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Sunrise in the Pacific (Japanese: 帝国と提督 Teikoku to Teitoku — Admiral of the Empire) is an alternate timeline created by Noobteitoku and TheTimMan revolving around the concept of an Imperial Japanese Navy with more emphasis on its aircraft carrier fleet.

Point of Divergence

In August 25th 1916, Vice Admiral Arima Ryōkitsu of the Imperial Japanese Navy died in a car accident near the city center of Tokyo, Ryōkitsu had been one of the main defenders of the Kantai Kessen (Great Fleet) battle plan. This plan presented that the only way in which the IJN could achieve victory over its opponents (which would ultimately be the United States Navy) was to be a decisive clash between capital ships (mainly those envisioned in the Hachihachi Kantai; lit: Eight-Eight fleet), after the US fleet had been weakened during its course through the Pacific ocean by submarines, torpedo squadrons and more recently, aircraft. Ryōkitsu was being considered for taking the command of the 3rd Fleet but after his death Commander-in-Chief of the Imperial Japanese Navy, Marshal Admiral Baron Ijūin Gorō promoted Prince Fushimi Hiroyasu to Commander of the 3rd fleet.

Prince Fushimi Hiroyasu

Prince Fushimi Hiroyasu

In early 1919, Prince Fushimi met Osami Nagano, captain of the protected cruiser Hirado, and became really interested in Nagano's point of view regarding what would be the future of the newly developed ships which could carry aircraft; Nagano foresaw that one day the power of naval embarked aviation would eclipse the one currently held by battleships and battle cruisers. When sharing this point of view with other higher-ups of the IJN, Prince Fushimi found more opposition than compliance, but he found an ally in vice-admiral Keisuke Okada. This parity in opinion would be decisive towards the development of the Imperial Japanese Navy after the Naval Treaty of Washington.

Marshal Admiral Ijūin Gorō decided to resign to his title of commander-in-chief of the Imperial Japanese Navy in June 1919 due to complications with his health; his successor was Prince Higashifushimi Yorihito, mainly due to his belonging to the Imperial family; who was immediately promoted to Marshal Admiral. One of his concerns was the possible incoming naval arms race with the U.S. and he started scheming a way to prevent this, since some of his advisors had been delegates to the Japanese embassy in Washington and had seen a share of the industrial power the U.S. were able to achieve. Prince Fushimi replaced him as commander of the 2nd Fleet and pressed on for a revision of the official battle plan and after some weeks of insistence, Prince Higashifumishi acceded. In September 1919 he called for a meeting of all the higher-ups of the IJN, with the objective of discussing the strategy of the IJN in the following decade (which was just an excuse to alter the Kantai Kessen strategy). Vice Admiral Satō Tetsutarō, main designer of the Kantai Kessen battle plan was reluctant to any changes made to his strategy, and hardly could contain his outrage when Prince Fushimi asked the newly promoted captain Nagano to come into the meeting room and share his suggestions regarding the strategy matter, but he gritted his teeth and silently listened to the proposal.

The meeting ended with some agreement on both sides, Prince Fushimi presented Nagano's strategy plan as the Kōkū Kantai (lit: Air Fleet) strategy, as opposed to the Kantai Kessen battle plan. Prince Higashifushimi decided to give this new strategy an opportunity and ordered the laid down of the experimental ship class that would be the Hōshō class aircraft carrier with immediate effect. The first ship was planned to be laid down in late 1920 but it was moved forward and was given high priority over current projects, at the same time, the Tosa class battleship project was postponed while the Amagi class battle cruiser construction would remain on schedule.

Washington Naval Treaty

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