- Allohistorical Allusion: Instead of the Four Modernizations (of agriculture, industry, national defense, and science with technology) implemented by Deng Xiaoping in OTL, there are Five Modernizations (education, technology, industrialization, militarization, and reunification) outlined by President Gao Zongwu.
- Authority in Name Only: Formally, the Republican government in Nanjing is the governing body over all Chinese states but Manchuria. In reality, it only controls the eastern portion of the country.
- Be Careful What You Wish For: China could try and break free from Japan, sparking the Great Asian War. As described below, however, it would be an endeavor with a hefty price in death and destruction, whether or not the Chinese even win.
- Bittersweet Ending: If China wins the Great Asian War, the nation will be completely devastated, with millions of Chinese people dead. But China becomes a free nation once again, and the survivors of China can begin to rebuild their nation for a better tomorrow.
- Les Collaborateurs: The new Republic of China was formed by the collaborationist regime of Wang Jingwei during the Second Sino-Japanese War. Within the government, there are pro-Japanese factions that want to further integrate China with Japan.
- Necessary Evil: For backwards China, industrializing is extremely difficult, and many tragic stories of poor people in China suffering during the push towards full industrialization can appear throughout the playthrough. Yet despite all the hardships that ensue, industrialization is absolutely required to achieve the greater good of putting China on its feet again.
- Occupiers Out of Our Country: Despite being controlled by a collaborationist regime, anti-Japanese sentiment is still very strong. To prevent Japan from cracking down on Gao's government while rebuilding itself, China needs to manage its internal factions and prevent conflicts. However, when China does fully rebuild itself, fighting a war to liberate China from the Japanese might not be out of the question...
The current President of the Republic of China, Gao was elected as a compromise option in the fractured Reorganized Government in the years following Wang Jingwei's death. Formerly a diplomat who intermediates between Nanjing and Tokyo, Gao was politically unknown and capable of negotiating with the Japanese. However, beneath his spectacles, Gao Zongwu was a firm believer in the democratic and nationalist ideals of Dr. Sun Yat-sen. He had witnessed how far China had strayed down the wrong path, and would do anything to correct China's mistakes.
- Book-Ends: One of the first events for China is Gao taking a morning walk near Sun Yat-sen's Tomb, wondering if the Chinese people will ever be free again. If Gao's modernizations fail and his actions lead to a stronger Japanese presence in China, he takes a morning near Sun Yat-sen's Tomb, wondering the same thing again, but this time he asks himself not in his anticipation of the great changes for the republic, but in a sorrowful expectation of the dark days ahead.
- Cooperation Gambit: Gao is a Chinese nationalist who seeks to free his country from the Japanese yoke, but he knows that China is still too weak to rise up against Japan, so he bids his time and cooperates with the Japanese, benefiting from their investments to develop and industrialise China before the time comes to overthrow them.
- Historical Hero Upgrade: Gao Zongwu in real life is known for facilitating negotiations between Wang Jingwei and Japan, then defecting from Wang Jingwei upon learning of Japan's extremely harsh terms and exposing Wang's plans in 1940. In TNO, President Gao Zongwu is even more of a nationalist, and works to totally rebuild China and possibly even rebel against Japan's occupation.
- Necessary Evil: Gao sees working with Japan and feigning subservience as this. Whether nor not he pulls off his plans for the Great Asian War, he nonetheless sees momentary cooperation with his enemies as key in bolstering China's economy and military while he still can.
- Realpolitik: Gao Zongwu is an ardent follower of Sun Yat-sen, including Chinese nationalism. However, trying to rise up against the Japanese as a weak China would spell certain defeat, and bowing in fully to the Japanese would mean betraying the dreams of Dr. Sun. As such, Gao acts as a mediator between the government factions and Japan, balancing all the different factions to achieve long-term goals.
- The Starscream: Gao Zongwu's long-term plan for China is for China to rise up against Japan and take Japan's place as the dominant power in Asia in the Great Asian War.
- Worthy Opponent: Gao considers Chiang Kai-shek to be this, even after his death. Repressive and authoritarian as Chiang was, Gao still respects him for that at least his state was truly independent of any foreign power."Chiang's KMT was many things", pondered Zongwu, "but at least they were free."
"Maybe we too shall be free."
- The Quisling: Chen Gongbo, a pan-Asianist and leader of the pro-Japanese faction of the Kuomintang, can overthrow Gao Zongwu and usher in a pro-Japanese regime.
- Meet the New Boss: Zhou Fohai is the leader of the Old Guard faction within the Kuomintang who consist of Wang Jingwei's old associates and followers.
- Crapsaccharine World: Compared to the mess that China, Russia, and Europe is in, Manchuria appears to be a fairly modernized and stable Japanese puppet state. Despite this, the rural areas are still rife with low-level rebels, the Amur coastline is more or less completely lawless, and the government does not fully control the Kwantung Army, who may be planning for something big of their own...
- Deadly Gas: Unit 731 is still working in Manchuria, producing biological and chemical weapons.
- Deal with the Devil: When the USSR collapsed, the Kwantung Army annexed a big section of the Amur coastline. These territories are majority Russian and largely lawless, with only Vladivostok being useful to the administration. Manchukuo can either send colonists there or use them as a bargaining chip with Konstantin Rodzaevsky, the powerful Russian fascist warlord based in Amur.
- Foreshadowing: The sordid reality of Manchuria is a strong hint as to what Kishi Nobusuke, along with his allies in the military and the bureaucracy, intends to impose onto Japan and beyond should he seize power following Order 44.
- The Friend Nobody Likes: Not unlike Burgundy, Manchuria is seen by Japan as either a humiliation or akin to skeletons in the closet. Which isn't helped by how few are really aware of what's actually occurring within its borders, thanks in no small part to the Kwantung Army.
- Man Behind the Man: The Kwantung Army (and Kishi Nobusuke) are the true masters of Manchuria.
- Puppet State: The Empire of Manchuria is ruled by Japan in all but name. In practice, however, the Kwantung Army nominally enforcing Japanese rule rules acts with enough impunity that not even the government is fully aware or in control of what actually happens.
- The Remnant: The partisans still lurking in the vast countryside are mentioned as being very much the last of their kind within their corner of the Co-Prosperity Sphere, with Kim Il-Sung's Northeast Anti-Japanese United Army being all that remains of organized Korean resistance.
- La Résistance: Partisans continue to operate in the steppes and plains of Outer Manchuria, most notably Kim Il-sung's Northeast Anti-Japanese United Army. Konstantin Rodzaevsky will eventually have to deal with them once he unites the Russian Far East and asks Japan to return Outer Manchuria to him.
Aisin Gioro Puyi
- Allohistorical Allusion: Some of Puyi's experiences, as detailed in his diaries, are based on the real experiences of the real Puyi, who lived in isolation as a deposed emperor in Manchuria and Communist China.
- Dying Alone: His death, though attended by a few dignitaries (including Emperor Hirohito), is largely ignored by the rest of the world, and ultimately forgotten.
- Gilded Cage: Puyi is more or less under house arrest in a big fancy imperial palace, only ever leaving for trivial state duties.
- Manchild: Puyi was never raised as a responsible person and he is reaching 60. As he talked about himself in real life:"For the past forty years I had never folded my own quilt, made my own bed, or poured out my washing water. I had never even washed my own feet or tied my shoes."
- Puppet King: Manchukuo is in practice directly ruled by Japan's Kwantung Army. Puyi has very little power and has been under effective house arrest for the past three decades, which has greatly contributed to his depression.
- Alternate Character Reading: Cities in the Guangdong SAR use the Japanese on'yomi readings of their Chinese names.
- But Not Too Foreign: Especially around Kōshu (Guangzhou), Macau and Hong Kong, a mixed-Japanese culture has emerged, the result of Japanese influence and settlers displacing the native Chinese.
- Foreign Ruling Class: Japanese settlers in Guangdong enjoy preferential treatment while native Chinese are second-class citizens, if they have the fortune of being educated.
- Police State: The Guangdong SAR is a police state with unrivalled surveillance and control of its people.
- Mega-Corp: Guangxi's economy is dominated by Zaibatsus, and Xia's treasury seems to grow every time a new Japanese business opens up in Hechi.
- The Quisling: According to early unreliable Japanese reports, Xia, a longstanding Kuomintang official, was given Guangxi for his betrayal in the last days of the war to the Japanese side, even if he does not even try to hide his nationalist tendencies.
- Allohistorical Allusion: Fu Zuoyi's surrender to the Japanese during the Battle of Xi'an mirrors how he defected to the Chinese Communists by surrendering Beijing during the real life Chinese civil war.
- The Quisling: During the Battle of Xi'an in the Second Sino-Japanese War, Fu suddenly surrendered his entire army, citing his disillusionment with Chiang Kai-shek, putting an end to the drawn-out fighting. Fu's actions guarenteed him a high position in the post-war Japanese order as governor of Shaanxi, over which he rules as chief warlord.
- Shadow Dictator: Tian Songyao is a thoroughly indifferent warlord who usually only makes a public appeareance once in weeks. Most aren't even sure Tian is alive anymore.
- The Remnant: Liu Wenhui continues fighting in the mountains of Xikang, having fled to the mountains as Chiang's KMT was defeated at Chongqing and both Chiang and Mao died fighting there.
- Corrupt Politician: Lu Han has no problems paying favorites to his friends and allies. As the focus tree advances, his supporters get lands, slaves and endless money paid by the Japanese to extract tin. Even his focuses clearly depict the slaveholding plantation lords bribing and making inroads into the government, and his supporters stop working and becoming slaving, evil landlords of their own. Lu Han's rulership reaches dickish levels of villainery as the focus tree advances: Discovering extensive patches of Shiitake mushrooms in the forest suddenly makes the peasants happy...Only the proceeds to be confiscated at one hundred percent by the government. Lu Han even joyfully comments that the peasants "should cast off any dreams of prosperity".
- Cult of Personality: Lu Han teaches his people to worship him as the lawbringer, the hero of the south, the keeper of national pride who freed the peasants from their landlords, even though he did nothing of this sort.
- Indentured Servitude: His landlords are corrupt to the bone, indenture the peasants through near-impossible to pay-off rent rates and even use enslaved criminals in chattel slavery. Considering the laws and rents, the peasants are little more than the slaves they till the fields with, and their landlords take them wherever there needs to be minerals to be harvested in mobile homes.
- Being Tortured Makes You Evil: Long Yun was betrayed by his cousin Lu Han, who imprisoned him, had him tortured, killed his son, surrendered Yunnan to the Japanese, and kept Long alive out of a twisted sense of guilt and pity. These experiences turned him into a bloodthirsty, genocidal ultranationalist warlord.
- The Berserker: To defeat the Japanese, Long Yun's focuses are completely focused on increasing the offensive power of divisions. One of them is even named "No Restraints". A fully realized Long Yun focus tree has extreme buffs on offense, and extreme debuffs on defense.
- Destructive Saviour: Long Yun engages in outright self-destructive industrialization in Xinan in order to launch his war of liberation, and he destroys almost everything he comes across during said war of liberation, having no thought about collateral damage or offering mercy.
- Evil Counterpart: In a twisted way, Long Yun is doing exactly what Gao Zongwu is doing; both are industrializing China and militarizing it in order to launch a great war of liberation against Japan. Long Yun is just much, much more radical and unrestrained than Gao Zongwu; his industrialization and militarization efforts involve straight-up slavery and suicidal conscription, and the Great Asian War-lite that Long Yun will launch against Japan is far more horrific than the normal Great Asian War.
- Evil Old Folks: By the time Long Yun starts the Western Insurrection, he is already in his 80s.
- Foil: He is this to Dmitry Karbyshev as while both are old men who seek revenge on their enemies for torturing them and ruining their home countries, Karbyshev is someone who doesn't go along with the horrors that his subordinates in the All-Russian Black League advocate while Long Yun is someone who is fully onboard with the horrors that would be unleashed in the name of revenge.
- General Ripper: There is nothing left in Long Yun's heart but a burning desire to see Japan perish and pay for their crimes against China.
- Historical Villain Upgrade: Long Yun historically was a typical Chinese warlord who ruled Yunnan after overthrowing Tang Jiyao in 1928 until he was overthrown in 1945 and allied himself with the Chinese communists. In this world, he has gone insane from being tortured by his cousin and now leads what amounts to a Chinese version of the Black League.
- Occupiers Out of Our Country: Long Yun wants to completely remove the Japanese from Chinese lands and achieve total liberation.
- The Power of Hate: Heavily implied to be why he is alive considering that Long Yun died in 1962 historically but is still alive in this world and is able to wage a "war of revenge" against Japan in this scenario.
- Public Execution: Long orders every national police precinct to publicly execute at least one traitor a week, in order to make it clear the punishment for disloyalty.
- Red and Black and Evil All Over: Red and black are the main colours used in the National Protection Army's flag and focus icons.
- Red Baron: Long is known as the Mad King of the Southwest.
- Revenge Before Reason: Long Yun cares little about all the Chinese lives that he ruined in his war of liberation. He only cares about the destruction of the Japanese oppressors.
- Roaring Rampage of Revenge: Long Yun wants to kill all the Japanese invaders and traitorous collaborators that enslaved China. After he dies after liberating China, his generals can ignore Japan's attempts at peace and push to invade Japan and destroy the great evil once and for all; doing so will lead to a nuclear war.
- Stalked by the Bell: Take too long to capture the target cities, and Long Yun will be assassinated by his generals, collapsing the rebellion. You get one vague warning before this.
- There Is No Kill Like Overkill: After the National Protection Army defeats Hui, Long Yun kills Masanobu Tsuji by shooting no less than twenty-four bullets at him.
- Timed Mission: The Devastation mechanic forces Long Yun to be constantly on the warpath, as the only way to slow down the growth of the Devastation meter is to conquer more and more territory from the Republic of China and other warlords; once it rises too high, his lieutenants assassinate Long and surrender, causing his insurrection to end in failure.
- Walking Spoiler: Long Yun is the secret Ultranationalist leader for China. Even though Ultranationalist China's focus tree was teased pre-release, the identity of the Chinese Ultranationalist leader was never teased, and even in-game his appearance is a big surprise.
- Well-Intentioned Extremist: The Japanese did crush China under their boot, Chinese collaborators did betray the Chinese to the invaders, and Long Yun was brutally tortured by his cousin who proceeded to collaborate with the Japanese, but Long Yun's decision to militarize a province and launch a total war is an extremely destructive solution to the problem.
- With Us or Against Us: Individuals that do not wholly dedicate themselves to Long Yun's war efforts are considered treasonous and actively purged. Foreigners in Xinan are also forced into Last Chance Divisions so they have to serve China, and all criminals are given three options: join the Redemption divisions, start working in a factory, or die.
- Army of Thieves and Whores: Originally established as a state existing solely to demonstrate the pan-Asianist ideology of Japan, the army of Tsuji quickly turned into a bunch of thugs who regularly organize bandit raids in the countryside.
- A Nazi by Any Other Name: The ruling regime in Hui is classified as National Socialist in-game, despite not following German-style National Socialism.
- Non-Indicative Name: Despite being named like a republic for a particular ethnic group (in this case, Hui Muslims), Hui is in reality a warlord state headed by a clique of Japanese officers.
- Asshole Victim: If defeated by Long Yun, Tsuji Masanobu is personally shot dead by Long Yun with twenty-four bullets being fired and owing to his brutality, it is hard to feel sorry for him.
- The Dreaded: Tsuji's past is shrouded in myth, created by the terror surrounding the man.
- Insane Admiral: To the peasant, Tsuji is a man who ignored due process and executed anyone suspecting of taking part in the resistance. To the discharged army man, he's an insane general who threw human waves at a resolute army.
- The Remnant: Ma, a stalwart defender of the old Kuomintang, has never stopped fighting the Second Sino-Japanese War. As a ceasefire stabilised the east, Ma smuggled out refugees and former generals, and continues to raid Masanobu Tsuji's domain, never giving the Japanese a chance to retaliate.
- Occupiers Out of Our Country: The Xinjiang clique is stuck in a never-ending war with native Uyghur insurgents. Han colonisation has failed spectacularly, and their homesteads are burnt down by horsemen who seek to reclaim their land.
- Drowning My Sorrows: Every night, Zhang drinks a few glasses of sake at his desk, knowing that the situation will not turn out well for him.
- The Theocracy: Tibet is an absolute monarchy ruled by the Dalai Lama according to Tibetan Buddhism.
Mengjiang is a Japanese puppet state led by Prince Demchugdongrub, occupying Mongolian territory in both Outer and Inner Mongolia. Officially part of China as the Mongol Autonomous Federation, Mengjiang is de facto independent. It has been fighting a civil war with the Mongolian People's Front.
- Puppet State: Mengjiang is a puppet state of the Empire of Japan.
- Contempt Crossfire: Demchugdongrub is despised by his people as a sellout and a traitor, and scorned by the Japanese as an upstart vassal with delusions of grandeur.
- The Quisling: Prince Demchugdongrub has spent the majority of his life serving various foreign empires occupying Mongolia, from Qing China to Japan. He has recently found purpose in putting down the anti-imperialist rebellion that took over Ulaanbaatar.
- Hopeless War: No matter what, the Mongolian People's Front is doomed to lose the Mongolian Civil War; even if it could initially defeat Mengjiang, Japan and Manchuria would then intervene, crush the Mongolian People's Front and reestablish Mengjiang.
- La Résistance: The Mongolian People's Front is a Mongolian nationalist resistance against the Japanese.
- Rebel Leader: Tsedenbal commands a group of nomads and resistance fighters seeking to overthrow the Japanese and their puppets, and reassert native rule over Mongolia.
The formerly French Indochina came under Japanese rule following the end of World War II, who decided to reorganize Indochina into several loyal client states. In Vietnam, Emperor Bảo Đại was installed as Japan's loyal puppet, and the country became a fully dependent member of the Co-Prosperity Sphere. Japanese colonists and corporations dominated the Vietnamese landscape, sparking fierce resistance from the Viet Cong.
The current Prime Minister, Dr. Phan Huy Quát, oversees a failing nation with oppressive Japanese overlords and a resentful Vietnamese population. Restricted by the Japanese, Quát is unable to form an army to end the insurgency, and unable to reform anything to appease the Vietnamese people. With Quát assassinated in 1962, Vietnam now stands at a turning point for change to happen, for better or for worse.
- Abdicate the Throne: The Emperor will be forced to abdicate after the Communist Party of Vietnam comes into power.
- Puppet King: Even though he is The Emperor, Tokyo authorities are the ones to call the shots.
Ho Chi Minh
- Chummy Commies: His guerrillas seek to kick the Japanese out of Vietnam and restore independence for their country.
- Irony: One of America's most famous opponents in real life is now considered an American ally in TNO.
- La Résistance: The Vietcong or National Liberation Front, a rigorously-trained guerrilla army led by Hồ Chí Minh, who fight against the pro-Japanese regime in Vietnam and wage a large-scale guerrilla war in the countryside.
- 0% Approval Rating: It is entirely possible to provoke every significant minority, along with the dissatisfied Burmese Communists, to rebel against the Burmese government.
- Balkanize Me: Should Burma anger its numerous minorities too much and push them into rebellion, the whole country can easily be shattered by revolts in its every ethnic province outside of the Bamar-dominated regions (those that aren't already controlled by the Communist Party of Burma, at least).
- Mêlée à Trois: Hardly different from real life, Burma can become a hellish battleground between numerous ethnic and political militant groups.
- Puppet King: Ba Maw was installed as Burma's civilian administrator by the Japanese, but is little more than a figurehead to a joint Japanese-Thakin military government.
- A Nazi by Any Other Name: Ne Win might not have many ideological similarities to the Nazis, but his Bamar ultranationalism and harsh policies towards ethnic minorities means that he is classified as a National Socialist in-game.
- Politically Incorrect Villain: In real life, the rule of Ne Win was characterized by extreme Bamar nationalism and oppression of minorities within Socialist Burma. In TNO, his policies changed little in that regard.
Khaing Moe Lunn
- Good Is Not Soft: Moe Lunn fights for Arakan's freedom on the battlefield, and believes that the way to freedom is not paved with peace, but built in blood.
- Young and in Charge: Despite his young age (he was born in 1944, making him only 18 when the game begins), Khaing Moe Lunn has already become the leader of the Arakan Liberation Army.
Lahtaw Zau Seng
- Sibling Team: Zau Seng's closest lieutenants are his younger brothers Zau Tu and Zau Dan. Together, they are sometimes known as the Three Zaus.
Shōnan is a Japanese-occupied satellite state in the former British Malaya, ceremoniously led by Sultan Ibrahim of Johor. The Japanese 25th Army led by General Sōsaku Suzuki garrisons this region.
Sultan Ibrahim of Johor
- Puppet King: Ibrahim was a puppet under British rule, and remained a puppet when the Japanese took over Malaya.
- Know When to Fold 'Em: Should Takagi become Prime Minister and order an investigation into the North Borneo Administration, he can have the IJA garrison withdraw, rationalizing that its causing more trouble than its worth. The territory is instead left for the Malaysians and Filipinos to partition.
- Minor Crime Reveals Major Plot: An investigation of North Borneo under Prime Minister Takagi reveals a web of corruption and brutality that shocks the Japanese government.
- Evil Colonialist: Baba Masao is a tyrant who does not shy away from any brutal methods to suppress any attempts at resistance and enforce his will. A believer in Japanese supremacy, he furthered Japanese assimilation policies in North Borneo and turned it into a playground for Japanese zaibatsu, each seeking for their share of riches from the island.
- Villainous Breakdown: In Takagi's Authoritarian Democratic path, Masao loses it upon being recalled back to Japan. Despite ostensibly receiving a hero's welcome, he knows that his days are numbered once the truth comes to light.
- Civil War: Indonesia inevitably falls into a civil war between Sukarno's government and Hatta's coalition of anti-Japanese rebels.
- Mega-Corp: In return for aid in modernizing the nation, a consortium was established between the Indonesian government and the Zaibatsus. Many years after Japanese support dried up, the Zaibatsus continue to maintain control over the lion's share of Indonesia's mineral wealth and the profits from their sale.
- Right Hand vs. Left Hand: The command structures of the Indonesian military are divided amongst petty zones of influence, and cooperation between commanders is poor.
Despite his decade-long loyalty to the Co-Prosperity Sphere, Sukarno has made it clear that he only serves the Sphere if he believes that the Sphere is serving Indonesia. His strongman rule over Indonesia is also facing increasing amounts of resistance recently, widening the divisions in Indonesia. Sukarno will try to prove the naysayers wrong and hold Indonesia together forever.
- Commie Nazis: Sukarno is a fascist, but can also choose to develop a welfare system to uplift the poor, downtrodden masses (something which its opponents call 'communist tyranny').
- Emergency Authority: Indonesia's very first focus grants Sukarno the power he needs to protect national security through emergency amendments to the constitution.
- The Quisling: Unlike OTL, Sukarno and his comrades never stopped collaborating with Japan and continue to rule in her interests, believing Japan and the Sphere to be a reliable protector of Indonesian independence.
- We Used to Be Friends: Sukarno's Vice President Mohammad Hatta is one of the oldest friends, before they have a falling-out as Hatta disagrees with how Sukarno turns himself into a dictator soon after the game begins. Even when he has Hatta arrested, Sukarno still wonders what he did to lose his best friend, and despite Hatta's betrayal, nothing can erase the time the two shared together.
- Defector from Decadence: Hatta resigns from his position and rebels against Sukarno because he thinks that his old friend has gone mad with power when issuing the 01/62 decree, which effectively turns him into a dictator.
- Rebel Leader: Hatta commands a coalition of resistance fighters seeking to overthrow Sukarno and end the Japanese rule.
- Hereditary Republic: Benigno Aquino inherited the position of President of the Philippines from his father. Similarly, most of politicians which rule over provinces are de-facto petty princes with a King-"President" among them.
- La Résistance: Even after the War of Liberation ended, its warriors continue to engage in fierce firefights against both the Japanese and the Second Republic. For twenty years they had made the hinterlands of Luzon and Mindanao their battleground, where Manila's authority has long since collapsed.
Benigno Aquino Jr.
- Historical Villain Upgrade: In our world, Benigno Aquino Jr. was a prominent political opponent of the Marcos dictatorship and champion of democracy whose assassination triggered the 1986 EDSA Revolution. In the world of TNO, he is the fascist dictator of the Philippines and a Japanese puppet.
- Reluctant Ruler: While he inherited the position of President from his father, President Aquino is reluctant in assuming the duties that come with it.
- Young and in Charge: Benigno Aquino Jr becomes President at the age of 26 and is 30 at the start, making him amongst the youngest leaders in the world at the start of the game.
- Politically Incorrect Hero: As the game starts, Australia still maintains the White Australia policy and associated racial laws, although Prime Minister Holt avowed to end it. Anti-Japanese racial slurs are even used in the Australian national spirit descriptions.
- The Republic: Australia was reestablished as a republic following the end of World War II and the collapse of the British Empire.