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Flag of the Russo-Japanese Union (In the Land of Bears and Sakura)

The national flag of the RJU

 

This timeline is ASB.

This timeline is an abridged translation of one of the most featured Russian AH wiki's timelines. Actually I started this TL back in 2014 as a thought experiment, but more than three years after it became a very detailed TL and one day I could even write a book about this. This TL spreads from 1994 to 2070s and has 74 articles total both on Russian AH and Future wikis. I hope that the English-speaking crowd will enjoy it as much as Russians did.

I'm sorry for my English, I'm trying to do my best.

Also, I'm always open for advice and suggestions from the real Japanese and those who understand Japanese politics and culture.

PoD

February 1994: Russo-Japanese negotiations over Southern Kuril Islands are doing much better progress than in OTL. Russia decides to hold a nation-wide referendum over the islands' status later that year. But during a referendum discussion in State Duma, ultra-nationalistic MP Vladimir Zhirinovsky suggests to add a third option in ballot - "I'm for transferring Russian Federation to the sovereignty of Japan", just to show that the whole referendum thing was a joke and the Kurils are Russian forever. But this idea went horribly wrong, as on referendum day, April 17th 1994, the third answer got 97% of votes. Russian people were tired of corrupted and ineffective Yeltsin's administration which turned Russia to poverty and weakened its positions in world politics, so this answer was more of a protest from desperate and starving population. They preferred to absorb Russia into prosperous Japan even more than to stay independent but terribly poor and humiliated nation. Nonetheless, the people of Russia said their word and the fate of Russia was in the hands of Japanese government.

Meanwhile in Tokyo, the Diet and uneasy ruling coalition of minor parties were in shock after results of referendum were announced. For more than three days of discussions, heavily arguing, swearing and even fighting, the government of Japan and Japan's last PM Morihiro Hosokawa announced their willingness and readiness to create "a united federal state with Russia, where Russians, Japanese and other national minorities will live in peace, prosperity and freedom". Thus, the project of Russo-Japanese Union was proposed.

Japan had its own interest in the unification. In the early 90's Japan suffered from economic crisis and, as popular opinion in RJU goes, was on a brink of economic collapse. Hosokawa's government saw the RJU proposal as a chance to restart economy by accessing cheap Russian natural resources and a large population pool, comparable to Japan's own population (145 ml. in Russia and 125 ml. in Japan in 1994).

Not only Japanese were socked, though. Russia's political and emerging business elites were also shocked by results. After they were announced, Boris Yeltsin suffered a heart attack and, due to his poor health, resigned from the office on March 16th 1995, leaving the unification process to independent Russia's last PM and acting President, Viktor Chernomyrdin.

But before Japan and Russian would fuse in one, there were problems to solve, and most important one was Chechnya and rising tensions in Northern Caucasus. The joint Russo-Japanese military operation in this mountainous republic in 1994-1995 restored order in this region, but some Chechen terrorist, like Shamil Basayev, Ahmat Kadyrov and others, managed to escape first to Central Asia and then to Taliban-controlled Afghanistan.

After the dust of war was finally settled, on April 18th 1997, the Russo-Japanese Union was formally established after a solemn ceremony in compromise capital of Novosibirsk. There, the history of independent Russia and Japan ends, but the history of RJU, a guiding light of peace and globalization for the whole world, begins.

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