fbpx Skip to content

Alternate History Fridays: Hirohito Looks Over His To Do List

Rising Sun FlagFor an old, old man, it had been a busy week, but there was still more to do before the bureaucrats took the weekend off.

He’d managed to deflect the moderates, who felt Japan should apologize for the bombings of San Francisco and Los Angeles; it was 60 years ago, and he wished people would just forget the past. They should think about the future. As though they should apologize! No matter how horrible, those bombs saved millions of lives – many of them Japanese. To think he’d almost told that fruitcake Hitler that they didn’t want the a-bomb technology. What a mistake that would have been!

And he’d successfully screwed the Chinese over again. Heh. Must drive them nuts, he thought. For the third time, China got the Asian Free Trade Board to rule in their favor on the rice duties Japan had been imposing, but he told his people to ignore it. But what could China do? They had lots of land and peasants, but no army. No technology. (It all came back to their nuclear arsenal again, didn’t it?)

But the nuclear arsenal was not going to fix the problem in Arabia, where the fundamentalists were waging a successful insurgency against the Imperial occupation. You couldn’t nuke everything. It would just take more troops. Perhaps more levies from Korea and Manchuria.

And he had to ensure he sent more money to the pacifist-isolationist parties in America. Their experience had given them an abhorrence of nuclear weapons, but even they were seeing the necessity of having them as a deterrent. He could never let them get on that track again. Better to keep them occupied, filming movies, making cartoons, and building the electronic gadgets his people so adored.

That was the secret MacArthur had taught him during the occupation of America. It was the same secret the Roman Emperors had used: bread and circuses. Give them enough to distract them, keep them happy and comfortable, and you could do what you wanted.

Either that or imprison anyone who raised their voice against you. That worked too, but not nearly as well.