|This article contains extensive backstory designed to make your reading experience more enjoyable.|
|Private military security firm|
|Industry||Private military and security contractor|
Mr. Toyoda's Security Firm, commonly abbreviated Toyoda Security and colloquially referred to as the Toyodan Masakari is an “all-purpose security firm” considered by many to be Toyoda's private army. It markets itself as a private defence contractor serving both civilian and military interests. The firm has no official title and operates under an array of monikers worldwide. Its headquarters are based in Kitami, Japan.
Mr. Toyoda's personal emblem is a stylized seven-point star on a black background, which is based on the flag of the Hokkaido prefecture, Japan.
Civil protection (CP) teams are tasked with protection of civilians, and have commonly been deployed to assist the local authorities during home emergencies and natural disasters. CP uniforms are easily recognizable, and feature NBC-shielded helmets similar to Combine metrocops and Coruscanti SWAT teams. As they are not expected to perform in combat situations, they are usually lightly armed.
General protection (GP) teams are the chief constituent of Toyoda's firm, and the division most commonly contracted by overseas patrons. Their staple uniform is uncannily similar to the JSDF. They typically wear less pronounced black uniforms for civilian and small-scale private contracts to render themselves "incognito", although their "army" dress is always worn whenever working with military vehicles and ordnance. General protection teams are assigned military-grade equipment.
Masakari represent Toyoda’s “elite guard” and are colloquially referred to as the “kami no heishi” as they are hand-picked by Toyoda himself. They receive the highest standard of training and are given access to experimental weaponry. While they are classified separately from the main personnel body, they frequently work within and are effectively indistinguishable from the other classes.
Administration of the firm follows a rigid chain of command. Superior officers (captains or higher) are responsible for the running of overseas outposts; these in turn may be attached to a regional office that coordinates broader-scale activity. The ranking scheme for members of the security details is limited; amongst the officers there is no title higher than colonel. All personnel ultimately defer to Mr. Toyoda, although he is not known to hold a determined rank within the chain of command.
The firm is well-known for effective use of local knowledge, openly hiring from the countries in which permanent outposts are based. This has contributed to its image as an "international" company and helped to mitigate claims of "covert neocolonialism". Overseas operations typically consist of an almost entirely native staff, occasionally overseen by a single officer assigned from Kitami.
The Japanese government has consistently denied any connection between Toyoda's firm and the Japan Self Defense Force, despite the firm using the same equipment as the JSDF. As a private international corporation with no ties to the government, Toyoda's firm is exempt from Article 9 of the Japanese Constitution prohibiting the offensive use of force. This has led to conspiracy theories that the firm was established as a means for the government to circumvent its own legislation, although no solid evidence exists to support these claims. It should also be noted that historically, the Japanese government and Toyoda's firm have always had a turbulent relationship.
Criticism and controversy
A number of governments in whose nations the firm has permanent establishments have complained that their authority has been challenged by the "autonomy" of Toyoda's staff. Furthermore, although fresh and/or temporary employees are bound by a standard employment contract, it is rumoured that more permanent staff, especially the senior officers, swear an oath of fealty to Toyoda himself.
There has also been speculation as to the firm's ability to acquire military matériel from its host countries, an issue first raised after Coruscanti personnel witnessed the deployment of Stryker IFVs in Syracuse; this has since been rationalized as the requisition of derelict equipment parallel to the Republic's acquisition of Bradley IFVs.
The firm gained widespread attention as a result of the Hokkaidō Uprising in what was viewed by many as an outright defiance to government authority. The Japanese armed forces were reluctant to involve themselves in the fiasco, partly due to the pressing matter of the zombie menace, and partly for fear of sparking a civil war. CivGeneral concluded the incident by forcing the removal of Captain Tōjō; although Coruscanti forces admitted to high incidental casualties, the firm claimed CivGeneral's actions resulted in no fatalities.
A public inquiry into the debacle challenged the legitimacy of the firm's claim to be a "defence" contractor. The common argument in defence of the firm was that the scenario arose from unusual circumstances and was the result of personal blunders by a select few individuals. All parties agreed that Tōjō was chiefly to blame for the incident; Toyoda had been in Germany at the time and his knowledge of the events was considered insufficient to implicate him. Officers who testified before the inquiry concurrently stated that "Had Toyoda-san been present at the time, this would never have happened." The inquiry ultimately determined that although the incident constituted a major breach of public safety, it was satisfied that such an incident would not happen again. The firm had historically maintained positive public relations toward the citizens of Hokkaidō, and its willingness to repair the damage by its own initiative was deemed sufficient reparation.
The Coruscanti Senate has routinely voiced strong opposition to the perceived challenge to authority that the firm exerts, going so far as to outlaw mercenary activity of any stripe within its core territories. Senate hawks have proposed military action if the firm continues to contest state authority, promoting an image of the firm as an extension of anti-Coruscanti sentiment experienced since the mid 90s, and citing strict interpretation of the Geneva Convention on Mercenaries to support their stance. Moderates wish to see a peaceful coexistence between Toyoda's firm and the Coruscanti armed forces and share the island of Hokkaidō; although both sides agree that they want Toyoda's firm out of other territories the Republic controls directly.
The "Toyoda question" became particularly contentious after CIA deputy director Randy Johnson commenced a shadow war against the firm, leading to retaliatory action by Masakari agents within New Port City that left a CIA operative dead. Government and police agencies were severely shaken by how far the firm could reach into the Coruscanti heartland, and public opinion continues to worsen as the issue is exacerbated into a question of national sovereignty. While Kusanagi has attempted to defuse tensions since her election as Chancellor, given CivGeneral's personal apprehensions the likelihood of true rapprochement is shaky at best.
Toyoda's security firm is said to maintain a presence in every recognized nation on Earth.
- Eastern Union
- Republic of Coruscant
- United Kingdom
These have been suggested within the course of the story, but their exact status is unconfirmed.