|First||Name: Takeshi Ruchang|
|Second||Position: Crown Prince and Shogun|
|Fourth||Allegiance: Democratic Party of the Empire of Japan|
|Sixth||Died: 12 January 2107|
Takeshi Ruchang was the Prime Minister, later dictatorial Shogun of the Japanese Empire. A cruel and ambitious man, he engineered military takeovers of East Asia under the guise of humanitarian relief that led to the Vietnam War and Pacific War. In late 2105, Ruchang was appointed Shogun and proceeded to consolidate personal and political power, suspending the constitution and beginning a crackdown on opposition parties, culminating in the dissolution of parliament in 2106.
In the summer of 2106, Ruchang, then 56, married 19-year-old Princess Sutematsu, establishing himself as a member of the Imperial family and positioning him as a potential successor to the Emperor. Despite maintaining high domestic approval, Ruchang's leadership turned the country into an international pariah, and he was charged with war crimes under United Nations Resolution 14. During the civil war sparked by the poison food crisis, Ruchang was assassinated by his brother and rebel leader Takeshi Shiro.
- 1 Early Life
- 2 Rise to Power
- 3 Invasion of China
- 4 Vietnamese Campaign
- 5 The Holocaust
- 6 Start of Pacific War
- 7 Path to defeat
- 8 Defeat and death
- 9 Leadership style
- 10 Legacy
Ruchang was born in 2050. His mother was Chinese and his father claimed descent from the Tokugawa family. At school, Ruchang showed great intellectual potential and was extremely popular with fellow pupils as well as being admired for his leadership qualities. He studied in the Polytechnic National University of Tokyo. He was also known a chess player and karate expert who wrote wuxia novels as a hobby.
Rise to Power
Entry into politics
Ruchang joined the Democratic Party in 2089, started giving speeches to members of the party and impressed them with his rhetorical skills. He became an MP at 2090, serving as Minister of Justice in 2095. Ruchang fought corruption and inefficient bureaucracy. As Minister of Justice, he managed to erase political corruption from Japan and several politicians who had taken frauds were arrested. His brother, Takeshi Shiro, was a general in the Imperial Japanese Army and colluded in Ruchang's quest for power. In 2097, Ruchang became leader of the Democratic Party and used his father's very rich property to finance the party activities.
Ruchang became Prime Minister in 2098 and began an aggressive campaign to expand and modernize the Japanese army. The massive armament policy almost led to full employment during the late 2090s and early 2100s. Unemployment fell from six million in 2099 to one million in 2102. Ruchang also oversaw one of the largest infrastructure improvement campaigns in Japanese history, leading to the construction of dams, railroads, and other civil works, but wages were slightly lower than before.
Invasion of China
In summer 2104, Japan launched a full-scale invasion of China in what it claimed was a peacekeeping mission to end anarchy and warlordism and restore "free trade". The operation immediately came under international scrutiny as its methodology resembled military conquest rather than humanitarian aid, and the United Arab Republic denounced what it claimed was an opportunistic land grab.
Japanese soldiers landed in the ports of Zhejiang and in Taiwan and faced little resistance from the peasant armies of the Warlords. The Japanese Air Force bombarded several military bases and economic and communication centers in Taiwan, where more than 900 tons of bombs were thrown.
In a location known just as the Crane village in Taiwan, more than 300 Chinese soldiers and irregulars fortified and faced in house to house urban combat 5,000 Japanese soldiers. The casualties were huge, as more than 32 Japanese soldiers died and 120 were injured. The commander of the forces was reluctant to use artillery or call the air force, in fear of civilian casualties, as many villagers had not left their homes. However, after many days of brutal combat, victory for Japan was secured.
Offensive in Jiangsu
In autumn 2104, Toyotomi Hideyioshi was appointed Marshall and took command of Japanese forces in China, which were made up by the Army Groups VI, VIII and IX of the Imperial Japanese Army. The Japanese army in China was reorganized as the Imperial Mainland Japanese Army and it's Army Groups were renamed Army Groups I, II and III.
Toyotomi Hideyioshi begun a military operation in Jiangsu, with the goal of gradually securing all of the East China coastline and defeating the Chinese Warlord Sun Ce, who commanded an army of 200,000 men, mostly untrained and badly equipped conscripted peasants, and who was in control of Jiangsu, Shandong and Hainan.
The offensive was made up of an armored thrust spearheaded by 6 armored brigades. The offensive was supported by the Imperial Japanese Navy and Air Force, who bombarded military HQs and economic and communication centers in all of Jiangsu.
Hainan Island Operation
Hainan Island lies midway between Indochina and Hong Kong, occupying a position south of the Leizhou Peninsula across the Strait of Hainan. The 33,920 km2 (13,100 sq mi) Hainan Island had a population of 2,200,000 at the time. The island was guarded by the 152nd Division of Su Ce's army, approximately 25,000 strong, under the command of Yu Hanmou, who was in charge of peace preservation in Kwangtung Province.
Escorting a convoy, the Japanese South China Naval Force (Fifth Fleet) commanded by Vice Admiral Kondo Nobutake entered and anchored in Tsinghai Bay on the northern shore of Hainan Island at midnight on 9 September 2104 and carried out a successful landing. In addition, Navy land combat units effected a landing at Haikou at 12:00 on 10 September. Thereafter, the Army and Navy forces acted in concert to mop up the northern zone. On 11 September the land combat units landed at Samah (Sanya) at the southern extremity of Hainan Island and occupied the key positions of Yulin and Yai-Hsien. Thereafter, the units engaged in the occupation and subjugation of the entire island.
Chinese Communists under Feng Baiju and the native Li people of Hainan fought a vigorous guerrilla campaign against the Japanese occupation, but in retaliation over one third of the male population were killed by the Japanese.
Offensive in Shandong
In winter 2104, a new great offensive begun in Coastal China. This time Five Army Groups (Army Groups I, II, III, VII and IX) of the Imperial Japanese Mainland Army (IJMA), supported by one Army Group of the Imperial Japanese Army (Army Group V), twelve Marine Corps, twenty Armored Brigades, six Battleships and three Carriers carrying over thirty Fighters and twenty Bombers begun the largest yet Japanese offensive in China, with the goal of defeating Sun Ce once and for all.
The operation begun with a two weeks long bombardment of Sun Ce's forces and economic and military centers. Then, in only three weeks, the Japanese army managed to takeover Shandong. Sun Ce himself was trapped by Japanese marines and committed suicide.
With the fall of Shandong, the Imperial Japanese Mainland Army begun preparations for a new offensive. The Japanese Navy bombarded Hebei with cruise missiles as a preparation for a campaign against warlord Cao Qing, who had declared himself Emperor in Beijing. However, Tianjin was captured only in spring 2105, because Japan was more focused on it's intervention in Vietnam and operations in China subsided.
Intervention in Vietnam
Following reports of mass atrocities in Vietnam, Japan launched an identical mission to the region. The action was initially supported by the Roman Empire and Texarkanan Mayorate, but Monaco denounced what it saw as overly aggressive behavior by Japanese forces that included systematic and largely indiscriminate bombing of civil infrastructure, as well as use of the 'freed' citizens for cheap labor.
Withdrawal from the UN
In order to ensure further international intervention adhered to humanitarian auspices, the United Nations established a peacekeeping mission shortly afterwards, but Japan refused to recognize the mission's legitimacy. Japan's international reputation rapidly deteriorated in the wake of the Rosemary incident that winter, when Texark intelligence revealed that the Imperial Japanese Navy was under standing orders to prevent UN ships from entering the Gulf of Tonkin. This led to Japan's suspension from the General Assembly in spring of 2105. Ruchang decried what he called an "international conspiracy" masterminded by the United Arab Republic, and Japan withdrew from the United Nations shortly afterward.
Early hostilities in Vietnam
In an attempt to deflect the charges of colonialism, Japan reconstituted its Vietnamese territories as the nominally independent Empire of Vietnam, although the government had virtually no real power and received no official recognition beyond Japan. Following the announcement that Japanese forces would not discriminate between UN forces and northern warlords, the United Arab Republic severed diplomatic relations with Tokyo over what it decried as deliberate belligerence intended to undermine peacekeeping efforts, shortly followed by New Rhodesia. The Platonic Republic responded by adopting a militant hardline that led to its expulsion from UNVIFOR over concerns Greek brinkmanship was compromising the mission's mandate.
Undaunted, Athens dispatched a convoy to relieve the Hanoi Council that summer that was attacked and routed while passing through Japanese-controlled waters, resulting in heavy damage to the fleet and the capture of numerous Greek soldiers, leading to a hasty peace settlement in which Athens pledged to refrain from further activity in Vietnam. In a separate incident, Japanese forces killed Irish aid workers operating in a UN-held border town in the Central Highlands Region. Although Tokyo issued an official apology and provided monetary compensation to the Irish government, the action was widely held as deliberate aggression, leading to official sanctions and spurring UNVIFOR sponsor states to increase their troop commitment.
The Holocaust was based on Ruchang's long-standing view that the Miao people in Vietnam (787,604) and She people in Zhejiang (170,993) were racially inferior to the Japanese. The Holocaust (also known as the "Final Solution") was ordered, organized and executed by Ruchang. It was responsible for the deaths of at least 500,000 people during 2105 through mass executions in concentration and extermination camps.
Start of Pacific War
Assault on Ho Chi Minh City
On 18 July 2105, Japan launched a full-scale amphibious assault on Ho Chi Minh City, beginning the Vietnam War. The Japanese air force made indiscriminate use of napalm on the Northeast Region, resulting in thousands of civilian casualties, but the attack spurred the Hanoi Council to surrender to the peacekeepers and a joint front thwarted the ground assault. An amphibious assault on UN headquarters in Ho Chi Minh City forced the peacekeepers from the region and resulted in partial encirclement of Irish and UAR forces in the highlands to the north. The attack provided a pretext for war by each of the mission's sponsor states, including Japan's ally Indo-Persia, which promptly withdrew from the Greater East Asia Co-Prosperity Sphere, followed soon after by Gangnam. The People's Republic of Sichuan, meanwhile, delivered an ultimatum demanding Japanese withdrawal from China, and declared war after receiving no reply.
Consolidation of power
Under the pretext of total war and national emergency, Ruchang began consolidating power and silencing the opposition. A resolution delivered to the Diet with Imperial assent that summer suspended elections, appointing Ruchang supreme commander of the armed forces and conveying the title of Shogun. He subsequently took personal command of the Imperial Japanese Navy. The Communist Party staged a protest against the coup that was violently suppressed, resulting in 300 deaths, 700 injuries, and 3000 arrests. In the Fall of 2105, the government began arming far-right militias to suppress peace activists and opposition parties, provoking waves of murder and violence resulting in tens of thousands of deaths. A later bombing of the Diet, widely suspected to be a false-flag operation, was used as an excuse to attack the Liberal Party, sparking another wave of public violence.
Fall offensives and expansion of UN mandate
Allied intelligence uncovered the existence of pre-Cataclysm nuclear arsenals in the north and south of Vietnam, and UNVIFOR scrambled to fend off a second Japanese assault while the warheads were removed to Laos. Despite high casualties and eventual UN retreat from the Northeast Region, the arsenal was secured. Meanwhile in the south, a combined Malaccan-Texark fleet confronted the Imperial Japanese Navy, sustaining heavy losses but allowing a two-pronged counteroffensive that reclaimed the Mekong River Delta. In response to Japan's total war doctrine, the United Nations adopted Resolution 12 authorizing aggressive force against Japanese-held territories, and that officially renounced the legitimacy of the Empire of Vietnam. The United Arab Republic deployed two fresh corps to Vietnam to relieve it's expedition; while they operated under al-Karimi's command, they were not officially part of the UNVIFOR unit.
Victories in China
On the Chinese Eastern Front, there was significantly less success for the UN, with the might of Japan’s army being able to display itself fully. In many of the pitched battles, the Japanese overran the Chinese army. Approximately 3.9 million Chinese were killed, mostly civilians, as a direct result of the Japanese operations.
Special Japanese military units conducted experiments on civilians and POWs in China. One of the most infamous was Unit 731 under Shirō Ishii. Unit 731 was established by order of Takeshi Ruchang himself. Victims were subjected to experiments including but not limited to vivisection and amputations without anesthesia and testing of biological weapons. Anesthesia was not used because it was believed that anesthetics would adversely affect the results of the experiments. The number of people killed by the Imperial Japanese Army germ warfare and human experiments is around 580,000.
Meanwhile, Gangnam troops were more successful against the Japanese and secured the city of Tianjin and the surrounding area. This area was incorporated into the Transitionary State of Beijing. During lulls in the battle for control of Tianjin, Japanese troops took out their anger and frustration on the innocent civilians in the city; various credible Western and Eastern sources agree that the death toll of the Massacre of Tianjin was at least 100,000 to 120,000, including children and babies brutally killed by the Japanese, tallying to around 10% of the population of the city.
Greece rejoined the war in the winter shortly after Rome recalled its UN contingent over its criticisms of the Allies' "slow" progress. In an attempt to relieve pressure on the main front and sever Japanese supply lines, both countries organized an amphibious assault on Taiwan. The campaign was intended to be commanded by Greek general Xylon Toto, but he was attacked during passage through the Suez Canal by Libyan separatists and hospitalized in Cairo, turning command over to Emperor Andreas, who had decided to lead the troops from the front. The invasion fleet came under early attack by the IJN, and the landing was an unmitigated disaster as Andreas was cut down in the first wave. The force quickly retreated but was intercepted again, resulting in the near-total destruction of both countries' armed forces and humiliating peace settlements the following year.
Winter stalemate in Vietnam
Following the death of Mayor Hannegan that winter, Texarkana adopted a regionalist foreign policy leading to an about-face on its international commitments. It abruptly withdrew from UNVIFOR, making white peace with Japan over what it claimed was a "mutual threat" posed by Greek involvement. The action was widely condemned by its former allies, and its subsequent defiance of Resolution 14 and withdrawal from the UN led to rapid deterioration of international face.
Allied forces, meanwhile, continued to push northward in Vietnam during the winter of 2105, but began to encounter heavy fortifications built with Vietnamese slave labour. More than 100,000 civilians died in the construction of the fortifications. Japanese offensives in the northern regions managed to force a UN withdrawal into Laos, but they were in turn expelled from the Northeast by a fully-mobilized Chinese army.
Path to defeat
Spring campaign and Japanese withdrawal
Japan continued fortifying its shrinking holdings in Vietnam, and rumors began circulating that the military was deliberately infecting prisoners of war with biological agents. Fearing a widespread contamination trap, the Allies initially withheld further advance, but intelligence revealed the Japanese were withdrawing en masse to reinforce the Chinese front. UN forces launched a mass push to Hanoi in spring of 2106, in a bid to catch the retreat as the Allied navy moved to intercept the convoy; while replenished Allied fleets were still unevenly-matched with the IJN, the Japanese had completely withdrawn their air support and the convoy was devastated by bombing runs. Without Japanese protection, the Vietnamese puppet government imploded.
Rape of Hanoi
UN troops entered Hanoi to find the city literally destroyed and nearly the entire population murdered; search and rescue effort uncovered only 124 survivors. It is estimated over 200,000 Vietnamese were killed in the incident. 20,000 women were raped, including infants and the elderly. A large portion of these rapes were systematized in a process where soldiers would search door-to-door for young girls, with many women taken captive and gang raped. The women were often killed immediately after being raped, often through explicit mutilation or by stabbing a bayonet, long stick of bamboo, or other objects into the vagina. Young children were not exempt from these atrocities, and were cut open to allow Japanese soldiers to rape them. The atrocities further hardened the resolve of combatants in the ongoing Pacific War.
Nuclear strike on Cairo
As the UN liberated Vietnam, a Japanese nuclear missile hit Cairo. Within the first two to four months of the bombing, the acute effects killed 166,000 people; roughly half of the deaths in occurred on the first day. The nuclear attack also had disastrous ecological effects on the water of the Nile. The nuclear attack led the UN to officially declare Japan a rogue state, and Ruchang and his government were charged with war crimes and crimes against humanity.
Defeats in China
On the Chinese front, the tactical ingenuity of China’s forces allowed them to gain the upper hand against overwhelming Japanese forces arrayed against them. With the help of Gangnam from the north, the advances of Japan were stopped and in Southern China, the Chinese even managed to make gains against the enemy. Another attempt to attack Taiwan was made and once again it was repulsed, gaining Taiwan the fame of an impregnable fortress.
Defeat and death
In the summer of 2106, Ruchang, 56, married Princess Sutematsu, 19-year-old granddaughter to the Emperor, establishing himself as a potential successor. Ruchang planned to use an anticipated victory against the Allied fleet to shame Emperor Iwao and usurp the throne. Foreign scholars ridiculed the marriage, citing Ruchang's Chinese heritage as proof of illegitimacy in a larger critique of what was increasingly read as an utterly nonsensical and self-contradictory political tradition.
With Ruchang refusing to surrender and with more than 2 million Japanese troops in China ready to continue fighting until the very last man, the Allies knew that they had to take extreme measures to force a Japanese surrender. Industrial sabotage took place on a massive scale and chemical and biological warfare was employed upon the Japanese civilian population by the Allies. Over 20 million people died. The attack crippled the Japanese economy and army.
Nevertheless, Ruchang continued to amass power after the chemical attack led to the deaths of many government ministers whose offices he promptly seized. The chemical attack also led to a brief surge in popular support; Ruchang was declared Crown Prince and heir apparent, dissolved the Diet and banned all parties.
The same season, Japan launched a new desperate offensive in China, but it was cut short by China’s defensive strategies. The Japanese large vehicles and their huge army attempted to move forwards, only to find cities that had been evacuated and turned into fortresses. The countryside was similarly transformed and Japanese advances were negligible. With Japan’s forces focused in Mainland China, Hainan was easily liberated by Chinese troops.
Nuclear bombing of China
Following the failed offensive, Takeshi Ruchang launched his entire nuclear stockpile at China and the United Arab Republic. The missiles against the United Arab Republic were intercepted, but China suffered 42.4 million deaths, over four percent of the total world population. Most of Central China became a massive wasteland, but Western China was left untouched and the Chinese army mostly survived unscathed the bombing and was stronger than ever, as hundreds of thousands of volunteers joined the ranks of the army in order to take revenge for the loss of their loved ones.
Poison Food Crisis
Meanwhile, the Allies continued with increased savagery the chemical attacks and mass poisoning took place in the Japanese food industry, killing five more million people. With the threat of imminent death hundreds of thousands of Japanese flocked to the docks intending to commandeer ships to the safety of Korea. The Japanese military and police stepped in, trying to stop the rush. However the crowds were too large and soon overwhelmed the government forces. Tens of thousands died on the docks in the struggle to get on board a ship. It was a free for all. Boats were leaving port overflowing with people; many went on to sink before even leaving the mouth of the port. It was then that the Japanese military stepped in in full force, stopping boats and keeping people away from the docks using tanks and large numbers of troops. Of the few boats that made it out of the ports the majority sunk on their way to Korea, 4 that did make it across were then accidentally destroyed by a Gangnam coastguard vessel who thought it was a Japanese attack.
With Japan's fighting capability on the verge of collapse by year's end and Ruchang stubbornly refusing to surrender, his brother Takeshi Shiro turned on him, provoking a brief but bloody civil war. A large group of Japanese military personnel declared the Government incompetent and the cause of the tragic losses of the population and swore loyalty to Shiro. Ruchang’s forces slowly decreased after the outbreak of civil war and Emperor Iwao openly denounced him as a usurper who planed to take the throne. Even his wife, Princess Sutematsu, accused him of treason and Ruchang went on the run after murdering her. Shiro executed Ruchang on 12 January 2107 as he attempted to flee the country, and the Japanese Empire unravelled soon after.
Ruchang ruled Japan autocratically after the start of the Pacific War by using the pretext of total war and national emergency to assert the "Leader principle". The principle relied on absolute obedience of all subordinates to their superiors; thus he viewed the government structure as a pyramid, with himself—the infallible leader—at the apex.
Ruchang dominated his country's war effort during the Pacific War to a greater extent than any other national leader. He assumed the role of Shogun and supreme commander of the armed forces during the summer of 2105, and subsequently made all major decisions regarding Japan's military strategy. Ruchang deepened his involvement in the war effort by taking personal command of the Imperial Japanese Navy.
Despite the defeat of Japanese forces in China and Vietnam, he continued to believe that only his leadership could deliver victory. In the final months of the war Ruchang refused to consider peace negotiations, regarding the complete destruction of Japan as preferable to surrender. The military did not challenge Ruchang's dominance of the war effort, and senior officers generally supported and enacted his decisions.
Ruchang's assassination was likened by contemporaries to a "spell" being broken. Public support for Ruchang had collapsed by the time of his death and few Japanese mourned his passing; Ian Kershaw argues that most civilians and military personnel were too busy adjusting to the collapse of the country to take any interest. According to historian John Toland, the Japanese Empire "burst like a bubble" without its leader.
Ruchang's actions are almost universally regarded as gravely immoral and he has been called the most deranged and despicable human monster ever. Ruchang's political programme brought about a continental war, leaving behind a devastated and impoverished Eastern Asia. Japan itself suffered wholesale destruction. Historians, philosophers, and politicians often use the word "evil" to describe Ruchang and his regime. Historian Friedrich Meinecke described Ruchang as "one of the great examples of the singular and incalculable power of personality in historical life".