The Dragon and the Sea Lion: A History of the Japanese-Austronesian Rivalry and Conflict.

Introduction/Asia in 2022
Back in early 2020, I joined a fictional Nationstates Roleplay in an amino community I was in along with a friend. For the roleplay I conceived a somewhat generic Filipino state known as The Kingdom of Greater Tagalog. As the roleplay went on, this fictional state would eventually merge with my friend's Sultanate of Unified Sumatra to form a union known as Imperial Austronesia. While the backstory of Greater Tagalog shifted constantly along with the roleplay's lore, it eventually became coherent enough for me to start taking an interest in trying to flesh out the overall lore between the rivalry of the Tagalogs, the Gloriyans (the roleplay's Japan), the Gorgonzolas (a funny name for the RP's China), and the Mexicans that ended in a nuclear exchange that ended the first RP and started a somewhat failed second rp that takes place after the nuclear apocalypse.

I started working on my own version of the lore in late 2020 and early 2021, with varying degrees of quality ranging from somewhat mediocre to just dumb that I abandoned the idea. This version is a new one that I've created initially for an r/imaginarymaps contest that I decided to expand further after I received good feedback from people in the subreddit as well as guys from the alternatehistory forums. With those in mind, I decided to actually start working in a somewhat comprehensive lore with aspects still kept from the original rp: the cold war motifs, ideological conflicts, and finally the rivalry between two powers that ends with the use of nukes.

Because of the fact that this is fairly new, the new lore is still incomplete and lacks elaboration in certain points, though you can check out some of the original and older versions in my DeviantArt account. Without further ado, here's the first post for "The Dragon and the Sea Lion": my original contest entry.

Asia in 2022
"History repeats itself. First as a tragedy, second as a farce" - Karl Marx
The conflict and rivalry between Panyupayana and Japan can be traced back to as far as the 17th Century, when Toyotomi Shogunate launched a failed invasion of the Lakanate of Lusong after the latter refused to submit under their shogun's rule. Lusong's Bisayan allies would then raid several Japanese-held port cities in Formosa and China, while also attacking and looting any Japanese ships they encountered. This state of war between the two countries would remain even after Hideyoshi's death and the ascension of Tokugawa Shogunate, and wouldn't end until the 1820s, when Lusong was turned into a protectorate by the Spanish Empire and later on by Mexico. just a few years later, Japan would be forced to reopen by the British Empire in the event known as the Bakamatsu.

Both countries would experience a rapid growth in industrialization and westernization in an attempt to prevent being completely dominated by the Western Problems. Japan, despite starting in a later date, would successfully reform their state into a first-rate regional power in Asia, while Lusong would lag behind due to the resistance to industrialization by both powerful elites and their Spanish masters. Despite the difference in industrialization and political systems, Japan and Lusong (now known as Katagalugan) would eventually be powerful enough to participate in the West's incursions in China, most notably the Boxer Rebellion of 1896, and would go on to face european powers in the Russo-Japanese War in 1904 and the Spanish - Katagalugan War in 1900. Katagalugan and Japan would become close allies as a result of their similar struggles with the two participating in the First Great War together at the side of the Entente. Unfortunately, the two country's ambitions would start to clash when Japan gained Germany's colonies in the Pacific while Katagalugan received no territorial prices for their participation in war. Relations begin to decline further when Katagulagan starts expanding its sphere of influence in newly-independent states in Southeast Asia such as states in Indonesia and would ally with Malaya, another rising power in the region, with tensions reaching a breaking point when Japanese Patrol Vessels entered a firefight against a combined Tagalog-Malay patrol that ended with the former being pushed out of the South China Sea in 1932. The incident proved to be the catalyst behind Japan's decision to expand their already navy further, with the Tagalogs expanding their own military in response to Japan's rapid militarization, sparking a naval arms race between the two powers.

When the Second Great War began in Europe in 1941 Japan was already at war with the Chinese after they invaded Manchuria in 1936, while the Tagalogs continued to maintain their neutrality in the conflict. This neutrality would be broken however when Japan officially joined the Quadripartite Pact with Spartanist Germany, Fascist Italy and Nationalist Spain in 1944, followed by the Japanese invasion of French Indochina after France fell to the Axis. In response to invasion Katagulagan and her allies began preparing for a possible invasion by Japan, though no immediate conflict with arise between the two. During this period, Katagulagan and Mexico would enter a Trade Agreement that began the process of Mexico's Oil Embargo on Japan, switching instead to trade Oil to Katagalugan instead. With their main source of oil severed Japan begins to plan an assault over Southeast Asia and the Pacific, culminating in the Japanese attack on Mexican and Hawaiian forces in Honolulu on December 6, 1950, followed by a massive air raid over the Panyupayanan Islands. The Tagalogs were able to anticipate Japan's air attack and was able to repel the Japanese forces, but what they didn't anticipate was a full-scale invasion by Japan of the islands staring with the island of Maluku Basar (Mindanao) followed by mainland Lusong. Fighting between the Tagalogs and the Japanese can only be described as very brutal and violent with both sides not willing to take any prisoner alive, but through sheer effort the Tagalogs were able to push the Japanese out of the their islands by 1952. Japan's failure to capitulate Katagulagan effectively paralyzed their plans to invade Southeast Asia, with their invasion of Malaya and Borneo being repelled by local forces due to the lack of support from the navy. Japan would then suffer a very disastrous defeat at the Battle of Midway in 1953, with four of their Aircraft Carriers being sunk by the Mexican Navy, followed by another disastrous defeat at the hands of the Tagalogs in the following months at the Battle of Batanes, wherein most of Japan's battleships were damaged or sunk by the Tagalog Navy who also suffered heavy casualties in the engagement but would lose the less amount of ships later on.

With their navy effectively decimated Japan was finally forced to be on the defensive, losing more and more territories in China and the Pacific as the months go by. Despite strong resistance, Formosa would fall to the Tagalogs on August 1954, followed by a joint Mexican-Tagalog invasion of the Ryuku Islands in October. On Mainland Asia Korea breaks free from Japan and declares independence, crippling the Japanese Army in China further as they now have to two fronts in Asia. After the fall of Italy in April 1955 the Soviet Union would officially join the war against Japan, fully annihilating the Japanese Army in Manchuria and Mongolia as well as invading Japanese Sakhalin and the Kuril Islands in preparation for the invasion of Mainland Japan. With full control of the seas around Japan, the allies begin a massive Aerial bombardment of Japan, destroying their industrial capacity as well as leveling several major cities all over the home islands, but despite the bombings Japan was still unwilling to surrender. So as a result, Mexico and the Katagalugan, began their invasion of Kyushu and Honshu, with the Tagalogs landing in Choshi and Kashima just east of Tokyo. Fighting was extremely brutal, with Japanese civilians and soldiers participating in suicidal attacks against the allies which then resulted to the allies, especially the Tagalogs, to begin arresting and even massacring large amounts of civilians who are suspected of helping the Japanese forces. The carnage reached its peak in March of 1956 when the Tagalog Army finally managed to surround the City of Tokyo and began their assault on the city. Large amounts of Japanese soldiers and civilians threw their lives to stop the advance on Tokyo which the Tagalogs responded by absolutely shelling most of Tokyo into the ground, with several cases of friendly fire occurring during the shelling. After nearly a week of street fighting, Tagalog forces would finally reach the Imperial Palace at the heart of Tokyo and would raise their flag over it, causing the remaining civilians in the city to surrender and the army outside of Tokyo to retreat back south to aid the escaping royal family. On the other hand, Mexico has also managed to push most of the Japanese Army out of Kyushu by , and has began the invasion of Southern Honshu as well. In August, British Bombers would fly from Formosa and would nuke the cities of Hiroshima, Osaka, and Kyoto. The latter of which becoming the final blow to the Japanese as they lost the spiritual capital of Japan. With the government in chaos and casualties continuing to reach thousands, the Japanese Emperor would finally announce the surrender of Japan just a day after the loss of Kyoto, ending one of the most brutal wars the world has ever seen. The official treaty of surrender would be signed on September 2, 1956, onboard the British battleship HMS Rodney. With Japan capitulated and decimated, Katagalugan stands as the dominant power in Asia and the Pacific.

Japan was occupied by the allied powers for five years, with their leaders and military being tried for war crimes in China and other fronts. the Monarchy was completely abolished and replaced by a Parliamentary Republican government that's headed by a President and a Prime Minister. Their military was also abolished as part of Japan's constitution to join the United Nations, as well ceding most of their coastal military bases and military equipment to allied countries such as Katagalugan, Mexico, Malaya, China and Britain. In other words, Japan's wings were clipped by the allies to prevent them from becoming too powerful again, something that the countries themselves would forget about years later.

With Japan defeated and down, the Tagalogs were free to expand their influence as the dominant power in the Asia-Pacific Region. When Nationalist China fell to their communist counterpart in 1965, the Kuomintang fled to Tagalog-held Formosa wherein the Tagalogs gave them the island to rule as an Autonomous Province of Katagalugan (which renamed to Panyupayana a month later). Panyupayana would go on to participate in several geopolitical struggles in the Afro-Asian region, ranging from their invasion of Malaya in 1965, the South African Civil War in 1969, the Taiwan Strait Crisis between them and the Chinese Soviet Republic in 1973, and the Maori Revolution in 1976. In the same year, Panyupayana would unite the entire Austronesian region under their rule as the Federation of Austronesia, stretching from Imerina in East Africa to the islands of Polynesia in the South Pacific. In the 1980s, because of their trade hegemony over the region, Austronesia would experience an economic boom that would eventually turn into a price bubble that continued to grow larger and larger until it burst in the 1990s, starting the Asian Financial Crisis or commonly known as "the Lost Decade".

While Austronesia actively participates in geopolitics, Japan was quietly left to their own devices. Western economic support would allow Japan to recover from war but the people were traumatized by the war. This resulted to Japan's culture to shift towards Pacifism as a whole, though Far Right beliefs would remain to challenge the new status quo especially those that seeks to restore the monarchy. During the 1980s Southeast Asian Economic Bubble Japan would also experience a rise in their asset prices, especially after the Plaza Accord agreement with Austronesia when the Yen appreciated further. As a result of this Japan was also hit by devastating recessions during the Asian Financial Crisis, giving enough justification for Right Wing populist parties to gain power, oust the democratic government, and restored the Imperial Dynasty back into power. Afterwards, the new government would find a loophole in Article 5 of their constitution by re-establishing the Japanese Military as the Japan Self-Defense Force.

With Japan's rapid increase in their military and economic influence over Asia, Austronesia's position in Asia is threatened once more. The emergence of Post-Soviet state in the Russian Far-East as well as the collapse of Chinese sovereignty kickstarts a tug-of-war between the Japanese and the Austronesians, resulting in Asia becoming divided once more with the addition of a resurgent China in the late 2000s that now seeks to gain independence from either Japan and Austronesia.

Tensions in Asia are on all time high once more, with a proxy war between Austronesia and Japan starting in the form of the Burmese Civil War. Korea and Yakutia are also being contested as Japan actively seeks to isolate the two from Austronesian Military and Economic support. In the mainland, China's militarization is also being actively resisted by both Austronesia and Japan while at the same time secretly supporting factions within China to sway the emerging superpower to their side.

As of 2022, Asia stands at the brink of war. A Chinese drone was shutdown by Austronesia in the mountains of Hui and crashed into a Japanese-held outpost. Mistaking it for an Austronesian missile, Japan sends an ultimatum to the Austronesian Government to leave Korea and Yakutia or face war. In response, Austronesia begins to send its army to the borders with Pro-Japanese states and rejected Japan's ultimatum. China also begins to prepare for war, declaring martial law in several cities near the border and begins the process of drafting. In the next 45 days, a large military buildup would occur at the Yalu River between the Korean-Manchurian border as the United Nations struggles to prevent the upcoming conflict. Unfortunately for them, a small miscommunication in the Manchu Army would start the largest and bloodiest war that the world has ever seen, with casualties reaching as high as 30 million people by the end of the conflict due to a nuclear exchange between Japan and Austronesia. Despite the destruction, China would emerge as the victor of the war and would replace the two as the new dominant and democratic power in the region.

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The Malaya-Sunda Land Bridge

The Malaya-Sunda Land Bridge, also known as the Great Land Bridge or the Pan-Nusantara Line, is an ongoing joint infrastructure project by the Lakanate of Panyupayana, The Sultanate of United Sumatra, the Republic of Japan (former), Germany, Burgundy, the United Kingdom, and China. The Project's goal is to connect the Malay Peninsula to the Islands of Sumatra, Java, and the Lesser Sunda as part of Panyupayana and Nusantara's goal to politically and "physically" connect the majority of the Major Islands of the Nusantaran and Panyupayanan Archipelago. The Project was first proposed in 1966 by Panyupayanan Prime Minister Apo Lakay and spearheaded by Ministry of Public Works and Highways. The project was then signed the following year by Apo Lakay, the newly-elected Nusantaran Prime Minister Koesno Hatta, and several other organizations such as the Japanese National Railways, the West German Bundesbahn, and the Burgundian-Dutch Ministry of Infrastructure and Water Management.

The Project was originally set to begin on August 1973, but was postponed indefinitely due to expensive oil prices when the First Gulf War erupted between the United Arab Republics and the Persian Empire. Attempts to start work the following years were delayed due to budgetary reasons until finally in March 1977, a year after the unification of Panyupayana and Nusantara into the Federation of Austronesia, that work began with the expansions of the Pan-Sumatran lines and the Malayu National Rail. This also involves widening the existing railways to accommodate High Speed Trains such as Panyupayana's experimental version of Japan's Shinkansen 0 series Trains. On 1981, work began on the expansion of Java's existing rail network as well as the Riau-Lingga Land Bridge, which connected the Malay Peninsulu and Sumatra through Singapore and the Riau Islands. In 1987, work also began on the construction of the Southern Nusantara National Rail, but on 1991 nearly all constructions on the Southern rail stopped when the Economic bubble of Austronesia and Japan burst, leading to Asian Financial Crisis and the lost decade. All of Japan's investments on the project were pulled out, and the project was once again left postponed indefinitely until 2000 when the Austronesian Government ordered the continuation of the construction of the Trans-Java Bridge, the Riau-Lingga Land Bridge, and the Bangka Bridge, albeit the progress was slow as Austronesia was still recovering from its near-total economic collapse. In 2008, a new cooperation was signed between Austronesia and the Chinese Federation, which led to work on the bridges returning back to its normal pace in the 1980s. On September 2010. the Riau-Lingga Land Bridge is officially opened to the public, taking the title of the longest bridge in the entire world. This is then followed by the opening of the Trans-Java Bridge in the following year, and the Bangka Bridge on April 2013. On 2016, Work was continued on the Southern Nusantara National Rail, with the Bali Metro being completed first in January 2017 as it was the closest one to completion. As of today the Mataram-Bima line is at 89% completion, but rising tensions between Austronesia and Japan forced work to temporarily stop indefinitely once more.