38) Co-Prosperity Sphere: Post-War Victorious Japan
At last, the source of much writer's block is done! Some retro B_Munro content "borrowed" by me and expanded on, with some details changed to make it flow better and an altered POD to justify it(his original ideas of no spanish-american war struck me as too liekly to create more of a divergence than is needed to get the intended POD to come off on schedule). I've also shamlessly stolen from other B_Munro maps or writeups for ideas of this along with my own innovations. The original post is at: www.alternatehistory.net/cgi-b…
if you'd like to read it, or if you're bruce do a map of it. I've done it, so I think the online AH community's collective body is ready for a B_Munro take.
I've even included cheesy pixel art, to make up for the (relatively) bland map. ^_^
The world's initial point of divergences comes when the Dominican Republic's offer to join the US as a territory is slightly differently timed and it squeaks by congress with a three vote margin before one of Grant's OTL scandals takes attention away from it and derails it. Following the annexation of the Dominican Republic, this world's history for most of the 19th and early 20th century before the second world war can be thought of as a high-inertia parallel in GURPS Alternate Earths terms -- political borders remain the same outside of directly altered areas(to much screaming from Bruce
The main sets of changes come from the addition of a new period of Carlist unrest, which when combined with diplomstic incidents both in Havana and Manila leads in 1896 leads to simultaneous attacks by both Japan and the United States. Japan grabbed the Philippines, along with Spain's pacific islands in an audacious move that earned much glaring from Germany while the US grabbed the spanish caribbean. The treaty was a hard fight in congress, but the annexation of both Cuba and Puerto Rico passed.
While Hawaii was annexed on schedule, America's lack of both the Philippines and any future potential of gaining Guam or the Marianas drastically reduced America's reasons to intervene in the Pacific. This would have great implications for the future, since one of the biggest reasons to view Japan as a threat.
The fact that the Philippines is christian means that elements of Japan's leadership who are a bit more rational realize that treating them atrociously would lead nowhere good on an international level. Japan's decision to run the Philippines as a second "model colony" like Taiwan will have implications for future colonial policy in Korea and elsewhere.
The first world war, and the interwar era both mostly go as OTL. The one visible shift is Japan managing to grab German new guinea, along with a more naval-focused empire leading to the Navy being more influential, along with pragmatic militarists like Ishiwara Kanji getting to rise to the top instead of raving psychopaths once the military hijacks the government in the '30s. This is clearly not liberal Japan, but instead "Ruthless, militaristic Japan" as opposed to OTL's raving psychopaths who think awarding soldiers for cutting off civilian's ears would endear them to the locals. One sign of this is that Korea is treated better than OTL, even if it's still autocratic rule.
Change begins to build up once again as this, more powerful and militarily experienced Japan invades China. The decades of guerilla-fighting experience that Japan gained during the Philippine conflict of 1896-1922 are put to use once China is invaded in 1937.
The second world war begins on schedule, and roughly follows a path similar to OTL albeit with less US involvement. America enters the war in 1943 following Germany repeating it's WWI mistakes and doing unrestricted submarine warfare. The war being more controversial to the electorate means that US involvement is mostly focused on a naval war along with logstical support for Britain. There is no second front until 1945 when atomic bombs get used, combined with the invasion of Italy.
The second world war ends with Stalin's soviet union annexing everything west of the Rhine and north of Rome following the atomic destruction of 3 german cities. The industries of Central Europe, along with a portion of the German population are sent east to never be seen again. Incidently, Stalin sees no real reason to publicize Germany's death camps given his anti-semitism and no real need to cooperate with the allies in the occupation of germany -- he's already gotten what he wants with the occupation of most of Europe. As a result, German atrocities are assumed to be less than in OTL. The fact that many more people died in the camps means Israel doesn't get off the ground.
Imperial Japan used the war to get into a position where it now rules China in a relatively secure manner and is "protecting" French and dutch former colonies. To top it all off, it even gets lend-lease from both the UK and US, along with access to nuclear research data.
The cold war begins almost at war's end, as Stalin demands and gets the finlandization of Sweden along with sending troops to Greece to "liberate" the country and back it's communists. The Yalta conference is a mutual hate session between East and West; America is angry at soviet annexation of the bulk of eastern europe, with the soviets being ticked off at America' objection to their public offers to back French strikers.
One result of the harsher and earlier cold war, is that America begins to warm up to Japan in the late 1940s. They're bastards, but they're anti-communist bastards and as of 1948 have just developed the atomic bomb on their own. Treaties and other arrangements are made, with the American-Japanese mutual defense agreement being signed in 1950. America's willingness to send aid to Japan is how they're able to retain rule over China for so long despite the massive aid to Chinese rebels from the USSR.
The pattern is set for the cold war: America stands dominant over the americas with allies in western Europe, along with Japan's sphere in east asia while the USSR stands over the eurasian heartline and is even more active in the third world. While the focus of soviet efforts is to arm the resistance in China to keep Japan and the United States busy, they also spread revolution in the global south.
The second phase of the cold war can be thought of to begin with Japan's 1970 creation of "independent" Chinese and Indochinese governments. During this era, an expansionist USSR pushes the ideology of revoltuion in the middle east and Africa. Meanwhile, America and Japan are more concerned about trying to maintain basic order -- The occupation of China only pays for itself, while the US is busy fighting guerillas in Latin America.
Once the Nanking government falls to unrest and Japan finally gives up, Japan withdraws tens of millions of sympathizers and leaves the mainland portion of China in 1984 and withdraws to Manchuria. This leads to a multi-sided civil war in China that lasts until the mid-1990s. During the chinese civil war, japan uses it as an opportunity to withdraw as many remotely sympathetic chinese as possible, to have warm bodies to keep Indonesia under control.
Another feature of the second phase of the cold war is a temporary cooling of relations between Washington or Tokyo. Pundits made quite a bit of talk about a split in the pacific alliance and worrying either about Godless Communism taking advantage of it to conquer the world, or worrying about attack from the yellow menace. After all, relations in the early 40s were terrible and the two nations did arguably come close to war then. There was no formal split, but relations became cool and a little snippy between Washington and Tokyo. Tom Clancy wrote a 2000 page "thriller" on a hypothetical US-Japan war.
Despite the fact that during the mid 1980s Soviet head Cherosenkyo said the "hell with this" and calls off the cold war and redirects resources to economic reform and internal order the USSR collapses in the mid 1990s. At one point there are eight different governments calling themselves soviet plus 10 secessionist movements(three different ones for russia alone!). By the time order is restored the german S.S.R.s have recombined into Germany, Hungary is independent, Poland is independent, a red-brown coalition of slavic nationalists has set up shop in the former balkans part of the USSR, left-wing radicals in european russia and a coalition of military leaders and technocrats in the rest of the old USSR. In this same period of time,a militant nationalist faction finally finishes reuniting China under it's aegis.
Two events mark the start of the current era: The split of the USSR into three states, along with the unification of China under a nationalist government calling itself "The Chinese Union". Despite the earlier cooling of relationships, the militancy of both the chinese and the Eurasians has forced Japan and the United States back together.
THE GLORIOUS EMPIRE OF JAPAN
As of 2013, Japan is a full democracy for it's Japanese and loyal koreans, a semi-democracy for the rest of Korea along with both the loyalist chinese, the viets, filipinos and non-muslim Indonesians. Indonesian muslims are firmly on the bottom and encouraged to convert to another religion or assimilate to (preferably Japanese) another culture. In reality, who runs Japan is a complex network of factions including parliament, the civil service, the army, the navy, large corporate entities, the aristocracy(given some power in return for helping administrate the empire) and of course the Imperial house. Japan remains a more nationalistic society, and nowadays both sexes do 4 years of national services -- men in the military and women in either low-level clerical positions for government or military(this is to save slots that would otherwise be taken up by men). Women. Religiously, Shinto remains the state religion but Japan's leadership is pragmatic enough to extend tolerance to others, but with Shinto clearly preferred in an arrangement that bears similarities to OTL indonesian pancasilia. One exception to this policy of relative tolerance is Indonesia's muslim population and in fact, Japan encourages buddhist, catholic and Shinto missionaries to go there and get converts. This is not going over well. These partial democratic reforms are not enough and there are those who'd like even more reform than what Tokyo offers -- Japan is terrified of losing it's super-power status if it loses it's empire: but the very reform that is needed to remain compeditive may doom the system. The future is as uncertain for these Japanese as for ours...
Economic policy for Japan is corporatist and quite centralized in tokyo, like in our world. The one difference is that strategic concerns have forced them to tone down the tokyo-centrism and allow for more of a focus on the "core" parts of the empire(home islands, korea and Taiwan along with the quiet bits(Mindanao, the pacific islands, new guinea, Hainan) with some sops thrown to the rest of the empire. This is working surprisingly well and allowed Japan to avoid anything like the "lost decade" of OTL.
Like in our world, Japan is a center of world popular culture culture. Less American influence means that the anime is even stranger and lolicon is more accepted. Japanese popular culture is as widespread as it is in OTL. Recent decades have started seeing Korean or (Taiwanese) influences on mainstream Japanese culture.
Levels of authoritarianism within the empire range from OTL Japan in the quieter areas(home islands, Taiwan, okinawa, pacific islands, mindanao), a bit more surveilled(singapore, perhaps) in more stable but occasionally troubled areas(Philippines, Hainan, new guinea, non-muslim parts of Indonesia) to full-on open surveillance states in Indonesia, Korea, Cochin
THE EMPIRE ITSELF
The home Islands itself are crowded enough to make OTL's Japan look rural. Tokyo is merely the largest of the Empire's megacities -- despite Tokyo-centrism of it's economic policy the government recognizes that trying to fit everyone in Tokyo won't work and thus has promoted developedment of areas that emptied out in OTL. There are 240 million people living in the home islands, with 190 million of them being ethnically Japanese. One side effect of this is that there are more prefectures in the north -- three in OTL Hokkaido and two in Karafuto, along with more in northern Honshu. About 5% of the home Islands population are Taiwanese or Korean. Another 5% are people from one of the empire's other nationalities who have been vetted for loyalty who've moved in for work. These people tend to self-segregate, despite recurrent campaigns to force assimilation with mixed results -- The Taiwanese are assimilated and accepted, Koreans assimilated but not fully accepted. Not so much with say the Filipinos or Viets or Chinese. The filipinos or Viets will even occasionally be attacked by ultranationalist biker gangs.
Okinawa remains a culturally distinct center of tourism, and one of the main sites for vacation episodes in anime or school vacations. The others are Taiwan and the Pacific. This is of course because it lacks the terrorism issue that so much of the empire has. Instead of US military bases that they resent, Okinawans resent Japan keeping large missile installations.
Taiwan is an extra home island, and really only notable for being bilingual and having Taipei, a vigorous center of culture. Taiwan is perfectly loyal. Taiwan is one of the big destinations for school trips, except for the Taiwanese. Taiwanese students get to go to the Pacific or Okinawa.
Japan's pacific islands are all quiet, and by now mostly ethnically Japanese with minorities of Koreans, Taiwanese and even some filipinos. Depending on which island one is talking about, the locals are anywhere from a tenth to a third of the population. Polynesia and micronesia are both major centers of tourism. In recent years, Japan has begun serious attempts to do fish farming along with mass usage of ocean thermal energy.
Terrorism-troubled Korea is FINALLY starting to quiet down a bit. Of course, this means going to "northern ireland" in the 70s and 80s, instead of "West Bank" kind of terrorism. The resistrance is starting to lose. Besides, the Empire's implementing certain federalist reforms makes some more middle of the road Koreans decide to stop supporting partisans. Of course these people won't (openly) endorse Japanese rule and are at least publicly reluctant about Japanese culture because nobody wants to anger the terrorist types.
Mindanao was cleared of muslims who were put in Indonesia and resettled with Japanese, Koreans, Chinese, Taiwanese and a few filipinos back in the 1950s. It is now three normally-run prefectures up from originally one due to massive settlement following the spread of air conditioning, combined with state tax breaks to promote settlement in the area. Part of it is to create a solid presence closer to their more troublesome colonies with the other reason being to create a second Japanese enclave a bit further away from Chinese or Eurasian missiles.
Hainan is the other big center of Chinese culture within the empire besides Taiwan. Whole the population is loyal, the area is administered as a militarily occupied zone due to Hainan's location so close to China. The locals understand, and cooperate with law enforcement or the army to root down chinese troublemakers. If it wasn't for the occasional "accidental" shelling by Chinese artillery, Hainan would be a big tourist center on par with Okinawa or Taiwan.
Korea remains troublesome, but nowadays the eternal struggly by the terrorist types is slowing down. Part of it is simple futility, combined with the fact that Japan is willing to allow for economic growth in Korea to create more locals with a stake in the system. Nowadays, the terrorist types mostly target either too openly pro-japanese Koreans or the chinese and Filipinos brought in to work instead of actually going after local government officials. Despite Japan's education system, around half of Koreans still speak Korean as one of their languages, even if the days of even a majority speaking Korean as their first or only language are long gone. Another sign of this cultural resistance is that Korean nationalists will try to fight the battle of the wombs and have more kids but these days even this is petering out -- after all children are rather expensive in developed societies.
The Philippines has the distinction of being Japan's second conquest after Taiwan. The immigration of Japanese, Koreans, Taiwanese and various Chinese groups, combined with emigration of Filipinos to both Indochina and Indochina has made these islands a very polyglot society. The area's demographic transition due to achieving standards of living not all that far from developed nations means that this is increasingly a center of within-empire immigration. The fact that Roman Catholicism is legally tolerated, combined with Japan's traditionally administering it as a 'model colony' on similar lines to pre-1943 Taiwan makes the Philippines far more quiet than Indonesia. That and the filipinos appreciate Mindanao's muslims having the hammer dropped on them for starting trouble. There are terrorist types in the poorer rural areas, but during the worst years of the 70s and 80s it resembled Northern Ireland at worse.
Indonesia is of course troublesome as always. Despite the demographic transition coming early due to Japanese investment combined with massive immigration from China and other parts of the empire with the biggest wave following the collapse of Japan's empire in China, the area is still a little over half muslim. These muslims have third-class status below the local christians, hindus, chinese immigrants from the rest of thr empire and filipinos, along with of course the first-class Japanese or Koreans. As birthrates drop within other parts of the empire, Japan has begun recruiting immigrants from Thailand, Burma(oddly, it's mostly minority ethnic groups) and Ceylon to go to Indonesia. The government's policy of subsidizing non-muslim missioanries and actively prosecuting attempts to go after apostates is rather unpopular with most. Recent years have seen local colonial administrators deciding to quietly allow more leeway to the less fanatical local strains of Islam. Along with this quiet tolerance, local officials are trying to cut deals with different ethnic groups to do efforts at divide and rule.
Cochin is troublesome, mainly due to it's directly bordering but it's a problem far less than that of Indonesia. This is due to the fact that the local Viets and Cambodians are by now 40% of the population after decades of encouraging Japanese, filipino, (loyalist) chinese and Korean immigration into the area. These days, the issue is more "northern ireland", and the 30 year guerilla war is long over.
JAPAN'S CO-PROSPERITY SPHERE
Japan runs an economic union called the "Greater East Asian co-prosperity sphere", which oddly enough is mostly in Southeast Asia and even has two members who are clearly in South Asia and not even remotely southeast Asia(Burma and Ceylon). It's a combination of military alliance and, surprisingly a mostly free trade zone. All of these nations have millions of Chinese and indochinese who were brought in as refugees after the collapse of Japan's mainland empire on "suggestion" from Tokyo.
Burma is an extremely corrupt junta, which has the monarchy as it's front. Outside of saner economic policy and a nominal royal family it's surprisingly similar to OTL's myanmar. At least traditional culture is doing a bit better than in OTL. Burma's junta stuck all it's Chinese refugees in the areas where the minority nationalities were. This has led to the Chinese and zomi or assamese Not getting along. The fact that this means less work for Burma's army to keep order is a bonus.
The state of Ceylon is a fascist state, that thanks to the fact that got Japan to take it's tamils and dump them in Indonesia no longer has any Tamil issues. The Vietnamese and Chinese brought in didn't fit in perfectly, but aren't Tamils. Nowadays it's mostly small-f fascist and is notable mainly as a source of immigrants to send to Japanese indonesian(They're buddhists, so more the better, right?). Ceylon's economy is booming now that Indonesia is developed enough to no longer be as competitive with the lowest end industrial products.
Manchukuo is a Japanese ally, which in many ways resembles this world's Japan of a generation or two ago -- it's essentially small-f fascist and run by an alliance of industrial concerns, bureaucrats and the army. The economy is growing and after a period of stagnation following the mass refugee waves of 1984-1989 and 1996-2000 gotten out of the middle-income trap. It's where a good chunk of heavy industry in Japan's sphere is located. The government attempts to promote a common "Manchu" culture, along with a serious attempt to revive the Manchu language. This is done by propaganda, teaching in manchu in schools along with an extremely intrusive bureaucracy that does it's best to try breaking up ethnic enclaves using real estate controls combined with extensive media censorship. These measures had to be redoubled in the 1980s and 1990s as Manchuria's population grew by 50% with the immigration of millions of refugees.
Malaya does NOT discriminate against it's Chinese, due to both pressure from a Japan that wants to keep the chinese it's resettled in Indonesia loyal along with the Malayan emergency being butterflied out fo existence. It's also around half Chinese, thanks to refugees resettled after Japan's empire in China melted down. Every time some malay politician starts proposing things like the Bumiputra laws of OTL, Japan does military exercises on it's borders with Malaya or overflights. As a side effect of the lack of anti-chinese policies, Malaya's economy is doing significantly better than OTL, even if the chinese own more of it. There are anti-chinese riots every so often, though but it stops at just an occasional riot and no legislation.
Singapore is roughly as OTL, with it's undemocratic leadership feeling a bit more secure thanks to it's alliance with Japan. It's also even more ethnically Chinese than in OTL. Perhaps in response to the more secure rulership, combined with by default there being less minority issues Singapore's government is slightly less prone to nanny statism and petty moralism than ours.
Thailand is more stable, but also less democratic. other than not bothering with elections, it's pretty much the same source of 9 year old prostitutes as OTL. Bangkok is a bit annoyed that Tokyo issues forth angry warnings and unwanted 'advice' on how to handle the chinese(read: Not forced assimilation like the Thai did in OTL's early 20th century).
JAPAN'S FRIENDS(THEY'RE GAJINS BUT THEY'RE *OUR* GAJINS)
America is surprisingly recognizable, if there's a bit more civic pride -- the solidarity that OTL saw until the mid or late 1980s is still around. With enemies for a longer period of time, combined with the return of real threats to worry about in the form of China and the FRE, America has to worry more about the rest of the planet. As a result, it's political discourse is more rational. There being a real reason to continue voting on security issues means that the northeastern fiscal conservative rockefeller republicans and the "Reagan democrat" types who went back to voting Democratic in 2008 and 2012 all continue to vote GOP. For various 'morals' issues, America is about a decade behind OTL but it's been through gradual evolution and there has been no culture war. On economics, there is universal healthcare since the timing of anti-communist hysteria was a bit different(no loss of China meant that Truman could get it passed) and there's more protectionsim but it's otherwise pretty similar to OTL. Civil liberties are oddly enough better than OTL, since the threat comes from Chinese missiles or tanks instead of nebulous subversives/terrorists. There is no PRISM/echelon or TSA. Conscription exists, but like in OTL's mid cold war you generally have people being called up only if there's actually a war. One side effect of conscription lasting longer, is that the government is (slightly) less prone to using the constitution as toilet paper since the liberal or libertarian protestors are likelier to shoot back. On a cultural level, Cuban, dominican and puerto rican cultural contributions are all more visible. The creation of the "hispanic" pressure group was butterflied out with effects like immigration law actually being enforced. Of course, with Cuba and the DR in the union to make America have sugar producers besides Louisiana there has been no rise of HFCS. As a result, Americans are a bit less fat than OTL on average. Think the UK's rates of 63% instead of 74%.
The American state of Cuba is what New Orleans wishes it was. Think of it as a combination of Miami Vice with a spanish accent, New Orleans and Southern Florida. The fact that Cuba 1) has legal marijuana 2) gets enough tax dollars from tourists to not need federal road money which means it's not blackmailable is an occasional point of friction.
Iceland, Greenland and the Faroes were annexed when the Soviets overran Denmark. The 55th state is very Americanized nowadays, with the locals being swamped. There are OTL Quebec-style language laws that are simply unenforcable.
The Democratic Union is divided into two tiers -- one is a close union like OTL's EU, while another is a more economic/military alliance. Think a mix of EFTA and NATO. The US, The WEU, Australia, New Zealand, Uruguay, Chile, Argentina, Venezuela, The West Indies Federation and Haiti are all full members while the rest of Latin America along with a few former british/french colonies in Africa are all associated members of this organization.
Latin America as a whole is even more US-dominated than in OTL. This involves putting down constant guerilla troubles, but at least it's wealthier. On the other hand, this extra investment comes from there being far less of Europe to invest in. More of the region is of course run by juntas. Argentina, uruguay and Chile are outright first world.
Being america's neighbor since the late 1860s has only been good for Haiti. Yes, the Haitian economy is only as well off as Saipan and the government is gloriously corrupt but compared to OTL this is Utopia. There are only 5 million Haitians thanks to the early demographic transition.
The Western European Union is scared and well to the right of OTL's Western Europe. It's much more christian, corporatist and militarized. While it's not one single country, it's far closer than OTL's EU -- somewhere between the Swiss and OTL EU in terms of level of federalism. The three big languages of the WEU are English, French and Spanish.
The Rhineland has 25 million people and is trilingual english-french-german -- the allies in this world made a serious attempt to destroy German culture in their zone. The ban on speaking german wasn't enforced well and only lasted 10 years before repeal. It also has the dubious status of being one of the most bland, cultureless and 'generic' nations in the multiverse.
Latium is functional and does not live down to stereotypes of OTL Southern Italy. The deals that were made to revive the Mafia during WW2 were butterflied out.
In a world where the political overton window of acceptability is somewhere to the right, Australia has kept it's "white australia policy" in place and is a rather more conservative nation than ours. "Poofters" risk serious jail time, and end up on sex offender registries. A former American news anchor, one Chris Hansen took a job on "to catch a poofter".
New Zealand is exactly like OTL. Even down to the same people in office.
OTHER FRIENDS ^_^
Germany is (mostly) reunified, with the exception of the francified, half-american Rhinelanders. The five S.S.R.s that Germany was divided into(Saxonia-Bohemia, Austrobavaria, Thuringia, Pfalz, Westphalia) are once again a single nation. Germany is cynical, right-wing and trying hard to rebuild it's economy and military. It's about as democratic as say Putin's Russia is in 2013. The National Renaissance party talks about "100 million germans", and pushes for it with tax breaks and LOTS of pro-parenthood propaganda along with extensive opening of (white) immigration. These immigrants are "encouraged" to assimilate with policies to break up ethnic enclaves like OTL's singapore, combined with procedures like simply deporting people who don't pick up the german language fast enough. There are alot of Serbs, Croats, Romanians and Northern Italians in Berlin these days. Berlin does not appreciate Japan's condescending attitude towards them and resents Japan's refusal to assist Germany back in the 1940s.
Germany's partner, the state of Yugorussia in the balkans can be thought of as a living fossil. The atmosphere there is pure 1980s soviet union, but the economy is growing following various reforms. The official language is Russian but most people speak one of the local languages. The fact that all the schooling, radio, television and street signs are in in Russian isn't russifying the population as fast as the government in Belgrade would like. Serbs and bosnians have united in brotherhood against the Russian occupier. Croats, Slovenes and Macedonians are eager collaborators because they hate either Serbians or Bosnians more than Russians. Romanians and Bulgarians act as partners to the Russians. Greeks do sneering insolence that alienates them from everyone else. Like one of the other states that spun off from the USSR, Yugorussia did a Byzantine revival but a government *not* influenced by religious fanatics decided to stop it after 5 years.
Hungary is openly fascist and ruled by Jobbik. At least it's not the "expand the country" militarily type of fascist, but they did deport a million people.
Poland is a Very Catholic junta that rejected communism FAR more than in OTL. Poland is still scared of the soviet union next door, and thus is very militarized. Quite a few poles have decided to move west to Germany.
The Republic of Padania is orderly, disciplined and resentful that the half-african Southerners in Latium are enjoying a twice as wealthy lifestyle. There are quite a few Padanians moving to Naples or Berlin these days.
The Race War that so many feared in OTL happened in the late 1990s. Following years of bloodshed, South Africa ended up split into two nations -- South Africa for the whites, coloreds, Indians, malays and Chinese and Azania theoretically for the blacks(mostly Xhosa in practice). The five groups that make up South Africa have pulled together and are making a surprisingly plausible go of being a "rainbow nation". Yes, South Africa has nukes.
Rhodesia still survives, and in fact the guerilla war ended. Once reports of massacres and even one reported case of mass cannibalism in Azania made the news, it made black Rhodesians decide that they had a better deal. During the desperate Rhodesian-Azanian war of 2001-3 where 10% of Rhodesia's population died defending the nation from the Azanians, the number of defectors to the azanian side was under 1,000.
Saudi Arabia gives the Japanese good deals.
Congo supplies Tokyo and Washington with lots of minerals, so the fact that it's openly fascist and it's leader has eaten people doesn't make the news. He even posts pictures of himself eating homemade sausage made out of dissidents on facebook. It gets lots of "likes" from cynical Americans.
Uganda is a de-facto christian theocracy. The current president does long speeches about how homosexuals eat da poo poo.
Nigeria doesn't bother hiding that it's a Christian theocracy. The Muslim north has been troublesome for the past 30 years. The fact that Nigeria has oil means that Japan and the US are willing to help them fight their war against the infidel.
OTHER GAJIN(These are bad people and totally not kawaii~ >_> -_-
The Chinese Union is just plain unpleasant, and since 2008 now nuclear-armed. The government's ideology is a mix of nationalism, socialism and of course strong religious belief. This is an extremely weird case of a religiously tolerant theocracy -- Tibetan buddhism, Chinese flavors of buddhism, Christianity, Islam, Taoism, traditional folk religion and even the various crazy new religious movements like Falun Gong, Lord of Universe Church, Way of Former Heaven and an apocalyptic buddhist sect with Mao as messiah are all tolerated. Atheism, irreligion or western-style secularism are all clearly Not tolerated. A program of stalinist-style modernization was done to lift up China following both the end of the Glorious War for Liberation and the resulting civil war, but is now beginning to run into slowing of growth under it. Ever a pragmatist, Podmaster Wang even in his old age shrugged and pointed to China's long tradition of peasants selling their goods to marketplace to justify (extremely limited) market reforms along with measures to increase worker's willingness to contribute like partially worker-owned combines. Under Wang and his successor Hong, China has avoided famine by following a program of "Agricultural self-empowerment", which involves building lots of vertical farms in cities and on tops of buildings wherever possible. At worst, this wastes resources, but unlike Mao's agricultural policy doesn't make things worse.
The Federated Republics of Eurasia can be summed up as "Communism wearing a cross". Initially, the government was an alliance of technocrats, the military and an oddball faction of religious types who the army saw as useful since Orthodoxy would work as a unifying glue. Unfortunately, the army interpreted this as a license to go full-on byzantium fanboy to pay off the religious types instead of giving them even more influence -- there is alot of bad architecture being contributed that looks like giant and poorly done versions of Byzantine buildings along with byzantine-style icons put on almost every possible surface -- you cannot go more than 500 feet in public without seeing the ominious face of Christ Pantocrator glaring at you. There are pictures of Stalin, orthodox saint icons and Icons of St. Josef of Gori everywhere. Orthodox Hymns, sermons, readings from both Marxist and Nationalist propaganda fill the radio. The same goes for the television, but with pictures and the innovation of seeing military marches live. The economic policy is (quietly) pragmatic, but in practice is still mostly a command economy albeit with some market features. The central Asians are being converted with fire and the sword.
A large portion of the third world went pro-soviet, if not communist and has continued this alliance. In fact, now that the two powers they've allied themselves with aren't atheistic marxists such an alliance is actually an easier sell to say the middle east.
Iran's leftist government can be compared to Mubarak's egypt with oil money. Ever pragmatic, the state in recent years has shifted to a strongly conservative(if nowhere near as bad as OTL Iran) social policy, along enlisting/coopting various imams along with adopting long-needed economic reforms. There are those who want an islamic government instead of working with the state, and there is still a problem of terrorism from the fundamentalists.
Pakistan is a nuclear-armed (nominally) left-wing junta with an islamist social policy. Think OTL but without the ties to the United States that get Pakistan favorable press.
The bulk of the middle east is under regimes like Assad's Syria, Saddam's Iraq or Mubarak's egypt. At leasy, nowadays their economic policies are (slightly) better thought out so the ratio of population growth to food or oil isn't QUITE as bad.
Free Indochina happens to be a weird Buddhist-Catholic theocracy, copying a mix of both Russia and China's governing style.
Afghanistan is as secular as 1950s Turkey, and is an anomaly in this bloc of not giving more influence to religious enthusiasm. There are quite a few central asian refugees who've fled south moving into that country to get away from forced conversion.
THE RED MENACE
The left-wing radicals ended up in charge of European Russia and the Ukraine when the USSR melted down. These people are focused on trying to run a computerized "perfect" planned state. Unfortunately, it appears that just adding computers to the equation doesn't allow for. In fact, certain largescale disasters like what happened in the area that used to be Leningrad show that this technocratic approach has risks. What the central planners don't realize, is that the mass computerization, combined with large-scale central planning make the Soviet Union vulnerable to a sudden "Shark-fin" type of collapse following too much complexity leading to a glitch that spirals out of control. After all, it took one line of poorly written computer code code being slightly off to have both a nuclear plant exploding in Leningrad *and* the city being targetted by no less than six Soviet missiles along with the sewer system backing up among other crises that afflicted the city. The atmosphere within the USSR is a mix of authoritarian cyberpunk, 1984 but minus the proles being brainwashed and OTL 1980s USSR. The telescreens are everywhere and being hacked by troubemakers.
Originally finlandized, and now clearly pro-soviet as an alternative to a Western Europe that's further right. Sweden is doing a computerized planned economy better than the USSR. In fact, they're also doing the whole 1980s soviet union experience better. Think of what 1980s soviet propaganda said about improving conditions in the country, remove the waste and pollution, make the people actually believe in the system(they don't need to rig elections to have people voting for socialism) and then dub it in Swedish. This is Sweden. They've even dropped various scandanavian types of social liberalism like feminism due to the Soviet influence.
A decent chunk of the pro-soviet third world was more left-wing than pragmatically pro-soviet and decided to align themselves with the rump USSR.
Azania is... scary. The national anthem talks about killing boers, bashing their brains in and then eating the succulent brains. There aren't many zulu left, as they were all exterminated for being seen as collaborators. Besides purges of non-Xhosa africans, the government has decided to deal with 'disloyal' elements within the Xhosa population who aren't properly enthustiastic about the program of killing and shooting the boer. Things are already approaching Pol Pot levels of percentages killed of just the xhosa...
India is mostly as OTL, if a bit more militarized and poorer.
Real competition between three great powers, combined with The USSR getting all of Germany's rocket scientists made this world's space race far more intense. Starting with the first Soveit satellite in 1949 and ending with America's mars mission in 1991 which was done in an effort to one-up the USSR this world has seen both massive publicity stunts along with serious efforts to use space for power or resources or even civilian purposes like the Hilton Grand Orbital.
Massive investment, combined with the three-way space race means that this world's technology is around 10 years ahead for most civilian technologies. For military or aerospace it's over a generation ahead of our timeline. There are more applications of what technology is possible are -- nuclear power is used on a large scale in the US, orbital solar has broken even and asteroid mining is in it's early stages and drain-cleaner drugs to clean out people's arteries are available. The average mindset towards new technology is more like before the 1960s.
Japanese consumption patterns, combined with attempts to promote similar have led to fish stocks collapsing in recent years in a way predicted for OTL in 10 or 20 years. Sushi is quite pricy now. Fugu? If you have to ask you can't afford it. Another side effect of the rise in prices for meats and fish have led to insect farming and protien being made from that and yeasts being increasingly important for the poor in the third world.