The Rising Son[Earth II]

A staging-point for declarations of war and other major diplomatic events. [In character]
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The Rising Son[Earth II]

Postby Chrinthanium » Fri Mar 12, 2021 2:52 pm

Minato, Tokyo, Japan | 12 March 2021 | 16:57 GMT +9 |

Akasaka Palace, home to the Crown Prince of the United Empire, seemed an oddly-placed entity. Unlike the large grounds of the Tokyo Imperial Palace replete with its well-manicured gardens, traditional architecture, and serene beauty, Akasaka Palace was a neo-Baroque palace built in a traditional European style. Originally commissioned by Emperor Yuki in 1909, it was designed as a guest house for visiting dignitaries. With 72 rooms and 15,000 sq meters of space, it was opulent and quite large for any single dignitary. In 1922, it became also home to the Crown Prince. The palace also doubled as a means by which the Emperor could meet with foreign dignitaries himself along with members of the government informal settings when the time was needed. Typically, when a Crown Prince was in residence, the Crown Prince would handle the meeting and greeting, entertainment, and dining options for the visiting dignitaries. When there was not a Crown Prince, foreign dignitaries were assisted with the palace’s general staff. As a part of the property was a more traditional State Guest House which was a great example of 20th-century Nihanchu design. The place sufficient enough to entertain everyone from Prime Ministers and Foreign Secretaries to Presidents and foreign Royalty. As a Crown Prince of the United Empire, Prince Seiji has resided in the palace since his 18th birthday. A fact that had not gone unnoticed by the general public who often tried to catch a peek at their future emperor. Akasaka Palace contained a footpath of nearly 3.25 km (2 miles) that was not crossed over by any road. It was upon this footpath that the Crown Prince would take his morning jogs. From certain points, one might be able to catch a brief glimpse of the prince during these runs.

On this day, it was not the prince jogging along the footpath that caught attention. The black Lexus GX entered the palace grounds. The car drove slowly to a stop outside the palace's main entrance and a portly man with a bald head appeared. He adjusted his black-rimmed spectacles, straightened his tie, and tugged on his suit coat. An aide took an extra moment to brush off the suit jacket. The man moved with a plodding place, his 81-year-old legs attempting to move him faster than they were capable. Two military guards opened the front door to the palace as the man entered, his aide in tow. Their well-polished dress shoes clacked across the marble entryway and into the hallway towards Prince Seiji's apartment. The plus red carpeting in this wing quieted the men's steps as they passed through the corridor. The hallway itself was lined with portraits of crown princes from before. Various hall tables also adorned the walkway sometimes bookended by seats for those awaiting anyone in a particular room. After a few moments, the two men arrived a the palace apartment. The bald man knocked on the door. The door was opened shallowly as the guard inside peered to see who was knocking. Upon meeting the serious gaze of the visitor, the guard opened the door and escorted the elderly man in, the aide was offered a seat by the door outside.

"Your Imperial Highness," the guard said as he deeply bowed towards the young, slender man seated in the room, teacup in hand. "Mr. Kento Tanaka, Personal Secretary of His Imperial Majesty, Emperor Koji."

The 81-year-old bowed as best he could, his portly frame and aging back preventing the sort of low bow reserved for the Imperial Family.

"Thank you," Seiji said as he placed his cup of tea down on the small antique table beside him. The room itself was decorated quite formally with antique European furniture to accentuate the Neo-Baroque style palace. A small settee flanked by two chairs, an oak coffee table in a dark finish with matching side tables. Paintings on the wall of various members of the Imperial family from bygone eras also adorned the mostly white walls. The prince himself was not formally dressed. No visitors were on the schedule for the day. He sat wearing a pair of khaki pants and a light lavender polo shirt and a pair of loafers. He didn't rise from his perch, most royals didn't. Though the visit puzzled the 24-year-old prince. He nodded to Mr. Tanaka and motioned for him to have a seat in one of the flanking chairs. He did as requested.

"Would you care for a cup of tea?" The Prince asked.

"Your Imperial Highness is most generous, however under the circumstances, Sir, I shall have to reluctantly decline your offer." Mr. Tanaka stated with a serious tone.

"Under the circumstances?" The Prince asked. "What's happening?"

Mr. Tanaka cleared his throat, then removed his pocket square and cleaned off his glasses as Prince Seiji anticipated whatever news was about to be revealed. He watched the nervous motions made by Mr. Tanaka. He watched as Mr. Tanaka took a deep breath and leaned forward slightly. Then as Mr. Tanaka began to speak, he paused again, his eyes darting to and fro trying to come up with the words. He took one more deep breath. "Your Imperial Highness, it is my most unfortunate duty this afternoon to bring this most terrible and heartbreaking news."

"Your Imperial Highness, about two hours ago there was a plane crash in the Sea of Japan. The plane was bound from Tokyo to Seoul. Currently, our coast guard arrived on the scene." Mr. Tanaka said pausing his words abruptly.

Seiji's heart began to beat quickly and his palms began to sweat. He started to breathe faster as he hung on Mr. Tanaka's words. He took another breath and then spoke, "Go on."

"There are no signs of survivors amongst the wreckage."

"What plane was this," Seiji asked as his breathing became more heavy causing his chest to heave as he began to fight off tears.

"It was the Imperial Private Jet, Your Imperial Highness. It is my most unwelcomed duty to inform you that we have confirmed that His Imperial Majesty, your father, perished in the crash." Mr. Tanaka sighed. "The Coast Guard located your father's body amongst some fuselage wreckage that remained at the surface."

Seiji closed his eyes. He balled his fists. He bowed his head. He began to shake his head, then pound his clenched fists against his thighs. "No, no no no NO!" Seiji shouted, his face red and flushed, tears streaming down his face. "You tell that ship, you ORDER that ship to keep looking for my father. He's not dead, you FOOL! They have to have the wrong man!"

Mr. Tanaka stood up from his seat. "Your Imperial Highness, I have confirmed with my own eyes that it was your father. His picture was sent to me from the coast guard. If you wish, I will show you the proof. It is on my phone. Though I must warn you, it is not a pleasant sight, Sir. It was my sincerest and desperate hope that it was not your father." Seiji said nothing. He waved his hand at Tanaka not wanting to see the photograph. "Your Imperial Highness, I offer you my sincerest and most heartfelt condolences in this time to you and your family. If I may be of further assistance, I am most willing to help in any manner you see fit."

Seiji looked up. "Thank you, Mr. Tanaka. I will call for you when I need you."

"Yes, Your Imperial Highness," Mr. Tanaka said. "I must ask you this question before I depart, Sir. Have you chosen a regnal name?"

"A what?"

"A regnal name. The name by which you shall rule your people. Your father was born Kazuhiro and ruled as Kazuhito. Your grandfather, however, was born Kenji, but ruled as Fujihito."

"Do we have to do this now?" Seiji asked.

"We must know before we can formally make an announcement."

"Very well, then, Seijihito (正司仁). Now go."

Mr. Tanaka bowed, then walked towards the door to the room. The guard, himself crying, opened the door. Mr. Tanaka then turned around and looked back at Seiji. "All Hall His Imperial Majesty, Seijihito, Emperor of the United Empire of Japan and Greater Manchuria. May his reign never end."

Within the hour, the public broadcaster Zenkoku Hōsō Kyōkai (ZHK), began to make the somber announcement of the tragic passing of the emperor. In the streets of Tokyo and Beijing and Seoul, from the smallest of towns to the largest of cities, people gathered together as the newscasters read the news, their voices filling with sorrow. Normal television programming had stopped across the empire. Prime Minister Ichiro Yokohama and the National Parliament ordered three days of mourning. Banks, government offices, and schools would be closed. Thousands and thousands of people descended upon Akasaka Palace, placing flowers and cards at the gates. The same happened by the Tokyo Imperial Palace and the small Imperial Family vacation homes dotted around the nation. Even with an outpouring of such proportions from the half of a billion citizens of the empire, Seiji himself had never felt more alone.
Last edited by Chrinthanium on Sat Mar 13, 2021 10:32 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Postby Freistaat-Ostafrika » Sat Mar 13, 2021 2:47 pm

12 March 2021, 16:30hrs [UTC+8]
Palace of the Republic
Nanjing, Nanfang Republic

The primary residence of every President of the Nanfang Republic since 1911 when the capital was moved from Guangzhou to Nanjing, the Palace of the Republic covered more than 90,000 square meters and was primarily comprised of three 'sections': the West Garden, the East Garden, and the Central Axis. The Central Axis featured several buildings including the official reception hall and a museum dedicated to past Nanfang Presidents, but the most important building in the complex was Zichao House, the six-storey home of incumbent Presidents. The Presidential Office was located in the southeast corner of the second floor and was comprised of three rooms, the middle room acting as the actual office. Decorated primarily in rich wooden panelling with a light yellow border separating the panelling from the white ceiling, the office was surprisingly quite narrow. The furnishings of the Presidential Office were comprised of two comfortable gold-upholstered armchairs with a green-topped table between them, and the President's rather chunky writing desk which was accessorised with a rather simple desk chair; the desk was positioned sideways next to the office's window to allow for natural light and also to provide the President with a view of the gardens while they were working. Given the global importance of the Nanfang Republic, it might have seemed rather unusual for the President to have such an understated workspace, but there was particular historical significance involved as it had been the workplace of Chiang Kai-shek, widely regarded as one of the 'Fathers of the Republic' as a result of his contributions during his period of leadership, which had lasted from 1928 until 1975. So the office had been relatively unchanged from Chiang's time, with the only updates consisting of modern telecommunications equipment being installed.

The current President of the Nanfang Republic occupied Chiang's desk chair at the moment, pouring over various examples of bureaucratic documentation. The fifty-eight-year-old Yang Mingshu was the first female President in the Republic's history and was well on her way to being recognised as one of the greatest Presidents that the massive Asian nation had seen. She was now approaching her sixteenth year in office as she neared the halfway point of her third six-year term, and her policy agenda had seen the Nanfang Republic firmly establish itself as a true global power. One of the ways that this had been accomplished was with the establishment of the Shenzhen Pact, an international organisation with 'observer' and 'full' members from across Africa, Asia, and Europe. The United Empire was one of these observer members, a sign of the excellent relationship that existed between the two great powers of East Asia. With a mutual interest in ensuring the stability of East Asia and an ever-thriving cross-border trade, the Empire and the Republic cooperated in a wide variety of ways in what Nanjing liked to call the 'Good Neighbours Accord', a relationship that extended beyond the Empire's observer membership of the Pact as the two powers enjoyed a mutual defence agreement. When it came to the Pact, the Empire had signed up to the organisation's subsidiary agencies even though this was optional for observer members, meaning that they were part of the organisation's free trade area and were involved in cooperation in areas such as anti-terrorism and investment projects. The relationship between the Empire and the Republic extended into the cultural realm as well, with the Republic broadcasting ZHK-Global as one of the channels that formed their regular nationwide television programming. Combined with the fact that the Ministry of State Security regularly monitored all foreign-based news channels to keep themselves informed of breaking news around the world, this meant that news of the death of Emperor Kazuhito broke in the Nanfang Republic not long after it was broadcast in the United Empire.

The ringing of the telephone on her desk was a common enough occurrence that President Yang did not look up from the paperwork in front of her as she answered it, instead simply reaching out with her left arm and bringing the receiver to her ear. "President Yang."

Again, the voice on the other end was nothing out of the ordinary. Minister for Foreign Affairs Huang Li was a frequent caller for all manner of diplomatic reasons, but this afternoon he had unfortunate news to share with his President. "Madam President, we've been contacted by the MSS about a breaking news story, one that we have now confirmed with the embassy in Tokyo. Emperor Kazuhito has died."

"What?" She couldn't quite believe what she had just heard. Emperor Kazuhito had been around the same age as herself and, as far as the Nanfaren government had been aware, in good health. "How? I mean, what happened?"

Minister Huang's voice was suitably sombre as he continued. "According to breaking information, he was travelling from Tokyo to Seoul when his aircraft went down into the Sea of Japan. The Imperial Throne will now pass to his son Crown Prince Seiji, who has taken the regnal name of Seijihito. The Imperial government has ordered three days of national mourning."

"Understood. I want you to issue an official release immediately, expressing the sorrow of the Nanfaren people at this tragic news as well as conveying our heartfelt sympathies to our Nihanchu friends. I shall send a personal communication to the Imperial Palace to express my condolences to His Imperial Majesty, due to our close relationship with the Empire."

"As you wish, Madam President. I'll continue liaising with Ambassador Mao after the official release has been issued, in case there is anything else we can do."

"Excellent. Oh, and ensure that we contact the other members of the Shenzhen Pact regarding this tragic news. All members, observer and full, are part of the family when it comes to loss, and the rest of the Pact will undoubtedly wish to pass on their own messages of condolence."

"Yes, Madam President. I shall contact you if we hear anything more."

As the telephone call ended, President Yang returned the receiver to its place and then sat back in her chair, still processing the news. Not only was it the case that Emperor Kazuhito had been around the same age as herself, but the new Emperor was also only two years older than her son, Zhihao. While the two young men differed in a considerable number of ways, President Yang could not help imagining what might happen if it was Zhihao who was experiencing such sudden bereavement as well as such instant and heavy responsibility. Quite frankly, it was something that she did not want to think about. After taking some time to reflect upon the unfortunate circumstances of the current situation, the President took a deep breath and began to compose her personal message of condolence.


12 March 2021, 18:20hrs [UTC+9]
Embassy of the Nanfang Republic
Tokyo, United Empire

Due to the close relationship between the Republic and the Empire, the position of 'Ambassador to the United Empire of Japan and Greater Manchuria' was one of the more prestigious in the catalogue of Nanfaren diplomatic postings. It had long been viewed as 'good practise' to appoint a diplomat who had already cut their teeth in other ambassadorial roles as this not only ensured that an experienced individual occupied the position, it also presented the posting as something of a reward for a long career. The Empire was geographically close enough to the Republic to allow the ambassador to easily visit family who resided back home, while the embassy building was located in the Minato Ward of Tokyo, close to the famous Roppongi district and its entertainments. Ambassador Mao Ru was sixty-one years old and had been with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs for the entirety of his working life, always diligently completing any tasks assigned to him. Since becoming the Republic's ambassador to the Empire three years ago, Mao Ru had continued to conduct himself with dignity and quiet politeness. On normal days he genuinely enjoyed his work, but this was far from a normal day.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs had provided him with an advance copy of their official communique regarding the death of Emperor Kazuhito according to the standard diplomatic procedures, but he had also been provided with a copy of President Yang's communique to the Imperial Palace:


To: His Imperial Majesty, The Emperor of the United Empire of Japan and Greater Manchuria

Your Imperial Majesty,

Please allow me to extend my deepest condolences to you at this time, and I know that I speak for both my government and my people when I say that their thoughts and prayers are with you during this difficult time. Your father was a venerable and visionary individual who led the United Empire to continued strength and prosperity, and his absence shall be sorely felt on the world stage. I will always cherish my memories of meeting with him in person as I was always humbled by his sense of duty and strength of character. The Nanfang Republic shall always remember him for his contributions to both the relationship between our two nations and the world as a whole.

If there is any way in which I or my administration can be of assistance at this most difficult time, then please do not hesitate to ask.

Yang Mingshu
President of the Nanfang Republic


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Postby The Kingdom of Apilonia » Sat Mar 13, 2021 7:17 pm

Sir Horatio S. Montgomery, KCG
Embassy of the Kingdom of Apilonia, Tokyo
United Empire of Japan and Greater Manchuria
Friday 12th March 2021, 1800hrs Local Time

The mood in the Apilonian Embassy in Tokyo, located at No 1 Ichiban-cho, Chiyoda-ku, was somber as the official news of the passing of the Emperor was reported the United Empire’s public television networks. Although it was late on a Friday, and much of the Embassy’s staff would be away from the office over the weekend in the absence of a major crisis, there remained crowds of staffers gathered around various televisions and computer monitors over the course of the afternoon as the rumours first began to circulate that something was afoot. Although the Kingdom and the United Empire had not been close, Apilonia recognised it as a key regional partner, and as such there was a great deal of diplomatic and cultural engagement being conducted. Moreover, the United Empire was in the upper tiers of prestige as far as assignments with His Majesty's Diplomatic Service went and, as such, there were a number of diplomats and other staff that had sent large portions of their careers at the Embassy, or one of the several Consulates spread across nation's territory. As a result, much of the staff at the Embassy were really rather fond of the United Empire, it’s people, and it’s culture, and were deeply saddened by the Emperor’s loss on a personal as well as a professional level.

Sir Horatio S. Montgomery was one such diplomat. Although his career had taken him all over the world, he would not have achieved the relatively prestigious position as His Majesty’s Ambassador to the United Empire without doing his time all over the world, including two previous ambassadorships, but he had first years had been in Japan and he had developed a fondness almost immediately. In the audiences that he had had with the Emperor, he had always seen the man as a formal-but-friendly type, by contrast next to nothing was known about the new, young, Crown Prince that would succeed him. Nevertheless, for many former and serving Apilonian diplomats, who had spent any length of time the United Empire like Sir Horatio the professional sadness was mingled with a personal sadness. Indeed, for many of the Apilonians it was also deeply uncomfortable news, as it was a painful reminder that not even a King or Emperor would be around forever, and their own sovereign was not the youngest, and as the passing of the Emperor had shown death could come to anyone at any time.

However, for Sir Horatio he had no time to mourn personally, as he had to help shape and deliver the official response, which was important at the best of times and essential considering it was the United Empire.

As far as the Kingdom was concerned, its relationship with the United Empire of Japan and Greater Manchuria was amongst the most important, for a wide variety of reasons. Even before any of the geopolitical concerns were considered, the Kingdom and the United Emperor were major trade partners, with the United Empire being in the top four by volume of trade, alongside the Empire of Layarteb Nanfang Republic, and the Realm of Cotland. This alone would have been a reason for the Kingdom to be particularly concerned with its relationship with the United Empire, something that only became more prominent when the geopolitical concerns were taken into consideration. Although the Kingdom did not view the United Empire as a likely rival due to their different spheres of influence and similar values and interests, it did pay to have a positive relationship with the other power in the region when the Kingdom did view the Nanfang Republic as something of a rival due to their competing supranational blocs, the Pact and the Commonwealth. As such, although the United Empire would likely be more inclined to favour close relations with Nanfang, anything that could be done to prevent them from both from truly joining forces was and obvious geopolitical priority.

After all, the geopolitical balance of the entire region was of critical importance towards the national security and interests of the Kingdom. It was a difficult challenge for the Apilonian Foreign Office to achieve, given that the United Empire was always likely to either favour Nanfang or be staunch rivals and had certainly chosen the former over recent years. Nevertheless, the effort had consistently been made over recent years and would continue to be so going forwards, as Apilonia had no true desire for conflict with Nanfang it was not like they would ever be asking the United Empire to choose sides, and as such there was no reason that good relations could be maintained.

On his orders, the Apilonian flag had been lowered to half-mast out of respect for the late Emperor, a gesture that would be followed in the Kingdom on the command of the sovereign, for the duration of the official mourning period within the United Empire that had been formally declared. The Embassy had already released a statement that expressed it’s condolences to the Imperial Family, and the United Empire, as a whole, one that was quickly joined by the Foreign Office and the Prime Minister, with a more private, personal communication due to be sent to the new Emperor by His Majesty. Over the coming days, the Embassy would quietly start its work to learn more about the new Emperor, his likely policy positions, and generally begin to prepare for the new future.

“Sir Horatio?”

The ambassador looked up from his desk at the young, female voice from the door, his executive secretary, Jessica Hammond.

“Yes, Jessica?”

“We’ve just received word from the Foreign Office,” Jessica replied. “His Majesty’s message has been communicated to the Emperor, it’s on your secure server.”

Sir Horatio nodded and turned to the computer, inputting his password and accessing the secure server. Sure enough, a copy of the King’s message was waiting for him. Although it was marked personal, and for the Emperor’s eyes only, it would have needed to be seen by the Prime Minister, the Foreign Secretary, and Sir Horatio, but that was as far as the circle would have gone within the Apilonian Government. It was a less formal, much more personal, almost familiar, message, befitting a private communication between two Monarchs, as they shared a unique existence that few else could understand.

“My dear Seiji,

It is with the greatest shock and sorrow that I learned of the passing of your father, Emperor Kazuhito, a short time ago. I wish to convey my deepest condolences, and those of my entire family, to you and your family, and your nation, for your loss. Your father was a great man, an inspiration to many, and the world is lessened by his absence from it. It was my great privilege to have met your father, and to have hosted him at the Evergreen Palace in the past, as I hope to do for yourself in the future. Your father, as any other sovereign who has led their nation for a prolonged period of peace and prosperity, shall forever hold a position of great honour in the history of not only our own nation, but all those he has contributed towards positive and productive relations with.

I, and all of Apilonia, grieve with you and your nation at this dark hour. If there is anything at all that my Kingdom can do to help you in this time of sorrow and trouble, please do not hesitate to let me know.

May your reign last ten thousand years.

Your faithful servant,

William Rex
By the Grace of God, King of Apilonia, Head of the Commonwealth, etc.
Last edited by The Kingdom of Apilonia on Sat Mar 13, 2021 7:17 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby Chrinthanium » Sun Mar 14, 2021 6:52 pm

S ō r iD a i j i nK a n t e i
Office of the Prime Minister of the United Empire of Japan and Greater Manchuria
Nagata-chō, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo | 13 March 2021 | 09:24 GMT +9 |

Located at 2-3-1 Nagata-chō, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo 100-8968, the Office of the Prime Minister is a five-story building diagonally adjacent to the National Parliament. The current building finished completion in 2002 after the previous office was deemed too cramped for the job. The previous office is the official residency, modeled after Frank Lloyd Wright's architectural influence. The current office includes a rainwater storage system, solar panels, and various other green technologies to ensure the building has as limited an environmental footprint as possible. The Chief Cabinet Secretary and several deputy cabinet secretaries also used the new office building as their home base. Foreign dignitaries and heads of state would also be greeted and entertained there. The office included everything the Prime Minister needed to ensure the continuance of government in the event of any sort of national emergency as well as the national emergency management office where he could coordinate with prefecture-level governments around the empire when disaster struck. While certainly not a stately building, the overall design borrowed heavily from modernism with a wonderful touch of Japanese culture to ensure the building's visual appearance mixed well with the local environment.

Ichiro Yokohama, the 67-year-old Nihanchu Prime Minister, sat in the emergency management office surrounded by aides and deputy secretaries as they began the process of managing the current national emergency. No matter the age of an emperor plans were drawn up to ensure that in his untimely demise, plans were initiated as quickly as possible and that all necessary and prudent decisions were made to ensure that the state funeral would not infringe upon the lives of the millions of people who made up the world's largest metropolis. The foremost question of the day was the scheduling of a state funeral as well as how long to give the people a chance to pay their respects. In Japan, bodies would be cremated quickly after the death while all of the planning would be carried out by the eldest son. In Korea and Greater Manchuria, this was a custom that was not as prevalent, but in recent years began to catch on. For an emperor, the public was given their chance to share in the national grief, to file past a coffin protected by an honor guard, and to hopefully give closure to this era of their history.

The PM shuffled through the papers before him. The pile was quite large, around a ream and a half. A product of the legal business of a change in monarch. Official orders to change letterhead to reflect the new Emperor's name. Official orders to replace all images of the late emperor with the new emperor in all public buildings. Requests to begin printing new money with Seijihito's likeness on it. The mundane tasks were just too much for this early on a Saturday morning, but with great power comes great responsibility. What wasn't too early to deal with was national security. The United Empire did not count many enemies around the world. In fact, most people were hard-pressed to find one that would qualify as such. That didn't mean that everyone could rest on their laurels. The military was ordered on high alert. The Navy would make simple patrols around the home islands and Bali. Not a huge show of force, but enough to get the message across that ill-will towards the UE in its hour of sorrow would be met swiftly. Furthermore, the crash site remained a highly secured location and an official no-fly zone for 20 nautical miles around it. While the bodies of the dead were removed, the national aviation authority would need to recover the wreckage and begin the process of rebuilding the aircraft to study what happened, how it happened, and how to prevent it from ever happening again if that was evenly possible.

What bothered PM Yokohama the most was the fact the new emperor was so young. Certainly, young emperors were nothing new in the United Empire or indeed the pre-union histories of the constituent nations or anywhere else in the world. However, in the last 250 years, the youngest monarch prior was the late Emperor Kazuhito who assumed the throne in 2007 at the age of 40 after his father died at 90 (he fathered Kazuhito with his 2nd wife when he was 50 while she was 21). Longevity appeared to run in the family and emperors were often given many years to be mentored by their predecessor before ascending to the Chrysanthemum Throne. Seijihito, however, just 24 years of age, had been robbed of this opportunity. The young man was untested. While the rest of the world knew little of Seijihito, within the empire he was a known quantity. Generally well-spoken, well-mannered, and very polite, the Prime Minister believed he would easily grow into the role, especially with his own hand to guide him. Though the young emperor belonged to his time. Unlike in the old days when the heir-apparent received tutelage within the palace, Seiji went to public school. He befriended the common children. He played sports, particularly baseball. He played video games and loved manga. He even managed his own social media accounts, something that the PM's office had reservations about, though the Crown-Prince-turned-Emperor managed to avoid controversy in this arena. Would such a modern young man be well suited to such a storied and ancient throne? Would he, as the PM believed, grow into the role? Questions that could not be answered, but needed to be asked.

Thought a few things that were already set in motion were the arrangements for a state funeral for the fallen emperor. The late emperor would lie in state for 5 days after the 3-day mourning period. The public would be given a chance to pay their last respects. On the 6th day, a state funeral would be held on the grounds of the Tokyo Imperial Palace. The ceremony would be befitting his status with the Prime Minister offering a eulogy on behalf of the people and Seijihito himself offering his own eulogy. Finally, he would be carried through the grounds to the private crematorium and his ashes scattered in the gardens. The banks, stock market, government offices, and schools would be closed on that day. The plans were set in motion shortly after Kazuhito's ascension, much like they will be for Seijihito in the coming months. Though the hope was that such plans would not be put into effect for at least the next 40 years. The details would be dispersed to the public and foreign dignitaries who had expressed an interest in attending once seating arrangements were finalized.

Then, at an appropriate time, Seijihito would be enthroned according to tradition.

Minato-ku, Tokyo, Japan | 13 March 2021 | 11:45 GMT +9 |

The outpouring of condolences from within and outside the empire overwhelmed Seijihito as he read through the various outpourings from friends, family, and foreign dignitaries. Mostly, the Private Secretary read them to him as Seijihito sat behind a desk in his office. It was the duty of the Private Secretary to reply to the general outpourings, but some of a more personal nature required his direct attention. The task would normally be routine. When a king and a president, an ambassador, or a foreign secretary sent a personal message, he would reply with pretty much a few chosen replies that would be customized to the specific recipient and the emperor would sign them. In this particular case, these communiques required his personal attention and a reply that was not a carefully-worded, pre-written reply, but one that came from the heart--by his own hand. With the communications before him, he replied to them in order.


To: Her Excellency, Yang Mingshu, President of the Republic of Nanfang

Allow me to convey to you how deeply touched and honored by your kind and personal words I am on this sad day. Your message is a great comfort to me in this most distressing and difficult time. My father believed above all else that a strong, close relation with Nanjing was in the best interest not just of both of our esteemed nations, but for the safety and security of Asia and the Pacific. He reflected on his visits to Nanfang fondly and with the warmest of smiles mentioned how much he found you an honorable person and a true and faithful friend to the Nihanchu People. It is with the deepest sorrow that I realize our first communications are born not out of furthering our relations, but Our hour of grief and pain. I look forward to continuing the relations my father pursued with the Nanfaren government and people and deepening those ties as well as continuing the recent tradition of a state visit to the Nanfang Republic as Our first international visit.

Of the United Empire of Japan and Greater Manchuria, Emperor, etc...


My dear William,

The personal words of one of the few who know all too well the sudden and overwhelming moment in which I now find myself are a great comfort to me. While presidents and prime ministers and ambassadors and businessmen may offer true and kind words and warm thoughts, there are very few people on this planet who know this particular situation. To know that you held my father in such esteem brings me great happiness. He, too, looked upon the Kingdom of Apilonia and the Commonwealth as a key ally and friend. He believed that in spite of our cultural differences, our views of the world were more closely matched than most others. Unfettered trade, the expansion of democracy, and freedom for all those under the bondage of oppressive government. You will find in me no greater champion of the same. I look forward to the day when we shall meet in happier times. Before long I hope to extend an official invitation to you to visit the United Empire and to assist my government in continuing to strengthen the ties that bind our great nations together. On a personal note, outside of my own father, I look to you as a symbol of how a monarch should carry himself. If I can achieve half of the achievements of my father and yourself, I will have a most happy and prosperous reign.

Your faithful friend,

Of the United Empire of Japan and Greater Manchuria, Emperor, etc...

S ō r iD a i j i nK a n t e i
Office of the Prime Minister of the United Empire of Japan and Greater Manchuria
Nagata-chō, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo | 13 March 2021 | 17:55 GMT +9 |

The Press Room of the Prime Minister's Office was your typical press room. A large, open room where press from around the nation and the world would gather to head the latest briefings from the PM's Press Secretary and where the PM and various other deputy ministers would update the nation on the business of the day. In front, a raised dais and a lectern from which the speaker would address the nation. From the perspective of the gathered press, to the left of the PM stood the Flag of the United Empire, on either side of the lecture, teleprompters which were see-through. On the lectern itself a single gooseneck microphone from which audio engineers from the various networks and news organizations would receive the audio. To the PM's right and just out of camera shot were various deputy ministers would need to be present for any sort of press event. In this case, all 19 members of the Cabinet were present. All in black. Behind the PM stood a simple blue background. Today's speech was not the normal address by the nation's Head of Government. This was a message to convey the sorrow of the government to the people. This was a message to encapsulate the feelings of a shattered people. This was also a message to provide hope for tomorrow. The message would be short and sweet. Most people didn't care to hear politicians prattle on even in the worst of times.

As the clock approached 6 pm (1800 hr GMT+9) Ichiro stepped into the press room. His deputy ministers bowing as he passed. He walked up onto the dais. He turned and bowed to the Flag of the United Empire, then to the press and the cameras and bowed again.

"When I received the news of the tragic events of yesterday afternoon, I felt an instant and unbearable pain as did all of you. The loss of our Emperor brought our cities to a halt. We found ourselves united in shared suffering and grief. This was a chord that struck very deep within our souls. It made us take stock of our own lives if just for a moment. It made us hold our loved ones a little tighter, put aside our petty differences, and reminded us of just how fragile are our lives. In the coming days, we will have our opportunity to say farewell to our late Emperor. We will have moments to share happy memories of him. We will have our chance to lay him to rest among the cherry blossoms. We will shed our tears and honor a great man. We do so knowing that this is the way of life. That this is so ordered and it so shall be. And let us also remember that while it may hurt today, we shall once more experience joy soon. On behalf of the Government, I would like to once more express our sincerest sorrow and to offer our condolences to His Imperial Majesty. May His Imperial Majesty know that his people and his government share in this moment with him and we keep him in our thoughts and in our prayers along with the entire Imperial family."

"As we began to process this news, we also began to look forward to brighter days. Even in our sorrow and grief, a new era dawns in our great nation. For the first time in over 200 years, we have a vibrant, energetic, young emperor seated on the throne. We have an emperor who brings new ideas and visions to our people and government. The Government looks forward to his leadership over the coming years. We pray for his success. We pray for his continued good health. We know that our nation will prosper under his reign. We once more utter the glorious poem that stirs our patriotic hearts to a new emperor. May your reign last for a thousand years, eight thousand generations until the tiny pebbles grow into boulders lush with moss. Thank you and good night."
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Postby Chrinthanium » Tue Mar 16, 2021 10:56 pm

Minato-ku, Tokyo, Japan | 16 March 2021 | 02:15 GMT +9 |

The room was mostly dark, only the faint moonlight from the crescent moon filtered through the curtain sheers. The room was minimalistic in nature, a traditional Japanese notion. In the middle of the room was a low-to-the-ground platform bed framed in walnut with a slightly connected end table on either side of the headboard upon which sat one round lamp on each side. The headboard was a darker gray which matched the sheets, pillows, and comforter. OUtside of the bed, there was a single long, shallow table on which sat a vase with a single cherry tree branch. There were wall lights near the door and grey paint on the wall. The simple, basic, minimal color scheme was set by Seiji himself to reflect his personal belief in living a simple, modern life without much clutter to cause stress. At the far end of the room was a small settee that overlooked a fireplace above which was mounted a large ultra-high-definition television that Seiji mostly used to play video games or watch his favorite shows. The room was pristine. The white carpets seemed brand new despite being several years old. Also within the room was a small wooden table with two wooden chairs perched by a window that had a partial view of Shinjuku. It was there he took his breakfast in the morning. The entire room seemed out of place in the European-style Akasaka Palace. Though, for Seiji, it was a way to stay connected to his roots despite the opulent, overdone decadence of European monarchy which graced nearly every room and corridor in this palace and the rest of his private apartment.

Inside the mostly-darkened room, Seiji sat up in bed, the covers askew exposing part of his bare torso. In his hand he held a wooden picture frame that has graced the side of his bed since he could remember. The picture was of a man and a woman, both of them smiling in front of a large flower garden. The man was dressed in his montsuki haori hakama, or formal kimono for lack of a better term, which included the Imperial seal on his mon-Tsuki, he also wore striped hakama trousers and a naori overcoat. The woman wore a mostly white shiromuku which consisted of white furisode kimono, a trailing kakeshita, a broad sash known as a fukuroi obi around the waist and secured by the traditional obiage and obijime. Tabi socks and zori sandals, a hakoseko purse, sensu folding fan completed her ensemble. The man was Seiji's father, the late Emperor Kazuhito, and his mother, the late Empress Aoki. Seiji rubbed his fingers over the protective glass as he realized at that moment he was officially an orphan. His mother died a few days after he was born after complications from giving birth. For years, Seiji felt as though his mother's death was his own fault, but over time he learned to accept that it wasn't his fault. Though, from time to time, he still had the feels creep into his thoughts.

Now, the weight of the world felt like it was thrust upon his shoulders. The realization that an entire nation was at his beck and call seemed a foreign concept to him. He'd always been a child. He'd always been answerable to his father and a few close household servants who cared for his own needs when his father couldn't. There were no more people to answer to inside the palace walls. There were no more people telling him what to do and when to do it and how to do it. It all stopped when he ascended the throne. It was his duty now to give the orders, to decide his agenda for the day, and make himself answerable only to God and his people. It was a realization that sent shivers down his spine. There were few decisions a Nihanchu Emperor had to make, those were all up to the elected government. His job was to give them his approval, to represent the virtues of the nation to the people and the world, and to be a figurehead upon which the average Nihancu citizen would look upon in times of trouble for comfort and peace. He was the first to receive foreign ambassadors from whom he would receive their credentials. He would host foreign dignitaries and heads of state when the government wanted to push the boat out. His every word and his every move would be under constant scrutiny. Even in a constitutional monarchy, the Monarch himself still filled an important role and a role that must be carried out as close to flawless as humanly possible.

After wiping the tears from his eyes, he placed the photograph on the bedside table to his left, slid down, and pulled the covers up to just under his chin, and cried himself to sleep.


The knock came at the door sharp at eight o'clock. Seiji popped up from his restless slumber and mumbled something that sounded remarkably like "come in." A young woman entered carrying his breakfast on a solid-silver serving tray. She turned towards Seiji and bowed, then she placed the tray down on the table and quickly scurried out of the room. Seiji drug himself out of bed, the covers trailing behind him like the trail of a wedding dress until they slid off of him. He slumped down into the small wooden chair and began to eat. The breakfast today was a traditional style of breakfast: a bowl of miso soup made with green onions, tofu, and wakame seaweed, and some mushrooms, a bowl of rice, two small, grilled salmon fillets, a side of pickled daikon, some tamagoyaki, and a pot of tea. The sunlight blared through the window, the first perfectly-clear day in a week in Tokyo. Perhaps it was too bright for his mood, but the sunlight felt amazing to him as it bathed his body. He began eating his breakfast as he turned on the morning news programs. The top story was the same top story from a few days ago. People mourning the death of the late emperor, something Seiji needed no reminders of but for such a public figure such a reminder was constant. He quickly turned off the television.

Then another knock at the door as he sank his teeth into a small piece of salmon. After swallowing his food, he beckoned for whomever it was to enter.

Kento Tanaka entered carrying with him a large box. He bowed to the emperor, then walked over to the table and placed the box down behind Seiji's breakfast spread.

"Imperial Majesty," Tanaka said with a smile, "it is time you learned how to deal with the matters of state. While the mourning period continues and while the nation grapples with this tragedy, the business of the state does not stop. Each morning you shall be presented with a box. Inside this box are all the matters which require your attention. You will find the bills from Parliament that have been passed and require your ascension. You will also find cabinet minutes, intelligence reports, and various other items like recommendations for special awards that are given by Your Imperial Majesty. Of course, you may customize this box if there is information not contained within that you would like to have daily. Your father always wanted a weather forecast. Your grandfather always wanted the baseball scores from various nations. It is entirely up to you what additional information you have added."

"Thank you, Kento," Seiji said as he took a sip of tea. "What I want to know is how are the funeral arrangements coming for my father?"

"The weather appears to be warm on the day, but there is a good chance of rain. We will have the gathered dignitaries from the Empire and the World seated in our indoor pavilions to witness the event. We will also have large televisions inside each Pavillion so that members can watch without straining their eyes should the rain become too forceful. Prime Minister Yokohama will be offering his eulogy first on behalf of the nation. Then you will have your opportunity to speak. If Your Majesty would be so kind, I happily await the notes you would like me to include so that I may write up a wonderful eulogy for you father on your behalf."

"Kento, you're a treasure," Seiji said with a smile, "However, I decided to write it myself. Don't worry, I'll pass you a copy to ensure that everything flows well and that it meets the standard."

"As you wish. One final note, Your Imperial Majesty, once Parliament resumes its duties tomorrow, it will declare the new era for your reign. I have attempted to obtain a list of potential era names, but I have only received one from them. My contact believes this is the front-runner for your nengō."

"Really? May I ask what it may be, Kento?"

"Eiko (英 弘), Your Imperial Majesty. It means vast glory."

"Eiko? That is a lot to live up to," Seiji said as he contemplated the name.

"I believe everyone expects great things from Your Imperial Majesty after coming to the throne at so young an age."

Seiji sighed, "I hope people don't expect me to be perfect from the get-go. I fear I will make mistakes. I do not want to embarrass my people."

"Your Imperial Majesty, with my hand to guide you, you will never embarrass your people."

"Thank you, Kento. Now, if that's all I'd like to finish breakfast. Oh, when do I need to finish this paperwork?"

"At your leisure, Imperial Majesty. However, the boxes do come daily, so it would be prudent to finish them daily."

Kasumigaseki, Chiyoda, Tokyo, Japan | 16 March 2021 | 11:15 GMT +9 |

As was the case in such events, a state funeral, a coronation, or any endeavor which would include foreign dignitaries and heads of state would have to run through the foreign office of the United Empire government. The 49-year-old Takeshi Ichikawa, the nation's youngest cabinet member, finalized the plans for the state funeral of the late Kazuhito. All foreign dignitaries and heads of state would receive a formal invitation, written by hand at the UE embassy in each capital city by a highly-skilled calligrapher, which would include the information of the date, time, place, and manner in which the funeral would take place. The message would be personalized in terms of the named attendee, but the body would be the same in all correspondence between Tokyo and her allies.

"The State Funeral of the Heiwa Emperor will take place at 1:00 PM at the Tokyo Imperial Palace on Sunday, 21st March 2021. Due to the high chance of rain, the ceremony will take place as follows: guests will be seated in the Shunju-no-ma (Grand Hall) which overlooks the courtyard directly across from the Seiden (state hall) where the ceremony will take place. A funeral meal will be held at the Homei-den (State Banquet Hall) located to the right of the Shunjo-no-ma after the hour ends. After the funeral meal, the ceremonies will have ended and His Imperial Majesty and his family shall retire for private reflection and remembrance. All persons wishing to attend shall RSVP no later than 19 March 2021. His Imperial Majesty and the Imperial Family on behalf of the Government of the United Empire of Japan and Greater Manchuria thank you for commemorating the life of the Heiwa Emperor."

No invitation would go without certain protocols included. The protocols, while part of the official communication, were directed more for private secretaries, personal assistants, and foreign offices to better inform foreign dignitaries of certain customs to observe while in the United Empire. The main protocol was that the former emperor was to not be referenced by name in public but by his nengō or Era Name, which for the late emperor is Heiwa Tennō. The name of the current emperor is also never spoken in public, but he was always referred to as His Majesty the Emperor (Tennō Heika). It is considered extremely impolite to use an emperor's personal name in public. It is also extremely impolite to use the era name in place of the emperor's name (Eiko Tennō) as it is his death name. The mourning color in the United Empire is the same as most Western nations: black. It is perhaps the ultimate sign of disrespect to appear in any other color save for dark grey. While some may have heard it is customary for women with long hair to wear it in a bun, this custom has fallen into disuse. While the funeral for the common people includes the offering of Okoden (money offering), in the case of the emperor it is considered highly inappropriate. If an invitee cannot attend, it is proper etiquette to inform the Palace this is the case. Do not send flowers in lieu as they are considered inappropriate. Contac the Palace for an appropriate token to send.

Then it would be signed by Takeshi on behalf of the Emperor
Last edited by Chrinthanium on Tue Mar 16, 2021 11:07 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Postby Freistaat-Ostafrika » Wed Mar 17, 2021 1:45 pm

16 March 2021, 14:00hrs [UTC+8]
Palace of the Republic
Nanjing, Nanfang Republic

"Madam President, you wished to discuss the Imperial funeral?"

At the age of thirty-three, Peng Chunhua was one of the youngest Presidential Secretaries ever appointed in the Nanfang Republic, but she had more than earned the position. Unlike some civil servants who had acquired their position through networking and occasional bribery, Chunhua had genuinely worked for it. However, due to the nature of the position, most people had never even heard of her despite the level of influence that she could potentially wield. The Presidential Secretary was responsible for mundane tasks such as organising and scheduling meetings, ensuring that correspondence reached the President, and managing the Presidential diary. This meant that in theory, Chunhua could control who was allowed to see the President and who wasn't. In practice, she was not the sort of person to attempt such power games. Instead, she simply performed her work with diligence and courtesy, meaning that most cabinet ministers knew her by sight but not by name, while President Yang regarded her as an extremely valuable asset to the administration. Chunhua was currently peeking around the door of President Yang's office, awaiting permission to enter.

"Yes, that's correct. Come in."

Dressed in a black blouse-and-skirt combination with her dark hair worn in a long ponytail, Chunhua quickly covered the distance from the door to the President's desk and took a seat, tablet in hand so that she could take notes. The President gave her time to settle into her seat before beginning.

"I shall be RSVP'ing once we are finished here, I will be attending alongside my husband. The Nanfaren embassy in Tokyo will be more than able to accommodate us if we require an overnight stay, I think that under the circumstances it will be more appropriate for us to be in Tokyo the day before. That way we do not risk any possibility of our aircraft being late, and more importantly, we won't have just flown over and gone straight to the funeral from the airport."

"So you'll be flying over on the Saturday and staying until the Monday?"

"Correct. We arrive the day before and leave the day after, unless there are any impromptu meetings requested of course. As far as the Presidential detail is concerned, I think that eight of them would be sufficient. Not all out and about and visible, mind you. Tokyo is the capital of one of our closest friends on the international stage and it's a particularly safe city, so I won't need the usual army. The Imperial security agencies are excellent at their job after all."

Chunhua nodded. "So by taking eight members of the Presidential detail you're keeping our security apparatus happy, while also not taking so many as to potentially insult the Imperial services by suggesting that you need a large number of security personnel while visiting Tokyo?"

President Yang nodded with a smile of approval as Chunhua immediately understood her reasoning. "Precisely. As far as clothing and my hair are concerned, I have plenty of time to sort that out. Now then, as I'll be in Tokyo I will be unable to attend any meetings here, and I would prefer not to be holding meetings via video link, so is there anything that needs to be rescheduled?"

Chunhua's fingers quickly danced over the touchscreen of the tablet as she called up the Presidential diary. "On Saturday you have a meeting with Mayor Qi of Nanjing and Governor Kang of Jiangsu Province, I can attempt to rearrange it for...Tuesday morning. Nothing booked for Sunday, and Monday's schedule is the usual Monday schedule. If you would like, I can contact the usual Monday attendees and reschedule them, or if they have nothing of immediate importance to bring up then they can potentially wait until the following Monday."

"That is more than acceptable. If the meeting with Mayor Qi and Governor Kang cannot be rescheduled immediately then it is not an issue, if they need to talk to me about anything vital then I'm sure that they will say so."

"As you say, Madam President." Chunhua tapped at the touchscreen again before a question popped into her mind. "If I might ask, Madam President. Will your son not be attending the funeral?"

President Yang shook her head, her mouth displaying her amusement at the idea. "I love him with all my heart, but the funeral of a Nihanchu Emperor is not really an event where he belongs. Aside from the fact that no other foreign attendees would be bringing their entire family, he is far from ready to be attempting attendance at such an occasion. I'll explain it to him this evening"


16 March 2021, 19:00hrs [UTC+8]
Palace of the Republic
Nanjing, Nanfang Republic

With the duties of the day completed, President Yang settled down in the comfortable lounge of Zichao House with her husband Jiawei and her son Zhihao; while Jiawei switched on the television to peruse the evening entertainment shows, the President cleared her throat deliberately loudly to gain the attention of their son, who was unrefinedly sprawled on a nearby couch with his smartphone in hand. Zhihao moved the phone to one side and raised his eyebrows questioningly. "What's up?"

"While your father and I are in Tokyo for the Emperor's funeral, you'll be going to Taohuayuan for the weekend."

The twenty-two-year-old shrugged at the news. "No problem." Taohuayuan was the large Presidential residence in the city of Suzhou, a 1,663-acre estate located on a private island on Dushu Lake. In all honesty, it was more like a palace than a 'home' as it featured 32 bedrooms and 32 bathrooms in addition to all manner of other amenities. President Yang then continued.

"No parties."

She fought a smirk as a loud petulant groan was emitted in response. "I'm going to be attending a solemn and particularly important occasion in the capital of one of our nation's closest friends, so I don't want to be wondering what you're up to while I'm away. No parties and, if possible, no leaving the island. Sergeant Song will be keeping an eye on you."

Zhihao's expression immediately brightened at the mention of his favourite member of the Presidential detail. "I suppose you're right, it would be inappropriate for me to be partying while you're in Tokyo. I'll be good."

"Glad to hear it."

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Postby The Kingdom of Apilonia » Tue Mar 23, 2021 9:35 am

His Majesty The King
Evergreen Palace, Royal District of Bainbridge
Duchy of Washington, Kingdom of Apilonia
Wednesday 16th March 2021, 0800hrs Local Time

The patriarch of the Apilonian Royal Family was quiet and somber as he presided over the breakfast in the King’s Dining Room on the residence floor of the Evergreen Palace. The King had been up for several hours by this point, as he was one of a small percentage of the human population that could get by on no more than four hours sleep; a habit he had picked up at the Royal Naval College, Monterey during his time as a Naval Cadet in his youth. Nevertheless, despite his unconventional sleeping pattern the King had long maintained a expectation that, even if they inhabited a number of other Royal residences in the Royal District or Seattle rather than the Palace itself, all Apilonian Royals staying nearby attend breakfast every morning. It was a long-standing tradition within the Royal Family, one intended to encourage close bonds between the Royals, as well as an open forum to air any grievances or any other family business. There was a certain age range within the Royals that found the requirement an onerous one, however as these younger Royals matured they almost always came to deeply value the time spent with their family, particularly if they frequently stayed further afield.

By the time of breakfast, the King had already worked through a significant amount of his daily briefs, including intelligence and security, and would get to work on his daily red box immediately after breakfast; there was a reason why he was regarded as one of the best informed men in the world. Although the old monarch was typically a stern, if undoubtedly caring, visage at the head of the table, the other members of the Royal Family had noticed that he was notably more contemplative over the past few days. The reason for this was obvious enough; although the late Japanese Emperor had been nearly two decades his junior his untimely demise in an accident had certainly hammered home that the greatest and most august of men could be brought down quickly, without warning, and certainly before their time. For a man in the twilight of his life, and fully aware of that fact, it was a stark reminder that he too would be gone, sooner rather than later, and that his family would soon be the ones mourning his loss. It was for that reason that the King was particularly grateful for this daily tradition, even if he was quiet and detached from the conversation around the table.

“I shall be attending the funeral of the late Heiwa Emperor,” The King announced during a lull in conversation.

There were a few shared glanced between the gathered royals, particularly the King’s children; the Prince of Cascadia, the Duke of TBC, and the Princess Royal. Although the King was in relatively good health, and not yet at the age where all overseas travel was to be avoided wherever possible, he had steadily handed over more and more of his more onerous duties onto his children, particularly international visits. It was a practical consideration aside from anything else, as it allowed for more royal visits to be conducted whilst also allowing the younger generation of royals, the King’s grandchildren, to enjoy their youths and a semblance of a normal career before they were expected to undertake Royal duties of their own, although they did carry out some as and when the opportunity arose. As it stood, the King’s last overseas trip had been to the formal establishment of the Commonwealth at the beginning of November.

“The late Emperor was of a a highly distinguished line, and sat upon one of the great thrones of this world, he deserves our respect,” The King said simply, noting the glances. "The great monarchs of the world have to stick together, there aren’t as many of us as there used to be."

The senior royals seemed to accept his explanation, even if they could not have changed his mind he still valued their opinion, and it was certainly true that fact that the Apilonian King was making fewer international trips than in previous years only made it more important in this case. Indeed, outside of the annual Commonwealth Conference, and perhaps tours of the Commonwealth, any other visits by the King would be a very clear demonstration of importance the Kingdom placed on its relations with the host country. There were some events and circumstances that essentially required the King’s involvement, save for if his health were to decline dramatically, and as he had rightly stated the funeral of a respected foreign monarch was certainly one of them.

“Who else from the Commonwealth will be attending?” The Prince of Cascadia asked curiously after a few minutes.

“From what I’ve been told so far, pretty much everyone, President Mulder has already confirmed, as have George and Sophia,” The King replied, referring to his grandson and his wife, the Archduke and Archduchess of Austria. “Emir al-Sufi is the only question mark so far, mainly due to the fact that it would be desirable to keep him in-country during East Africa’s first democratic elections in years.”

Knowing looks were exchanged across the table. The Emirate of East Africa was less than a year post emerging from it’s civil war, and less than six months since Apilonian combat troops had been withdrawn from most of the country. The civilian government of Emir al-Sufi, who had been a loyalist sheikh for decades, had been established and control of the country returned, but the work of building a full, democratic, state had continued in earnest. These democratic elections would not only form a representative legislature but also an elected head of government to complement the hereditary position of the Emir. Given there were a few remaining security concerns, it was simply common sense that it would be best if the Emir did not leave the country to ensure quick, decisive decision making if anything were to occur. The same could be said for Apilonia, and indeed the Commonwealth, as although security in the Emirate had been handed over to the East Africans themselves, there remained a not unsubstantial Apilonian response force at Camp Lemonier in Djibouti, however there were significant levels between the situation and the likes of the King and Prime Minister, who would be in Japan, who could handle any situations as they arose without necessarily having to seek higher approval.

Nevertheless, it was comforting to know that most of the rest of the Commonwealth would be attending as well, and although this was hardly the time to be considering political optics it would be a clear sign of the solidarity of the Commonwealth even if none of them had any intention of making a point of it, as it was by no means the right time, place, or setting for anything of the sort.

The King returned to silent contemplation as the rest of the Royal Family turned to other conversations, ranging from discussing national politics to the latest sports news and everything in between. It was not long before the gathering began to break up, with many of the younger adults having full-time jobs of their own, it had become increasingly traditional in the past few decades for young Royals to gain practical experience in the workplace before they turned to royal duties full-time; many choose the military, whilst others tended to opt for graduate positions in business or the non-profit sector. The more senior Royals had their own duties to attend to, typically representing the Crown at any manner of event, which was why some of them weren’t even present as it was not always practical to make the King’s breakfast if they were due in the Duchy of Texas, for example, by lunchtime. Soon enough, only three Royals remained sat around the table; the King, the Queen, and the Prince of Cascadia, who was due at the Puget Sound Naval Shipyard in the afternoon to commission the latest of the Type-26 Global Combat Frigate, HMS Athena, into the Royal Navy.

As his Queen, Suzanne, and eldest son, carried on a conversation around his oldest granddaughter, The Princess Elizabeth of Cascadia, and her impending graduation from the University of Washington, the King excused himself and made his way down the corridor towards his private study. Although he conducted most of his day-to-day work on the ground floor, in the King’s Office, he much preferred to complete his daily box in his study before descending to commence his ‘official’ day. It was in his office that his son found him ten minutes later.

“Are you okay, father?” Francis, Prince of Cascadia asked as he entered the room and sat in the comfortable armchair by the (unlit) fireplace and looked across at the older man. “You’ve always been the quiet one in that mayhem, but you seemed distracted.”

The King looked across at his son with a fond smile; although he had always maintained something of a stoic visage to all but his Queen, his eldest son had also become a valued confidante in recent years. Doubtless the work he had done to prepare his son for the throne, and all the duties and responsibilities that entailed, had been the cause in that development of their relationship, but regardless of how it had happened he was grateful for it. Moreover, he knew that encouraging his future successor to confide in those he trusted was by no means a bad thing.

“I’m fine, son,” The King replied after a moment. “A lot on my mind.”

“I can imagine,” Francis nodded understandingly.

“It’s not what you would think… it is not so much thoughts my own death that troubles my mind, I’ve long come to terms that I have more years behind me than I do ahead,” The King replied with a sigh. “Rather, it is everything that I am going to miss; I’ve never felt so alive as I have been in the past months since the Commonwealth turned from dream to realty, I am saddened that I’m only going to see it’s earliest years.”

“Your legacy will live on though,” Francis commented.

“Perhaps, or at least it will give me the chance for my legacy to be better than it would otherwise have been… I, and my father before me, presided over the decline of this Kingdom, and whilst we avoided complete disaster, we are not now that strength which, in old days, moved heaven and earth,” The King shook his head, quoting the poet Tennyson at the end. “The Commonwealth gives us the hope of rebuilding something we have lost, in a better and more equal manner across of former colonies, and yet if there is one thing that the late Emperor’s passing has underlined it is that we do not truly know when our time will come, and that is a sobering thought when contemplating a generational effort.”

Francis nodded thoughtfully, it was very true that his father's legacy would have been different before the Commonwealth, and even more so if he had not so successfully led the Kingdom out of the Terror and into something of a resurgence. The Kingdom had never truly died, it’s size and population meant that it was always going to remain a great power economically, culturally, and militarily (if the armed forces was funded properly, which broadly speaking it had been), but they had lost a lot. The Japanese Emperor’s passing made it clear that his time could have come at any time, and perhaps that he had wasted so much time in the past; a not uncommon thought for a man in his twilight years but sobering none the less.

“You’ll still be with us for a fair few years,” Francis said simply, leaning back into his chair. “Certainly long enough to see what the Commonwealth will be like.”

“I can certainly hope,” The King nodded, then smiled wryly. “Of course that means you’ll have to put up with not being King for longer.”

“I’d never wish you an early grave because I wanted to be King, father,” Francis replied with a laugh and a shake of his head as he stood up. “Prince of Cascadia is a fairly important role you know… besides, if you feel that bad about it you could always abdicate.”

“Considering that there has not ever been an abdication in the history of this Kingdom, I won’t be making that particular history,” The King chuckled. “I think perhaps that would undo some of the good the Commonwealth will do for my legacy…”

“You may be right,” Francis agreed with a grin. “Well, I had best be off, you know how long these things take.”

“Of course, I have been to a fair few myself,” The King laughed. “Give my regards to the ship’s company.”
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Inoffensive Centrist Democracy

Postby Chrinthanium » Mon Apr 12, 2021 9:33 pm

The vibrating cellphone with three short emergency alerts jolted Seiji out of bed. He grabbed the phone as it continued to sound the alarm. He looked down at the screen. Early earthquake warning. Prepare for strong tremors. . About a couple of seconds later the shaking started. It wasn't a strong shaking or any sort of violent shaking, but a tremor that could easily be felt by anyone awake. The windows rattled, the bed seemed to rattle in time with the windows. A small bottle of water on the bedside table seemed to walk itself towards the edge. Tones began to ring out in the palace with a voice calmly saying "Earthquake Warning" as the sound of the rattling began to increase. The bottle fell to the floor in a thud while Seiji rolled off the bed and crawled under the small table where he ate breakfast in the morning. As he settled in, the shaking subsided. The alerts went silent. From outside his bedroom door, he could hear people talking, a few footsteps walking towards his door.

"Imperial Majesty, are you okay?" the voice said.

"I am fine," he said as he began to crawl out from under the table.

The idea of being woken up on the morning of his father's funeral by an earthquake wasn't something he had expected. It played on his mind as if it were a bad omen. With the shaking over, he stood up and surveyed the room. Outside of the small water bottle, nothing seemed out of place. Outside of the window, he could begin to see people walking around inspecting the exterior of the palace. A normal scene after any seismic activity. The palace engineer was quick to respond to such matters. First, the area around Seiji's apartment was inspected followed by the rest of the structure. Dozens of people wearing hardhats walking around taking notes and ensuring the structure remained intact. Usually, such brief quakes didn't cause much in the way of damage, but it was always better safe than sorry. Seiji then began the process of getting ready for the long, emotional day ahead.

The day's activities were numerous. The main events being his father's procession through the streets of Tokyo for mourners to pay their last respects. The procession would last four hours and weave in and out of the various districts of the city. The hearse would then return to the palace around Noon so that the coffin could be brought to its location for the funeral. Then, the funeral would take place. People would say kind words about his father. The Prime Minister would deliver a eulogy, followed by Seiji himself, then a 21-gun salute, the funeral would end. The body would be transported to the crematorium and Seiji would scatter his father's ashes at the palace itself. A very non-traditional funeral, but these were his father's wishes.

Unlike the past, modern-day Nihanchu were not very religious. Most polls conducted showed that more than 40% of the population did not identify with any religion whatsoever. Many just followed the motions of their parents and grandparents to keep with tradition. Seiji's father was not one of those. He wanted no religious service. He wanted a simple funeral. He wanted to be cremated and scattered in the gardens to forever look upon their beauty. While the Shinto priests would do their normal traditions by their beliefs, Seiji's father would be memorialized in a mostly secular tradition by the people and government. Nothing in the day's program had any religious connotation with the only exception being the mention of God or gods, and a few silent prayers offered. Then it was all over. Seiji's father would be laid to rest following the late emperor's wishes. The meal would be eaten. The dignitaries would leave. Seiji would then begin the process of transitioning from an orphaned son to the nation's most-prominent figurehead.

For Seiji, he wanted nothing more than for this all to be done with. Death was not a topic most people were comfortable dealing with. It reminded them of their own mortality. It causes them to ask uncomfortable questions about the universe and the possibility of an afterlife. It also meant realizing that the dearly departed was someone whom they'd not see for a very long time. These were things Seiji was not interested in dealing with at the age of 24. What he did know was that there was a today. That he would have to stand before gathered guests and dignitaries and deliver the first public remarks of his reign. The funeral would be broadcast for the nation to see. He had to appear appropriately sad, which would not be an issue, and speak words that would not only honor his father but calm a saddened nation.

The rain came down in fits and starts as the morning wore on. The grey, coolish day set the tone for the event unfolding this morning. The hearse preceded and proceeded by a large contingent of police, wound its way through the hectic streets of Tokyo. The rain minimized the number of mourners along the route. Two million were expected, but news reports seemed to place the actual number somewhere between 750,000 and a million depending on which agency you favored. While the city remained opened, those businesses along the route shuttered themselves during the procession as a small act of honor in the world's largest metropolitan area. The procession passed by the National Parliament building, the Prime Minister's office, and residence, and through the streets as it made its way to the Tokyo Imperial Palace. It pulled into the ground and made its way to the staging area. Men in black suits quickly rushed to open the hearse and remove the coffin. Pallbearers in the military uniforms of the United Empire. With the precision expected from the Nihanchu people, they made their mournful march with the oak coffin making its way through the corridors and into the Seiden. The coffin would be placed centrally in the large room lengthwise. To the left sat the highest-ranking members of the United Empire government and military. To the right, the Imperial family. A microphone on a stand was placed in front of the coffin for those who were to speak to honor the late emperor. The guests gathered in the Shunju-no-ma would have a good view of this, but as stipulated monitors were installed in this large complex to allow everyone clear vision if the rains should intensify.

In the courtyard sat a covered pavilion. The Imperial Symphony Orchestra was there playing tunes to entertain the guests as they awaited the start of the funeral. Once the coffin was in place, the orchestra stopped. For a few moments, there was only silence somewhat tempered by the sound of the somewhat moderate rainfall. Then, sharply at 1:00 in the afternoon, Seijihito, dressed in a black tailored suit, white shirt, and black tie entered the Seidon. The moment he came into view, everyone stood and the orchestra began Kimigayo. Once the anthem had ended, he took his seat front and center on the Imperial Family side. A selection of music was offered, the song Cherry Blossoms. For those watching, a young woman in a black, flowing dress would be singing from inside the Seidon. This song, in particular, was the song Kazuhito would wing to Seijihito when he was younger when he would get sad. Now, Seijihito believed it was what his father now saw in the afterlife. After the song, Prime Minister Ichiro Yokohama would stand and walk towards the microphone. He reached into the interior pocket of his black suit and pulled out the words he wished to speak. He reached the microphone, then turned towards the coffin behind him and bowed long and low. Then he turned towards Seijihito and bowed once more long and low. Then he returned his attention to the microphone and spoke.

"Seven years ago when I first became Prime Minister, Heiwa Tennō invited me to the palace for tea. I was very nervous. Meeting Him in person was quite an honor. I remember that I entered the palace and stood in the hallway as the Sargeant advised Him that I was outside waiting. I heard a loud, booming voice telling him not to keep me waiting because the tea was getting cold. I entered the room expecting to see a large room with all kinds of photographs and portraiture. I expected to see Heiwa Tennō standing there larger than life. I turned towards him and bowed. Then I stood up and remember seeing the room was very basic and plain. He stood there with a large smile upon his face. He invited me to sit down, then he sat down after me. The first thing he asked me was if I minded if he addressed me informally as Ichiro. I was unsure how to respond so I said yes. Who can say no to The Emperor? He served me tea. He asked me if I wanted some light refreshments. These meetings are usually highly formal. Emperors have little time to offer tea and biscuits to the government bureaucrats. However, Heiwa Tennō did. This was the man he was. He could make you feel like you were his friend from the moment you met him. Always smiling. Always interested in how I was doing and if my wife and children and grandchildren were doing well. And of course his love of baseball. Many are the meetings where he began speaking with me by discussing how the Yakult Swallows game had gone the night before. He disarmed with his charm. He made those who met him feel comfortable around him. He knew full well the anxiety people felt when meeting him and his first goal was to break that anxiety with a small gesture of friendship, a cup of tea, or a conversation about baseball. Make no mistake, his statesman quality and attention to detail were impeccable. Yet he took the time to remind us over and over that he was not just Heiwa Tennō, but he was also a man."

"I am proud to say that I am lucky to have not only been able to call him Emperor but also a friend. We remember his statesmanship. We remember his advice. We remember his big smile. We are proud of him for he exemplified what it meant to be Nihanchu. A mournful people, united in their grief, honor him today. On behalf of the People and the Government of the United Empire, I offer my condolences to His Imperial Majesty and family today."

There was a pause as the Prime Minister returned to his seat.

Seijihito stood up and walked over to the microphone. He stood there as a man dressed in a formal Army Uniform handed him some paper upon which his words were written. He paused a moment before he spoke as the Nihanchu people bowed to their emperor. He gave a careful gaze across the gathering, taking in the somber mood created by the combination of nearly all-black clothing and grey, cool, wet weather.

"On behalf of my family, I thank you all for being here today. It is a great comfort to us all that so many have offered their condolences from within the United Empire and from our friends and allies around the world. The amount of support we have received in these last few days has been tremendous to us."

"As a young man, he joined the Imperial Navy and served with honor and dignity. He believed that the duty of a member of the Imperial Family was to serve the people he would one day represent as the Head of State. He often told me of the days when he was tasked with the simple and not-so-glamorous jobs. In spite of being Crown Prince at the time, he was given his chores like every other member of the Navy. He often remarked how much he loved it when he could get into the not-so-loved chores on his ship. He would sometimes even volunteer for tasks like cleaning, cooking, serving, and painting. He often told me that he particularly loved to swab the deck, as they say. Some found his predilection for these so-called menial chores as something unbecoming a member of the Imperial Family. Some would say that he did it for show. Neither of these was true, though. He did it because he took pride in his work and in being part of the Navy. Part of that pride was assuming responsibility not just for his particular job onboard the ship, but in ensuring that the ship was always in perfect order. Ensuring that when his ship sailed past, it shines as brightly as possible as an emblem of our great nation."

"He was also proud of his accomplishments as Emperor including using his position to continue to foster relations between the United Empire and our friends and allies around the world. He was proud of standing in as a representative of the people everywhere he went. To him, it was a great honor and privilege to serve in this unique role. His biggest fear in life was making a mistake that would bring shame upon him and our great people. He used his words cautiously. His actions were deliberate and calculated. He never spoke without ensuring that the Foreign Office had approved what he was going to say, how he was going to say it, and always deferred to the elected government for the decision-making process. Yet he was also a man who, when the business of state had ended, could bring you into himself and make you feel that he was not just a monarch, but a friend. He knew every member of the Nihanchu Government by name. He made it his business to meet each once to thank them for their service. He enjoyed it when the Prime Minister came for his weekly visit. He loved his role with all his heart."

"Though, when I asked him what he was most proud of a few years ago, he told me he was most proud to be a father. That his greatest joy in life was seeing me grow up from a baby into the man I am today. That he was proud he made time to do the typical father-son things with me so that there would always be a touch or normalcy in a position that will have very little. We went to baseball games. Oh did he love baseball. He knew stats for players who hadn't played in years. He could recall them with that encyclopedic memory of his. A batter would stride up to the plate and he'd tell me, 'You see him? That's Ichiro Matsuda. He hit .334 last year with 37 home runs and 87 RBIs.' Then he'd tell me about the pitcher's ERA and WHIP and all of these stats that just sailed over my head. All I wanted to see was someone smash a home run and perhaps catch a foul ball. I'm certain Prime Minister Yokohama can vouch for my father's love of baseball statistics."

The PM smiled and nodded in agreement.

"Today we honor the man, the sailor, and the Emperor. We lay him to rest forever at peace. We say our farewells until we meet in the next life. We remember the times we spent with him, the moments he let his guard down and showed his human side, and how much he meant to us all. While I wish very much to have had more time to learn and prepare to serve the people of the United Empire in the auspicious position so ruthlessly thrust upon my shoulders, I know that the example he showed is the path I will follow. I am forever grateful that I had him as my father and friend."

The gathered government officials stood as he walked back to his seat.

The orchestra once more picked up their instruments and played Kimigayo. Then, from outside of these ground the sound of cannon fire as a 21 gun salute was given to the fallen emperor. With each canon shot, Seiji moved closer to public tears, but with whatever strength he could find he managed to make it through without showing that emotion. There would be a pause in the events of the day as the family gathered together. The coffin was moved off the stage into a room behind where the government members and members of the Imperial family sat. Then, slowly, the members of the Imperial Family funnel into that room with Seijihito leading the way. Without a camera, without a crowd, the family would scatter the ashes of the Heiwa Tenno under the cherry trees just as he wished. Then the event would turn to the meal for those in attendance.
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Corporate Police State

Postby Freistaat-Ostafrika » Wed May 12, 2021 1:26 pm

21 March 2021, 13:00hrs [UTC+9]
Imperial Palace
Tokyo, United Empire

Dressed appropriately in a black suit dress accessorised with a stylish black clutch purse, her long hair worn in a bun despite the guidance stating that it was unnecessary, President Yang observed the funeral proceedings quietly and solemnly. Sat next to her in the Shunju-no-ma was her husband Jiawei, dressed in a standard black business suit, wearing an expression identical to that of his wife. As the representatives of the Nanfang Republic at the funeral, and by extension acting as the highest-ranked representatives of the Shenzhen Pact, the Nanfaren First Couple were conducting themselves according to every last aspect of Nihanchu protocol. Not that they would have usually ignored such matters of etiquette, it was just that in this particular instance it was vital that there be absolutely no slip-ups.

As she listened first to Prime Minister Yokohama and then to Emperor Seijihito as they spoke fondly of the Emperor's father, President Yang's thoughts turned to her own meetings with him. The close relationship between the United Empire and the Nanfang Republic had been reflected by the amicability that existed between their respective Heads of State. President Yang had always found Heiwa Tennō to be far easier to get along with than she had initially expected, and she had always respected him for just how easy he made statesmanship appear to be. Whether or not his son would be the same, that remained to be seen, but President Yang and the Nanfang Republic would endeavour to assist him and accommodate him as much as possible. While Emperor Seijihito would have the full support of the Nihanchu people and their government, it would only be right for the United Empire's allies to support him as well as he took his first steps onto the world stage as a Head of State.


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