Episode 1: The first day
Early one morning, Chief Cabinet Secretary Yuda Kazumichi and his wife, Eriko, are awoken by a phone call. It is from Prime Minister Saegusa Tatsuaki and Yuda cannot hide his shock. He immediately rushes to the Prime Minister’s official residence only to discover that he is the only member of the cabinet who has been summoned. Seeing Yuda, Prime Minister Saegusa’s first remark is to wonder what Yuda’s father, Yuda Sakunosuke, the influential former chairman of the Japanese Business Federation, would have to say of the times that they are in. Yuda flatly points out that this has nothing to do with his father for he is not a politician.
Prime Minister Saegusa gravely tells him that the submarine Shinonome has been seized. It disappeared from radar screens while on its way back to Japan this morning after a joint naval exercise with the United States in the South China Sea. Then, an email was sent to a classified email address of the official residence with the message, “We captured the J.M.S.D.F submarine Shinonome.” Yuda’s immediate reaction is to inform the public, but Prime Minister Saegusa does not want him to inform the Americans or the public at this moment to prevent chaos from breaking out within the country. Furthermore, Japan is to host an environment summit next week which the President of the United States is scheduled to attend. His order to a disbelieving Yuda is to cover this up until they have determined Shinonome’s whereabouts and decided on the measures to take.
On that same day, Professor Suzuki Seiji from New Boston University in the United States returns to Japan on a private visit for the first time in eight years. When his flight touches down at Narita Airport, Maichou Shimbun reporter, Tachikawa Haruo, comes up to him. Introducing himself, he comments that Japan most needs Suzuki’s research. Suzuki curtly replies, “I’m sorry. but I’m a person who has abandoned Japan.” Just as Tachikawa is about to persist and request an interview with Suzuki, he receives a phone call from his boss and ends up hurrying back to his office.
At the Maichou Shimbun office, Tachikawa learns that they had received an email from a sender named ‘Mebius’ early this morning. The ominous message reads, “We’ve captured the J.M.S.D.F submarine Shinonome. The Weapons Officer LCD Kawada has dropped into a deep sleep now. To our regret, he has a bruise.” Is the email genuine or a hoax? His chief editor tells him that the newspaper had made a request to the Maritime Self Defence Force for an interview on the Shinonome just to make certain, but they were rejected. Given that the capture of a submarine equipped with weapons and its crew is without precedent, it is unlikely that the government would make this news public. A bewildered Tachikawa is tasked with finding out the truth.
On the other hand, Matsunaga Shoichiro is released from Hidaka Prison. As Matsunaga walks off, a man named Kaburagi Kota, a commander with the Maritime Self Defence Force, drives up and starts talking as if he is familiar with him. Identifying himself as a person who will determine Japan’s future, Kaburagi professes admiration for Matsunaga’s act of blowing up the building of a big corporation in a fight against the system. Kaburagi would like Matsunaga’s help. However, Matsunaga is suspicious of Kaburagi and claims that he is mistaken. Undeterred, Kaburagi tells Matsunaga to get in touch with him if he wishes to join the fight again, and drives off.
At that same moment, Detective Kanbayashi Yosuke of the Tokyo Metropolitan Police’s First Investigative Division arrives at a hotel where a murder was committed. The victim, a woman who worked in a bar at Shibuya, had been strangled to death. The police have not found any documents that will enable them to confirm the identity of the dead body which is clad only in lingerie. But as Kanbayashi gazes at the woman’s face, he realises that she is Yoshimoto Akari. His ex-wife … … It is the same name that she had registered herself as when she booked the hotel room that afternoon.
Further investigation reveals that Akari had worked at a bar called Mebius! The murder weapon was a cord-like item, presumably a necktie, that made her suffocate to death. No fingerprints or items related to the murderer were left at the scene. The only leads the police have is a footprint and security camera footage of two men coming out from the room. Kanbayashi is certain that the murderer would not have left the room wearing a necktie if it was used as the murder weapon.
In a room in some part of Tokyo, Kaburagi uses a lighter to burn a necktie.
Meanwhile, Yuda, who has been agonising over the order to cover up the disappearance of the Shinonome, tracks down Prime Minister Saegusa at the birthday party for a former prime minister. He hesitantly broaches the topic and suggests considering other ways to handle it. However, the prime minister says the discussion is over. He goes on stage before Yuda can get another word in. So, Yuda is forced to wait it out. Feeling terrible, he heads to the washroom, but his secretary, Yamazaki, suddenly comes in, bows and tells him cryptically that he is sorry. Then, two men accost Yuda and cover his face with a cloth dosed with chloroform.
Yuda regains consciousness and discovers that he is in his old room in the family home. It appears that his father had made Yamazaki bring Yuda here by bending him to his will. Otherwise, Yuda would never have come. But it is his next words on the Shinonome that come as a surprise. He knows about the capture of the submarine. “There are many people in this world who need me, even if you don’t,” the Sakunosuke says. Yuda points out they only want his father’s money, and defensively asserts that he rose to his current position on his own merit. And so, his father asks how he plans to overcome the current crisis. He has no ready answer to that, but the Sakunosuke has. Remilitarisation.
“Japan has to rearm itself in order to rally together.
I didn’t say a word about going to war.
Being prepared for war is the best method to safeguard our peace.
Japan is going to lose again.
I believe you have the desire to stand above everyone and make Japan the country that you want it to be.
Otherwise, you wouldn’t have aspired to be a politician!”
He summons a man into the room. It is Kaburagi. Kaburagi tells Yuda that this unprecedented crisis presents an opportunity to reshape the nation. He proposes that Yuda persuade Prime Minister Saegusa to discuss the revision of the pacifist constitution during talks with the president of the United States at the upcoming environment summit. By doing so, Japan will be a step closer to possessing an army. Yuda is appalled and refuses to hear any further talk about it. Addressing his father, he tells him that he aspired to be a politician so that he could show people like him what justice is. Kaburagi interrupts and asks if Yuda is sure that he would not have any regrets. “You have a beautiful wife and cute son,” he says and those words carry sinister connotations.
Meanwhile, Tachikawa is at the party that Prime Minister Saegusa is attending. By some coincidence, Suzuki is also staying at this hotel, and the two men cross paths in the lobby. Tachikawa had heard about the success of Suzuki’s groundbreaking clinical trial of a treatment to prevent suicide while he was based at Maichou Shimbun’s branch office in New York, and would like to interview Suzuki. He discloses that 30,000 people attempt suicide each year in Japan. If Suzuki’s treatment can be put into practical use, it would dramatically change Japanese society. That possibility interests him as a reporter. Suzuki points out that there are people opposed to his treatment. They deem it a violation of ethics and human dignity to surgically treat a person in order to influence his thoughts. However, Suzuki believes that robbing a person of his dignity is better than letting him commit suicide. Tachikawa is fascinated. Curious to know why Suzuki has come back to Japan if he has no love for the country, Tachikawa probes but Suzuki evades the question. The two men part outside Suzuki’s hotel room.
Before long, Suzuki emerges from the hotel and hails a taxi. Tachikawa follows him and is puzzled to see the taxi pulling up in front of the residence of the Cabinet Secretary.
It was Eriko who had franticaly called Suzuki over to the house when she discovered that Yuda had tried to commit suicide. Suzuki and Eriko had once been married … … and she is the reason why he has returned to Japan. Eriko confesses that she had deliberately misled him into believing that 9-year-old Daisuke, the son that they had had together, has suicidal tendencies when it is actually her husband, Yuda. She begs Suzuki to save Yuda who is so tormented by the pressures of being a politician and the strained relationship with his father that he has not been able to sleep for the past six months and is dependent on sleeping pills. At that moment, Yuda awakens and becomes aware of Suzuki’s presence. The three of them, who used to be university schoolmates, are reunited for the first time in 20 years.
The atmosphere is somewhat strained as Yuda and Suzuki catch up. Shocked to see Suzuki in a wheelchair, Yuda enquires if it was caused by an accident, but Suzuki gives a vague reply. Suzuki makes it clear that Yuda had stolen Eriko from a good friend even though he has no lingering affection for a woman who is drawn to money and status. An apologetic Yuda says it is because he loves her too much. He wonders if he is being punished now for he has not been able to pursue his ideals or fulfill his responsibilities now that he is in politics. All he feels is a deep sense of guilt that has made him want to go to sleep and never wake up again. While Suzuki does not care if Yuda lives or dies, he offers to help Yuda if he wishes to be saved and carry on living. Taking out a vial from his briefcase, he shows Yuda the chip inside which will emit pulses once embedded behind the ear. The pulses will inhibit and greatly reduce hormones in the brain that are responsible for suicidal thoughts. This was proven in the clinical test he conducted on 30 people, but he cautions that this is still in the experimental stage in Japan.
“Have you ever had your stomach pumped before?
It’s a dreadful instrument
which forcibly pulled me back when I was close to death.
The river that flows between this world and the other world is actually deep, isn’t it?
Since I wasn’t allowed to die,
I wish to live properly for the sake of Eriko and Daisuke.
And for the people.”
Yuda’s confession seems to resonate with Suzuki, who had once sought suicide to escape from his troubles when he lost everything. Suzuki brings Yuda to a hospital that a retired friend once ran, for the surgical procedure. Once the anesthesia takes effect on Yuda, Suzuki removes a chip from a vial and injects it in the place behind his right ear.
Yuda regains conscious when the anesthesia wears off. He regards his surroundings with curiousity, as if seeing it with different eyes. Thanking Suzuki for being Japan’s saviour, he leaves and makes his way to his father’s residence despite the early hour.
In the living room, he wields the sword that once belonged to his grandfather who had gone down in a ship during the war. The weary, troubled Yuda seems to have vanished after the treatment. In his place is a man brimming with a confidence that is so intimidating that it even unsettles his flabbergasted father.
“It’s true that Japan’s fortunes are on the wane.
But your help is no longer need.
I want to make Japan the best country in the world.
I love this country.”
All text copyright © jdramas.wordpress.com.