by Max Barry

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by The Ⓐⓛⓛ-Ⓐⓜⓔⓡⓘⓒⓐⓝ Ⓤⓝⓘⓞⓝ of Silver Commonwealth. . 109 reads.

New OOC (Also a dump of an IC overview, because character limit is a pain)

(Yes, I know that this factbook is not a pinnacle of my writing, and is kinda half-arsed, but maybe I will expand it more one day. Maybe. Although, most likely not.)


Never going to post my face, so get a vault boy instead.

Name: Nope, not going to tell.
Also Known As: In forums, you can refer to me as SC, or Silver.
Title, Pronouns: General-Secretary of F7, bow down to me! jk On a more serious note, not really any. As for pronouns... He/him, I guess?
Occupation: Being a some rando student
Nationality: Latvian

Ethnicity: Latvian
DoB: Not even in your dreams
Age: Is it really the best thing to tell to strangers in internet?
Gender: Male
Blood Type: Why would you need to know that?
Siblings: Only child, and proud!

Ideology: Social Democracy, I guess?
Party: N/A
Political Wing: Center-left

Religion:

Pretty much an atheist. (Although I have some sympathy for pagans.)

Likes: Vaporwave, winter, browsing reddit, nostalgic cartoons, coffee with lots of sugar, potato chips, Kazakh dombra music (And other traditional music!), internet culture, thinking how life was like in early 2000s, metal music.
Dislikes: Summer, evangelicals, heat, modern pop, kaiserboos and wehraboos, litter, alcohol, smokers and vaping, low-effort F7 posters, furry fandom (Lewd ones, that is, as some would probably consider me a furry as well, lol).
Hobbies: Reading history magazines and books in library, hiking, NS worldbuilding (I seriously wish I run out of ideas sometimes, though, as they keep coming, and not writing them all down is painful as hell), checkers. And computer, lots of computer.
''Seeing the old flash games and videos in youtube makes me remember what I was doing back then, when they first came out, when I was not much aware of the world around me.''
Moi

Howdy! If you are one of the F7 veterans, you might know me very well already. If not, then I will introduce myself - I am that introverted guy, who spends more time indoors than outside, and perhaps one of the most anti-monarchist lads in F7. As you might see, worldbuilding is a thing which I like with passion, and I am also that guy, who formats almost every of their posts in F7. I don't feel comfortable with revealing my age at all, so let's just say, that I am Gen Z, m'kay?

My favorite subjects are history, and geography - after looking at my nation, you might have guessed already. Surprisingly, I also somewhat like biology, and learning English.

In my free time, I usually watch lots of youtube, mostly video game playthroughs, or just listening to music. I also love to read science fiction, and magazines, as scientific, and historical magazines can enrich your knowledge, and give a wider spectrum on happenings across the world. That said, although I love to read books as well for the same reason, I read them mostly in library, as some of them nowadays cost pretty much. (Also true for works of fiction)

Does my nation represent my views? Well, no, obviously. Otherwise, I would be a bit more than a psycho... My IRL views are rather center-left, with keynesian economics. As for social matters, I have a feeling, that I have become more liberal over the years, although in some cases, I might still find myself to be conservative in some stances. In fact, I don't think, that I can make a nation, which would 100% represent my views, as I am there mostly for RP, not to insert my views in a nation/character, or both. As for my other nations... Fox Shogunate is the only other nation I have right now, and even then, it is mostly inactive in terms of content updates. I had a whole armada of puppets back in the past, but all of those have either CTEd, or on verge of CTE, as I find it easier to focus on one project, rather than to spread the effort across multiple accounts.

(Speaking of worldbuilding, I personally don't like putting IRL news in NationStates nation canon, as it makes it feel too much like an another version of our current Earth - while you can definitely inspire from IRL news, magazines, books, and internet for your news, in my opinion, you should rather try to think out of news, which fit your nation's canon. Also, sorry if I sound abrasive in the forums, as I have pretty high standards for F7 posts, and can get irritated sometimes. Speaking of worldbuilding, the character limit is an absolute pain, if you really want to flesh out a factbook. From one side, it prevents too long walls of text, which is good, but from other, it is not enough for a serious project.)

I also really like the early 2000s vibe, when it comes to music. In my opinion, it is interesting to be born in the first years of a new millennia, as it is a period of massive change, and sometimes I still find myself curious, of what it was like to live back then. Also, a lot of us will probably have heard stories about the interwar period (30s) from our Great-Grandparents, and a lot of those, who experienced it are still alive. Still, I wonder, what stories will the Grandparents/Great-Grandparents tell to the next generations? What will be the cultural trends after 10-20 years? What memes will the next generations make? Those questions I find interesting to think about.

First steps in NationStates


I first found out about NationStates in 2015 from a mapping channel (Yes, Mapping was one of my favorite things before I joined NationStates, as I was interested about maps, politics, fiction, and geography way before I joined NS Check out LinkVoidViper - he is a pretty good Canadian mapper), but I didn't made my first nation until about 2016, and it wasn't that impressive, if compared to my current main - it was without any factbooks, without a custom flag, and I pretty quickly lost both my interest, and forgot the password, lol. I made a couple of other nations as well (Mostly based around IRL cultures), but my first serious project was Zombie swarms (R.I.P) - a nation of very intelligent zombies, which have formed a state in Central Asia. Scary, huh? :p (I also disown most of my posts from that period, as looking back, I was still kinda immature back then, and my political views have changed a bit.)

Fast-forward to 2017, and I made Xibei-san-ma (R.I.P. again). At first, it was another one of my half-assed nations, but as time went on, I started to put a surprising amount of effort in there, which I never had felt before. It was also the period, when I was very interested about Chinese Warlord Era, and when my socialism phase kicked in the strongest. However, looking back at my posts, a lot of them still were low-tier, so that is one of the reason, why I aspire to put a high effort in F7 posts - because I feel sh*tty about my past posts. When I later turned into a socdem again, I changed Xibei to a social democratic state, before eventually letting it fall into abyss, as I felt, that I had lost interest in it.

Ideology & Politics (And some less serious stuff too)


Pro: Republicanism (Not the Republican party, of course, but the system of government), social democracy, secularism, keynesianist economics, nordic model, LGBT+ rights, USA (Not as much anymore, leaning to ''neutral''), Baltic Union, patriotism, environmentalism, two state solution, Ādai chips (Best chips, lol), gen Z.
Neutral: Liberalism, mild social conservatism, religion (Both Abrahamic, and paganic faiths), capital punishment (For some crimes), UK, EU, Kemalism, gun laws, democrats, national liberation movements, boomers (ex-soviet and eastern block ones).
Anti: Theocracy, monarchism, libertarianism, minarchism, anarchism, totalitarianism, laissez-faire, anti-vaxxers, neoliberal economics, fascism, communism, ''anarcho''-capitalism, reactionaries and far-right, GOP, corporatism, racism, USSR, PRC, ethnonationalism, nazism, ''benevolent'' dictatorship, neo confederates, horseshoe theory, ''centrists''.

Politically, I am a proud anti-ancap if not pessimistic, then at least cynical/nihillistic, which means, that I usually look at ideologies like libertarianism (right-wing), or anarchism with a big suspicion. From all systems, I generally support social democracy the most, but even it has flaws. As for ''benevolent'' dictatorship - I personally scoff at the concept itself, as dictatorship rarely remains ''benevolent'' after a single ruler's life-time. Also, both democracies and dictatorships have problems like corruption, but in a democratic system, you at least have the option to vote them out, while in a dictatorship your whole system is screwed if corruption reaches the upper echelons. As for social views, while I lean more liberal in this case, I care more about economical than social issues, tbh, and if I had to pick, a conservative keynesianist country would fit me better than a liberal country with laissez-faire.

Random test results:

LinkHEXACO results

LinkPolitical compass

LinkLibertarian test - 0%

LinkClimate change test

LinkLeft / Right Test

LinkNarcissism Test (NPI)

Trivia & Facts


Current Favourite Song: I have multiple favorite songs currently, not only one. :P But well, I will list one of them - Linkмолчат дома - технология. And if you have time, check out LinkKurmangazy - he is a good Kazakh composer.
Favourite Foods: Solyanka, dumplings, pizza, sandwiches, cookies!
Favourite Beverages: Soda, milk, tea, hot chocolate, kvass.
Favourite Bands: Skyforger, Nechochwen, Linkin Park, Northern Haze, Bermudu Divstūris.
Favourite Movies (Haven't watched any really for the last few years, lol): Letters from Iwo Jima, Independence Day (1996 movie), Stalingrad (1993), Defenders of Riga, The Cabin in the Woods.
Favourite Book Series (Yes, I do still read books!): Warrior Cats, Red Rising (Pierce Brown), Silo (Hugh Howey), Hunger Games, Shattered Sea (Joe Abercrombie).
Favourite Video Games: Rainbow Six Siege, Fallout Franchise, Minecraft, Paradox games (Especially Hearts of Iron 4). Ohh, and lots of Flash games as well.
Favourite VG Genres: Real-time strategy (RTS), Tower defense, Casual games, Racing games, Shooter games.
Favourite Youtubers: Conquering History Games, TheseKnivesOnly, Yan Xishan (Mapper), Optimus, Sabouts.
Favourite TV Series: Muhtar's Return, Science of Stupid, Criminal Minds, The Walking Dead, Hawaii Five-0.
Favourite Music Genres: Folk Metal, traditional music, rap music, vaporwave (Obviously), old country music.
Favourite magazines (No tabloids!): Science Illustrated, GEO, Illustrated World History, Unknown History, ''Ir'' (Latvian newspaper).
Very good cartoons, which I used to watch when I was younger: Yakari, Dogstar, Mouk, Dinosaur Train, VIPO.

A few images


(Just kidding. Not there... yet.)



Original template by The Brytish Isles. Template is found here.


People's State of Northern Isles


The Ⓐⓛⓛ-Ⓐⓜⓔⓡⓘⓒⓐⓝ Ⓤⓝⓘⓞⓝ of Silver Commonwealth

Flag of the Northern Isles

Seal of the Northern Isles

Motto: Independent, and with bold stare in future!

Anthem: Red Arrow Over The Skies



Geological Location


Population

5 million

Capital

Sapporo

Largest City

Sapporo



Official Language

Japanese, Ainu

National Language

Japanese, Russian, Ainu

Demonym

Ezoan (After old name)



Ethnic Groups

Japanese (85.5%)
Russian (10%)
Ainu (Unofficial data) (4%)
Chinese (0.3%)
Other (0.2%)



Religion

Shintō (41.8%)
Buddhism (30%)
Orthodox Christianity(12%)
Atheist (12.8%)
Ainu Animism (3%)
Other (0.2%)



Government

Military Dictatorship

Leader Title

Daitōryō (President)

Legislature

Hokkaido's National Assembly

Upper House

Republican Council

Lower House

People's Assembly



Currency

Hokkaido Yen HKY ()

GDP

320,000 million $ (Per Capita) 15.625 $

HDI

0.649 (Average )



Time Zone

UTC+9, UTC+11

Calling Code

+807

Drives on the

Right

ISO Code

H.K

Internet LTD

.ain

The Northern Isles is a relatively averagely developed SC's region in East Asia. It has no land borders, but it shares maritime borders with Kamchatka to the east, Magadan to the west, and Southern Isles to the south. Overall, the islands have cold climate, and mountainous, even volcanic relief, which also makes it a great vacation spot for people in Southern Isles, when tropical summer becomes hot down in the south. After RNGOC's collapse, it entered a relative political isolation until SC's arrival. The Sōya Strait separates Hokkaido from Sakhalin, and Kuril Islands not only geographically, but also culturally - it was a sea border between two hostile superstates. Even today, split can still be seen culturally.

Despite its rather-average economical development, it has big oil, and gas reserves, which might help to boost the economical growth in future. Wind turbines are also often tested in Kuril Islands, in order to find out the most sufficient ''clean energy'' variant for the region, as regional officials know, that oil, and gas are finite resources. However, living there also has big risks, as the territory of Northern Isles is a seismologic active region - in past, there have been various strong earthquakes.

Etymology


The name Kuril comes from Ainu language, with ''Kur'' meaning ''man''. It may be similar to words used by Ainu people for the other islands, which they have settled in the past. In Japanese language, they are known as Chishima Islands, or Kuriru Islands (With first meaning ''Thousand Islands Archipelago, while second is literally ''Kuril Archipelago'') As for Sakhalin, it is known as ''Kuye'', but in Japanese - as ''Karafuto''. Word ''Choka'' could be used by both Ainu, and Nivkhs to refer to the island. Hokkaido means ''North Sea Circuit'', and it comes from Middle Chinese (pok-hj+du, a.k.a Northern sea+Circuit).

History


All of the territory of Northern Isles was occupied by Russian Empire after the end of WW2, and Third Sino-Japanese War, when RNGOC, and Empire split Japan into two. (Third Sino-Japanese War started after ''Protector of Asia'' (The first leader of RNGOC, which was the third superstate in SC's timeline) broke off from Japanese in a revolt, with aid from Russian Empire - the second superstate of SC's world. (RNGOC was a Japanese puppet state at first, which was formed after KMT's defeat in Second Sino-Japanese war, as in this timeline, the United Front never formed, and disunity between warlords was higher.) After it, RNGOC would go on a conquering spree, with one of the first victims being Xinjiang, and Tibet) At first, all of the region of Northern Isles was occupied by the Empire, along with parts of northern Honshu.

When Sino-Russian split happened in the 50s, and war between RNGOC, and Empire started, RNGOC's troops in Japan quickly overran empire's territories in northern Honshu, as it hadn't got enough manpower to cover all of the wide front, which stretched from Middle East to Amur, and even further. Then RNGOC's troops landed in southern Hokkaido, and seized parts of the island, while Empire's garrison on the island entrenched in north. Afterwards, front remained mostly static, with few major offensives until the Great Nuke War, unlike in Central Asia, and Siberia, where warfare was the most active. After the Great Nuke War, treaty signed by three superstates ceded all of Hokkaido to RNGOC, while Russian Empire retreated to Sakhalin, and Kuril Islands. Later on, both superstates would expand their naval hubs in the region, and RNGOC would even start to research supercavitation submarines in Hokkaido as means to counter both SC's, and Empire's naval power in sea, by using Submarine Warfare tactics, as its naval ships were weaker.

Japanese were treated badly in both superstates - RNGOC's iron fist terror, and ''cultural-reforging'' campaigns in southern Japanese islands were applied to Hokkaido as well, resulting in scars left by RNGOC in SC's Japan's populace, and future leadership of SC's Japan in 2051 being confused, and uncertain about its further direction, and future. One of the campaign goals was to if not stop, then at least decrease the likelihood of rebellions. Another goal was to shatter the old authority away, and replace the Emperor with ''Protector of Asia'' as the main figure. However, Ainu were affected particularly badly - in Kamchatka and Sakhalin, Ainu were viewed as ''latent RNGOC's spies'' by the Russian Empire's administration, resulting in repressions, and extinction of both Kuril Islands, and Sakhalin Ainu dialect in the 60s. Ainu weren't much better off in Hokkaido either, as RNGOC's leadership in Beijing didn't trust both them, and Japanese, and their language barely survived. Some say, that Ainu resilience comes from those years of hardships under RNGOC's, and Empire's rule.

Although being very close to each other, Sakhalin, and Hokkaido were never parts of disputed zone, so most of hellish warfare on the ground was avoided, although navies of both superstates often clashed in the Okhotsk Sea. That said, Hokkaido still had a significant role in the war, as this was one of the places, where thermal suits were developed by RNGOC - a counter to Russian Winter. (Thermal suits would later be captured by SC's soldiers, and modified by scientists as well.) Sapporo - the capital of Northern Isles, was also a place, where RNGOC's regional party echelons signed a treaty, which wanted to push RNGOC to a similar decentralization system utilized by SC. However, in RNGOC, the reform didn't succeed, and somewhere in the 2030s, RNGOC collapsed in chaos following the fallout of a large miner strike in Balkans, which resulted in Empire falling apart. After RNGOC's order fell in Hokkaido, one of the first factions on the island arose in Nibutani District, led by an Ainu man, which was a high-rank official in RNGOC's government before its collapse. He ordered to raise a militia, in order to protect the district, and fortify it. Later on, he would expand outside the district's borders as well, taking a small part of Hidaka Subprefecture, and proclaiming the ''Second Republic of Ezo'', with him as Daitōryō (President). It was able to survive because there were slightly less factions in Hokkaido, than in other Japanese islands.

The supercavitation submarine research station near Abashiri, and thermal suits factory were in the list of SC's ''important locations'' as well, which meant, that Tom's soldiers would land in Hokkaido as well. As both Onoue Misao, and Ezo's leader were members of RNGOC's Party before the collapse, Tom used Misao to convince The Daitōryō to join SC. However, even then, it happened under a gunpoint, and after SC's troopers had lured Daitōryō in a mountain base, and sealed all locks. After SC's restored control over most of island, most of the research stations, and factories were immediately searched for any possible valuable piece of technology, which could help SC advance further technologically. Then Tom started to tackle the question, of what to do with Japan's regional divisions - some SC's western governors wanted to simply unite Sakhalin, and Kuril Islands with the rest of Japan, but Tom was more in favor of a split similar to RNGOC's, and Empire's first treaty. In result, Hokkaido, Sakhalin, and Kuril Islands became their own region, called Northern Islands, while the rest of Japan was named as ''Southern Isles''. Afterwards, the Ainu governor was put in charge as leader of the region as a whole, while still answering to Misao in Tokyo. Northern Islands now are preparing for future challenges, but aren't sure about that, what fortune will bring.

Geography


Most of Hokkaido is classified as ''temperate continental climate'' by Kppen climate classification, with exception of some parts in the south, which are classified as ''warm continental climate''. Northern, and Southern parts of Sakhalin are also classified as ''temperate continental climate'', but the central part of the island is classified as ''cool continental climate'', similarly to most of Kuril Islands, or even sub-arctic climate. Summers in Kuril islands are pretty short and foggy, but winters - cold, and long. Sakhalin's climate is cold and humid, with summers being cooler than in inland cities, but winters being a bit milder, and more with snow. Eastern part of Hokkaido tends to be colder than the west part. However, unlike southern parts of Japan, Hokkaido's summers are more warm than hot, and Hokkaido is less humid as well.

All Northern Isles have a large seismologic activity, with earthquakes happening often, and on a lot of them, there are active volcanoes as well, due of the Northern Isles being located on a part of a ring of tectonic instability, also known as Ring of Fire. (Which is also the name of SC's Commonwealth) in in fact, Kuril Islands themselves are summits of stratovolcanoes. A lot of Sakhalin is mountainous as well, and its exact geological structure is not perfectly well known. The clays of Sakhalin contain lots of coal, and fossilized vegetation as well. In Hokkaido, there are coastal plains in almost all directions. Major cities of the Northern Isles - Sapporo, Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk, Severo-Kurilsk, Hakodate, etc. Major rivers - Poronai River (The longest in Northern Isles - 360 km), Abashiri River, Tym River, Ishikari River, etc. There are also quite a few national parks in the Northern Isles.

In southern Kuril islands, there are lots of dense spruce, and larch trees, while further north - tundra, which provides no tree cover. Soil in general is productive, and there are things like crater lakes, peat bogs, alpine tundra, and grasslands in those islands as well. Sakhalin for the most part is covered in coniferous, dense forests. Spruce, fir, larch, dwarf pines, birches, cherry trees, and bamboos are pretty common in Sakhalin. Further south, there are also trees like maple, rowan, oak, and cork trees, along with vines, and multiple berries as well. Birch trees are also found in Hokkaido as well, along with spruce forests as well, as Hokkaido has colder climate, if compared to most of Japan's southern isles, so it also has coniferous forests as well.

Kuril Islands have a low level of endemism, and few terrestrial mammals - one of the few, who live there, are the deer in southernmost isles, rodents, brown bears, and foxes - some of which were introduced. Kurilian Bobtail also originates from this region. That said, Kuril Islands have a pretty diverse bird population. In Sakhalin, there are reindeers in the north too, along with otters, sables, hares, squirrels, and other previously mentioned mammals. A lot of brown bears live in Hokkaido as well - it has the biggest brown bear population in all of Asia, with exception of Siberia. Rivers are usually full with fish, but oceans - with lots of sea birds, various species of whales, octopuses, and salmons. Animal life mostly comes from Siberia, although there are a few endemic species in Northern Isles.

Tallest point is the Asahi-dake mountain in Hokkaido, which is 2,290.9 m tall, but the lowest point - at the shore of Pacific Ocean, 0 m. Asahi-dake is a stratovolcano, in which's fumarole areas, sulfur was once mined.


Volcano in Kuril Islands.


Sapporo in winter.


Okhotsk sea.


Tym river in Sakhalin.


Wheat fields in Hokkaido.

Demographic


From Indigenous peoples, perhaps the biggest group are the Ainu people, who live mostly in Hokkaido. The data about their numbers greatly differs - Misao's government's census puts it in about 25 000, while SCPS intel - as high as approx 200 000. While Tom has put an Ainu official in charge of the Northern Isles, influence of Ainu in the government is still very low, as most of the officials are Japanese, and in SC's system, one man's power in comparison is weaker than power of the whole Party. There are other indigenous peoples, like Oroks, and Nivkhs, but they mostly live in Sakhalin, and are so few in numbers, that they have an only one representative in the UCN's (United Commonwealth Nations) HQ.

In Northern Isles, there is also a significant Russian population, which mostly lives in Kuril Islands, and Sakhalin. During the Scramble for The World, various veteran divisions from the Empire's times resisted violently, as they had fought against RNGOC (And by extension - against RNGOC's Japan as well) in the past, but now Misao was rolling in their former frontier. In Sakhalin, there is also a small Korean population. Governors of Sakhalin, and Kuril Islands themselves preferred to be either a separate region, or a part of the Kamchatka region at the very least. Cultural contrast between Hokkaido, and Sakhalin is easy to notice.

Still, despite that, Japanese are still the majority in Northern Isles - they make up for about a 86% of the whole population. While not as ethnically homogeneous as southern Japan, it is still a very significant number, as Japanese make up most of the armed forces of Northern Isles Some of Hokkaido's military officers also have expressed discontent with Daitōryō's, and Reconstruction Committee's rule by accusing them for ''trying to implement a rule of minority'', and would prefer to see the reunification of Northern, and Southern Isles. (Sometimes they also accuse Supercomputer Tom for propping that up.) Either way, one thing is clear - SC's Hokkaido is going to be a powderkeg for a long time.

Similarly to SC's Korea, many of RNGOC's military personnel, and their families were dislocated in Japan, including Hokkaido, as Hokkaido was basically like an outpost in the Okhotsk sea for monitoring the Empire's activity in Sakhalin. In result, there were quite a few Chinese officer, and soldier communities in RNGOC's Japan during 2020s, mostly in the big cities. However, after RNGOC collapsed, and its former territories fell into chaos, most of the Chinese soldiers, and their families fled from Japan, as after the multiple former regional governors across the RNGOC broke free, living in Japan became very dangerous. Those, who stayed, were sometimes recruited by the warlords, which wanted to use either their military, or administrative experience in order to stabilize the warlord rule. While there is still a Chinese diaspora in SC's Japan, it is way smaller nowadays.

Median age of Northern Isles (And Southern Japan as well) is one of the highest in the Commonwealth - about 45. Due of that, there are concerns of aging, and decrease of population in future - while birth rates are a bit higher, they are still dropping. In future, dependency ratio might grow higher, which means, that there would be more financial stress on workers.

Population

In Hokkaido and Sakhalin, winter and ice sports like skiing, hockey, snowboarding, and bobsled, are very popular, due of high quality ''powder snow''. Kayaking is also popular, especially in Kuril Islands, due of sea around the islands, which gives a lot of space for large kayaking competitions. Although Sumo, and archery are somewhat popular in Hokkaido as well, they still aren't the most popular sport - baseball has that title, similarly to the rest of Japan. In Sakhalin, sled dog racing is a popular past-time activity. While there are football teams as well, it is not nearly as popular as previously mentioned sports.

Ainu music, being in decline for decades under RNGOC's rule, now is experiencing a some sort of revival. Some of the Ainu instruments: Kaco (An instrument similar to tambourine, and used in shamanistic rituals), Mukkuri (An idiophone made out of bamboo. While it is a popular souvenir, it traditionally was viewed more as ''children's toy'', than an instrument for serious performances), Pararayki (An instrument similar to Russian balalaika), Cirektekuttar (An instrument similar to Australian aboriginal didgeridoo, and made out of reed's root), etc. Today, various Ainu ballads, and musical styles remain important to protect Ainu culture from dying out in SC's world.

Cuisine differs greatly, depending on the region. where you live. Around the coastline, fishers usually provide most of the meals, with both salmon, and octopus being served. Further inland, wheat, milk, soy, and beef are popular, as Hokkaido is one of the places with highest production of dairy, and meat products in Northern Isles. While rice are grown in the Hokkaido as well, their production is smaller, as special, cold-resistant breeds of rice need to be used, because normal rice is more suited for tropical climate down in southern Japan.

The Army of Northern Isles is a relatively small military force, due of its population of about 5 million. Its equipment, and units are mostly standard for Ring of Fire. However, it has one unique unit - Ainu Sharpshooters. The equipment of those skilled marksmen consists from a trench knife, anti-materiel rifle, and an electric pistol, with light armor, in order to maximize the movement speed as much as possible for stealth operations. Due of its small army size, Northern Isles also perform similar asymmetrical warfare tactics as Patagonia, but Hokkaido's army plan is mostly to retreat inland, and fight from there, while also using partisan strikes behind the lines, as it is hard to cover all of the island coastline, meaning, that most of the garrisons in Kuril Islands would fall in case of war. (Also, while modern ninja troops (Special unit created by RNGOC in 70s) are active in both Japans, Northern Isles uses them way more than Misao's army, as Southern Japan has way bigger population, and modern ''samurai'' units are viewed as ''more honorable''.)

While Northern Islands are smaller in size if compared to the rest of Japan, they are still quite large, and outside of major cities like Sapporo, a car or bicycle would be your best bet, as most of Hokkaido's railway is still being repaired - albeit Hokkaido was never in the disputed zone, its railways still suffered from lack of maintenance. Also, in comparison to the cities in the south, Northern Isle cities are much smaller, and less crowded. A big percentage of the populace still lives in the countryside - it is one of the reasons, why gun laws are a bit laxer in Hokkaido than in some other SC's regions. (Similarly to Rockies) That said, SC's Hokkaido is still very strict, when it comes to gun culture. People in the north also seem to be enjoying the warm days more, particularly in Sakhalin and Kuril Islands, as unlike in Southern Japan, winters are often cold, with lots of snow. (Although, in late years, temperatures in Hokkaido have been increasing as well, mostly due of wasteful usage of energy of three superstates before the SC's Climate Treaty, which aimed to fight against climate change, and push for more alternative energies, in order to replace fossil fuels eventually.)

Religion

One of the most popular religions in Hokkaido is Shintō, followed by Buddhism. Those religions are not practiced not only by Japanese, but by those Ainu, which have been assimilated further. Both of them have representatives in the local religious council. Due of divergence in the timeline, SC's Japan is more devoutly religious, yet some people still aren't too attached to religion, and there are suspicions, that number of religious people might be inflated by government. In Shintō, various spirits(kami) are worshiped - kami can incarnate in various natural phenomena, like wind, rain, etc.

Orthodox Christianity is widespread in Kuril Islands, and Sakhalin - territories, which Empire owned before its collapse. The few remaining Ainu, which live there, along with Nivkhs, and Orok people, usually have been converted to Orthodox Christianity already. Some of the churches were re-purposed into military HQs during the chaos after Empire's collapse, but most continued their work. Due of that, Orthodox Christians have a seat in Northern Isle religious council.

Some Ainu also practice traditional animism - they have no priests, and the chiefs instead perform whatever ritual is necessary. In their mythology, spirits are immortal, and will be rewarded by ascending to the ''Land of the Gods'' (kamuy mosir). Bear worship (Also known as arctolatry) is an important part of their religion as well, as bear is considered as the head of the animal gods. That said, there have been attempts by SC's missionaries to change Ainu religious system with organized clergy, similarly to what Tom has done with many other animist religions around SC's world.

Atheist percentage in Northern Isles, similarly to Southern Japan, is pretty high for SC's standards - about 13 %. It is likely, that the percentage of atheists there is even higher, as some of those, which mark themselves as ''Shintonist'', ''Buddhist'', ''Animist'', or ''Orthodox'' in census either practice little, or just mark it to be left alone - being an atheist is a big social stigma in SC's world, after all, and number of religious people could very well be inflated, similarly to Spain under Franco. Reasons for such high atheist percentage still remain puzzling for SC's western clergy.

Along with all of those religions, there is also the cult of personality, along with ''obliteration of the self'' - an idea originating from the RNGOC, which has become popular in the last years in SC's world, with various regional interpretations. In the past, Protector of Asia's posters were in almost every city, and house in both Hokkaido, and the rest of Japan. After the fall of RNGOC's rule in Japan, most of them were removed, and now some of them are in museum at best. That said, scars left by RNGOC's rule were still fresh, and cult of personality is still around, only this time it is the Onoue Misao, and The Daitōryō, which are staring at citizens from the posters.

Government


The system of government is similar to that of many other SC's states - both military, and clergy have a big influence in it, along with various research scientists, and ethnic group representatives. That said, it is one of the few SC's regions, where someone from a minority is in charge of not only their own ''autonomy'', but also the whole region - the current President of Northern Isles is a former RNGOC's politician, and an Ainu, despite the fact, that Japanese are still the majority. Also, unlike in some other SC's regions, a significant amount of population is still loyal to the idea of imperial restoration, and unlike in SC's Britain, Tom doesn't want to launch a full scale cultural-revolution yet, in fears of pissing off the military officers, and politicians of SC's Japan, as at the current stage it would definitely lead to a civil war.

The name of the government's ruling faction is pretty much self-explaining - ''National Reconstruction Committee'', which is supposed to work on things like rebuilding the infrastructure of Hokkaido and Sakhalin, which has been harmed by lack of maintenance, or restoration of normal healthcare services. Overall, while its members mostly support autocracy, cult of personality, and other things common in other SC's Commonwealths and Republics, a lot of its memberships is said to be ''rather pragmatic than some others'', and ''focus mostly on reconstruction effort''.

That said, it doesn't mean, that there aren't other political factions in the Northern Isles as well - one of them is the Japanese Socialist Party (JSP), which arose after many socialists came out of hiding after RNGOC's collapse. It has various secret lodges, and spy networks, and although most of its members are down in the south, it has a branch in the SC's Hokkaido as well, and it has tried to set up a branch in Sakhalin already. Although it has its own paramilitary forces, it generally avoids direct confrontations with either Misao, or The Daitōryō, and uses secrecy as its main weapon. One of its goal is to achieve unification of both Northern, and Southern Isles, in order to fund socialist internationalist groups in the rest of Ring of Fire as well, with the last goal being a world revolution. Despite both regions actively searching for JSP's agents, it still is perhaps the most likely faction to challenge Misao's authority.

Another faction is the ''Red Arrow Party'', but unlike JSP, it is rather a secret branch of the Reconstruction Committee, and it is likely, that The Daitōryō is its leader as well. (''Red Arrow'' is also a part of the Northern Isles Flag, and is in red color because of the aconite poison used by traditional Ainu hunters in the past) Semi-officially, one of its main goals is preservation of Ainu language, and preservation of the Ainu culture, along with promoting it, due of the years of repression by both RNGOC, and Empire. However, according to SCPS intel, Red Arrow Party is ready for more than just preservation of language, and cultural promotion - recordings by SCPS show The Daitōryō in talks with a few main scientists from the Great Lakes Institute about contract for human cloning technology. Human cloning technology still has many errors, and is experimental, but Red Arrow Party has noticed its potential.

And last, but not least, is the underground liberal-democratic opposition. An oddball, if compared to other factions in the Northern Isles, it was also formed after RNGOC's collapse. Thing is, that in past, Hokkaido was also used as a prison for RNGOC's democratic dissenters, making the already dark period in its history even darker. However, after RNGOC's collapse, many of the former prisoners banded together, and formed their own political faction, which tried to gather the sympathies of the locals, as only a few of them had means to return to their homes. After SC arrived in Hokkaido, most of them went in underground again, as the new government wasn't much more merciful on democratic sympathies either, and committed raids in their supporter homes regularly. However, the dream about democracy is not dead yet...

Foreign Relations

Southern Isles: Southern neighbor, and the closest military ally, and economical partner not only in Ring of Fire, but in the whole world as well. That said, the relations between them aren't exactly friendly, due of historical treatment of Ainu people by the Japanese Empire, and some of SC's Japan's generals consider Northern, and Southern Isles as one region, and thus could possibly push for annexation of Northern Isles, if SC would collapse.

Amur: The western neighbor of Northern Isles. Many of the Amur's officials are former RNGOC members as well, as in treaty after the Great Nuke War, RNGOC occupied Primorsky region, and some parts of Khabarovsk. However, in northern parts of Khabarovsk (And Sakhalin as well), there are still remnants of Empire's divisions, which act like raiders, so both regions cooperate militarily, in order to enforce law in newly acquired territories.

Eastern Columbia: Tom's intervention was one of the reasons, why Northern Isles were created as a separate region in the first place, so it has also aided the new region with more funds, in order to repair the infrastructure, and reopen the facilities closed down during RNGOC's collapse. That said, Northern Isles also want to get more sovereignty at some point in the future, but that goes against SC's doctrine, so there is also a cold distaste between politicians of the two regions.

Kamchatka: The northern neighbor of Northern Isles. Relations between the two are neutral, but leaning positive, due of the fact, that The Daitōryō thinks, that natives of both Hokkaido, and Kamchatka have similarly struggled under colonists. Both regions are ready to aid each other, if necessary. However, the warfare in waters of disputed zone between RNGOC, and Empire is still in fresh memory, and ultimately, Kamchatka has is own interests as well.

Rest of the World: As Northern Isles are a minor power, they mostly either are neutral, or indifferent with the rest of the SC's world. That said, it has positive relations with most of SC's Siberia, and is one of the regions, which has voiced disapproval of Renier's South Africa's policies. Also, its leadership still resents the SC's Chinese Commonwealth, due of RNGOC's more than 70 year rule, which damaged Japanese, and Ainu culture significantly.

Rest of the Ring of Fire: Overall, Northern Isles maintain a neutral policy with the rest of the Ring of Fire, although it has a slightly positive opinion towards Eastern Manchuria, and, similarly to Southern Isles, has increased tensions with SC's Korea.

Economy


While Hokkaido also has some industry, agriculture still plays a way bigger role in its economy - it has lots of arable land, and it not only produces food for itself, but also exports some of the products to Southern Isles. It produces things like wheat, soybeans, potatoes, sugar beet, onions, pumpkins, corn, and raw milk. Just as other two territories (Sakhalin, and Kuril Islands), Hokkaido has a big aquaculture, and fishing sector. An another important source of income is tourism - While average populace don't travel outside of their regions often, the Elites, and Party's members often pay lots of money for sightseeing in far-away lands, often in order to take photos, and keep them as a memory, because in SC, you don't travel in tourism trips every year. Coal mining also once made up a large part of Hokkaido's income, and it is still mined as of today.

Sakhalin's regional economy mostly relies on natural resources like oil and gas, along with coal mining, forestry, and fishing. Although various crops, and vegetables are being grown in Sakhalin as well, they aren't a primary part of the economic sector, partially due of short growing season as well. POC (Patriotic Oil Company), and its regional branches have already reserved most of the future oil deposits for themselves, which means, that while some part of the drilled oil will be given for use of the region, some of it POC will send further for Megastate (US) needs, and private oil drilling is basically banned. Some of SC's environmentalists are also concerned about POC's actions, and their effects to local wildlife. However, due of Sakhalin's oil and gas reserves, Northern Islands are growing quickly economically-wise.

Kuril Islands mostly rely on fishing as well, along with exporting minerals like pyrite, and sulfur, along with various polymetallic ores. Although no oil has been discovered near Kuril Islands yet, POC has already started search operations, in hopes to find a reasonable-sized oil deposit. Northern Isles government has also started to build a geothermal energy plant near a volcano, as both steam, and hot water can be found there. Construction sector also is a significant part of the economy - SC's authorities plan to build new roads between the seaports, and cities, as ships, and rafts are the primary means of transport across the isles. SC's authorities also hope to expand other infrastructure as well.

The economy of Northern Isles in general is similar to that of many SC's states - command economy to a point, with various ''5 year plans of production'', with a tinge of protectionism, and suppression of private, government non-aligned companies. However, in some of the companies, a model of gift economy is practiced, alongside with barter, and command economy. That said, barter, and gift economy is still mostly used only in parallel to the monetary economy. However, President of the Northern Isles has rights to switch country partially to the barter economy, in case if a currency (Either Commonwealth Dollar, or Hokkaido Yen) becomes unstable in result of either hyperinflation, or deflationary spiral. That said, the switch can't become permanent, as in the long run, Northern Isles barter economy would also start to stagnate.

As for export/import partners, the biggest trade partner of the Northeast Islands is its southern neighbor - Northern Isles import various things from there - from electronics, to materials for tires, etc. Of course, in the last months, The Daitōryō has tried to find other import partners as well - for example, Northern Isles military imports high-quality power armor from Eastern Columbia already, along with radar technology from Ontario. And it is not like, that Hokkaido only imports things - Northern Isles also exports various things in the SC's interregional market - its forests let it export wood to other regions, where wood is a scarce material. It is also a large exporter of soybeans, and computer manufacturer.

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