A long time member of General Martin Ost's staff, Watanabe was promoted to lead 8th Army in 2759, replacing the aging General Loftus Cassion. More a politician than a combat officer, it was thought these skills would help him mitigate the insurgent style resistance plaguing other SLDF Armies.
Recognizing his limitations, Watanabe appointed as his Ib (operations officer) Lieutenant General Vanessa Abelard, who maintained his Army on a strict training schedule, including joint exercises with Free Worlds League Military units.
- Field Manual: SLDF, p. 105
- Historical: Liberation of Terra Volume 1, p. 43