Chipan

General
Between 1945 and 1947, Japan completed its conquest of China. In doing so, Japan completely overstretched its resources and put itself into a position where it was continuously playing catch-up to exapnding commitments. As a result, China started to absorb Japan and that process continued for almost twenty years. By the late 1950s, the process was recognized by outsiders when the word Chipan was coined to represent the new state. The term had no technical validity, formally, Chipan was still Imperial Japan. However, few people remembered there was a place called Japan. Chipan reached the peak of its power in the late 1970s and early 1980s. Thereafter it started a slow but accelerating decline, primarily because its economic infrastructure and command economy were incapable of coping with the real world. This reached a crisis in 1986 when simultaneous finanical, military and political crises struck. The armed forces are very large but poorly equipped and technically obsolete.

International
Chipan was regarded with fear and dread during the early part of its life. The picture of Chinese-sized formation of troops with Japanese skills and fanaticism were a constant theme of 1950s speculative military fiction. The picture of a very large and very powerful military slowly faded as it became apparent that the force wasnt actually doing very much. Then, later, realization dawned that it wasnt doing very much because it couldnt do very much. Combined with an accelerating economic collapse, Chipan's influence faded. It never had much of an economic or trading position anyway. Chipan inherited a significant power projection capability from the Japanese, but it has largely faded away, the fleet inherited from Japan just rusted at its moorings a couple of humiliating defeats at sea speeded things up. Chipanese international policy has been a continual search to secure raw material resources.

Domestic
Chipan has historically been totalitarian and dictatorial. The largely militarized government that had been running the country since 1936 and which reasserted its authority with the 1965 Showa Restoration Coup essentially collapsed in 1986 as a result of the military defeat in Vietnam and the destruction of key military units. This lead to a large-scale uprising in Korea which the virtually bankrupt government simply could not afford to suppress. After a hair-raising confrontation that was only ended by the direct intervention of the Emperor, the military authorities in Chipan yielded. There was, however, no clear successor to their rule.

Between 1986 and 2004, Chipan went through a bewildering series of names and internal reorganizations as the authorities in Tokyo tried to find a formulation that worked. The initial stage, between 1986 and 1991, was to grant limited self-rule to the various geographical entities that made up Chipan, making each responsible for its own administration and defense. The effect of this was to relieve Japan of the huge burden of policing China. That and the end of the wars in Indochina saw Japan's position improve. However, the granting of limited self rule proved to be the start of an irresistable process towards full autonomy. The previously-Chipanese portions of Indochina broke away to declare full indepence as the Daiviet Federation and even went as far as joining the Triple Alliance (selecting Thailand as its representative on the Triple Alliance Council). Between 1991 and 2001 Korea, Taiwan and Manchuria all broke away also, declaring their indepence. By 2001, Chipan was something of a joke and it was ended by the formal severance of relations between China and Japan in 2001. However, over the next three years, the independent countries began to reassemble themselves into a trading group that became known as the Commonwealth of Asian States. Although unbelievably corrupt, this represented a significant effort to reform and liberalize the societies that had once formed Chipan. However, doing so against dug-in representatives of the old school is proving hard. As a result, the CAS is a mix. Areas that are reforming do quite well. Those that are not, dont. Japan is recovering quickly from its economic crisis but China, still shackled by a doctrinaire marxist government is not. The internal strains resulting from that are a major issue for the 21st Century.

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