the American community will surely earn the respect of the established nations and will be able to establish a firm and confident position. And as long as the Americas are willing to cooperate, to communicate and coordinate policies, Japan will be quite willing to offer itself as a partner in such an endeavour, offering diplomatic, economic and if necessary military support. North America and the Americas in general are an area of much potential, but this potential must be cultivated and a position must be established, before it can be used in any fashion other than to secure the continued survival of your states. While the American Commonwealth's demise was foreseeable, it nevertheless marks a new low in American influence and a renewed rise must happen through cooperation and integration, not through pointless confrontation."

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"I didn't mean to imply that we, or the United States for that matter, would abuse Japan's relationship with Tianxia at the cost of the Japanese. I meant that we would be most appreciative if you could help us get our foot in the door to establish relations with East Asia when the time is right. I believe I understand your concerns, that is if you none more to make clear? Unless the Senator's Confederacy plans on crunching on any more States, I can't see the United States having an casus beli for war of any kind." 

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Mikal Davis finally found a place in the conversation, or debate, if that's what it was, to intervene and make his statement for the Confederacy. "Sir, in the Confederate States, we have a firm belief in one thing: freedom. I believe your nation has made it obvious to us that the American Commonwealth was little more than a disgrace to the American continent, and that our nation needs to have the protection of our borders as it's utmost importance. When I met with President Luke, he told me to make sure that freedom be spelled clearly for you to understand, and that I ensure that the protection of the American continent be top priority for the debate being held. I believe it is then my duty to sign any treaty written up to secure the lands of our own and beyond. So long as the rules placed down by this treaty provide for what we require, I see no harm in a signature."

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Gabriel turned his head, "The American Commonwealth was not what it said it was, but disgrace isn't the right word. Second I don't think any of us came here to debate, but if there is a finer point you want to go over then we can do it. Thirdly, are you saying you want a treaty between the United States and the Confederacy saying that you can secure whatever lands you please? I think every nation would want such a treaty, Senator." 

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Akiyama watched the conversation without saying much, before casually throwing in "I would like to point out that until american countries found a way to organise themselves, the American protectorate stays under Japanese military administration and any transgression not cleared with us is seen as an act of war against Japan. I'd suggest you work out the details between yourself that you actually can affect at this point, not lecture one another over territories you currently do not posess." She then leaned back, poured herself a cup of green tea and watched on, given Akiyama deemed that she had said enough and it'd be up to the Americans to work out their differences. Japan was merely to create the environment to facilitate this and act as honest broker in case of conflict... or so she at least thought.

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