|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.
Rise to PowerEdit
Ruchang was born in 2050. His mother was Chinese and his father claimed descent from the Tokugawa family. He joined the Democratic Party and became an MP at an unknown date, serving as Minister of Justice in 2095. He was a chess player and karate expert who wrote Wuxia novels as a hobby. His brother, Takeshi Shiro, was a general in the Imperial Japanese Army and colluded in Ruchang's quest for power. Ruchang became Prime Minister in 2098 and began an aggressive campaign to expand and modernize the Japanese army.
Interventions in China and VietnamEdit
After becoming Prime Minister, Ruchang attempted to turn the government into his personal dictatorship. The invasions of China and Vietnam were intended to supply manpower and raw materials to bootstrap the Japanese economy, and thereby earn political capital. In the Summer of 2104, Japan launched a full-scale invasion of eastern China under the guise of a peacekeeping mission to combat a local warlord named Sun Ce. The following autumn it expanded its operations into Vietnam after widespread human rights atrocities were brought to public attention. The initial assault was conducted with "shock-and-awe" tactics that obliterated local infrastructure. Monaco and the United Arab Republic denounced what they saw as opportunistic land grabs and colonial exploitation of Chinese and Vietnamese labour and resources, charging that Japanese intervention was motivated purely by profit and its strategy was worsening the situation.
Gulf of Tonkin incidentEdit
Countries suspicious of Japanese designs on Vietnam established a UN-sanctioned peacekeeping mission to ensure further actions adhered to a humanitarian mandate. Forces were deployed to the country in the winter of 2104, establishing a safe zone around Ho Chi Minh City, but contact was lost with a convoy destined for Hanoi in the Gulf of Tonkin. Intelligence later came to light revealing the Imperial Japanese Navy was under standing orders to fire upon UN vessels, provoking widespread international condemnations and demands for an official inquiry. The Japanese government initially conceded to an independent inspection both of the incident and its continental activities, only to stall the organizational process. Exhausted by Tokyo's obstinacy, following the recovery of the HMS Rosemary in 2105 the General Assembly voted 8-1 to suspend Japan. Ruchang decried what he called an "international conspiracy" masterminded by the United Arab Republic, and Japan withdrew from the United Nations shortly afterward.
Although Japan did not vote against Resolution 4, it subsequently attempted to revoke UNVIFOR and refused to cooperate with the mission. The result was a de facto partition of Vietnam between UN peacekeepers and the Japanese army. In an act of spite in 2105, it established a Vietnamese puppet state, although the government had no independent army and little actual power and was not recognized by the international community.
As international observers predicted, Japanese aggression served to galvanize local resistance, and surviving northern warlords united under the Council of Hanoi. Japan immediately declared the junta illegitimate and attempted to pre-empt UN operations by stating the army would engage any foreign forces it encountered. Incensed, the Platonic Republic withdrew from UNVIFOR to pursue a unilateral support mission to the Council, but the fleet was intercepted and utterly destroyed, leading to a hasty, non-punitive peace. Later that Spring, Irish aid workers were killed by Japanese forces in what was widely viewed as a deliberate attack; while Tokyo paid restitution to Dublin, the action led to a UN-sanctioned embargo later that year and the escalation of combat personnel to the mission.
Path to DefeatEdit
Consolidation of PowerEdit
On 18 July, Japan launched a full-scale amphibious assault on Ho Chi Minh City, beginning the Vietnam War. Under the pretext of total war and national emergency, Ruchang began consolidating power and silencing the opposition. Ruchang suspended the constitution and instituted martial law. With Imperial assent he appointed himself Shogun, assuming complete control of the armed forces and 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. Under the emergency powers claimed during the Vietnam War, Ruchang's government turned expressly authoritarian, beginning brutal crackdowns on political dissent, targeting left-wing parties and pacifists specifically.
The IJN locked down the South China Sea as the Vietnam expedition launched a mass assault on the Northeast Region in a failed attempt to seize a secret nuclear stockpile before UN forces could remove it. While state propaganda maintained the Japanese army was winning on all fronts, its only major victory was against the Greco-Roman landing at Taiwan that crippled both countries' militaries for the rest of the game. On all other fronts it entered into relative stalemate; by 2106 it had lost control of southern Vietnam and was expelled from its brief foothold in Tianjin.
Hinting at Japan's growing desperation, it began using both local civilians and prisoners of war for slave labour in construction of hasty defensive networks. It also deliberately infected both captured and killed enemy soldiers with biological agents, returning them to the front in a bid to stall the Allied advance as the army prepared to retreat from Vietnam to reinforce the foundering Chinese front.
Having failed to produce a clear victory, Ruchang began to suffer a decline in popular support that intensified following a major earthquake in Tokyo in the summer of 2106. The government responded by arming right-wing 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. That same season, 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.
Defeat and deathEdit
On 14 September, Japan launched a nuclear missile on the Egyptian capital city Cairo. This combined with the systematic destruction of Hanoi was the final straw for the international community, and the United Nations adopted Resolution 14 that indicted the Japanese government for widespread and wanton war crimes and crimes against humanity, declaring Japan a rogue state and officially sanctioning the Allied coalition to arrest the government and military leadership.
Japan's crumbling war effort was compounded by a nationwide food poisoning in 2106. Despite positing itself as neutral, the Indonesian Republic had secretly conspired to undermine Japan through the sabotage of BulkProd exports, which led to the death of twenty million people within only a few weeks. Initially pinned on the Allies, the crisis enabled Ruchang to seize the offices of recently deceased civil servants and rally popular outrage; Ruchang was declared Crown Prince and heir apparent, dissolved the Diet and banned all parties. By this time, any sense of governmental stability had been eradicated by totalitarian despotism.
The Allies attempted to broker an end to the war, calling for the government's capitulation and the surrender of Ruchang et al. to an international criminal court. Emboldened by international confusion surrounding the poison crisis and criticism of the terms of surrender, Japan refused to submit, deploying even more troops to the Chinese front. However, 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. Shiro executed Ruchang on 12 January 2107 as he attempted to flee the country, and the Japanese Empire unravelled soon afte