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Ōshima

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Ōshima

大島
Flag
Flag
Coat of Arms of
Coat of Arms
Anthem: Hymne des Mydra
"Hymn of the Mydra"
MediaPlayer.png
CapitalLission
Largest cityKitami
Official languagesMidrasian
Ashiharan
Demonym(s)Ōshiman
GovernmentDependent territory
• President of the Council
Yanase Nomi
LegislatureKokkai
Establishment
• Agreement of Lission
1734
• Annexation by Midrasia
1837
• Statute of Autonomy
1978
Population
• Estimate
1,290,000
• 2018 census
1,289,543
GDP (nominal)2018 estimate
• Total
$34,590,701,432
• Per capita
$26,824
CurrencyDucat (Đ) (MND)
Time zoneUTC+9 (Chishima Standard Time)
Calling code+01 602

Ōshima, formerly known as Saint Louis (Midrasian: Saint Luix) is an island and overseas territory of Midrasia located within the Jade Ocean. Ōshima is part of the Chishima island chain along with Nanto, Iwashima, Kitajima, and Toiyama. The island of Ōshima is a disputed territory, having been claimed by both the Democratic Republic of Nanto and the State of Ashihara. Whilst Midrasia does not recognise the claims of Ashihara to the territory, the Midrasian government has conceded that it is 'open to cooperating with the government of Nanto to secure a future for both Nanto and Ōshima that satisfies both parties'.

Ōshima was originally inhabited by aborigines before the 11th century when the region came under the control Ashihara. After independence in the 15th century the Kingdom of Chishima controlled the region, though under a rather decentralised administration in which regional Daimyos held much of the authority for their local areas. During the mid-eighteenth century, the Midrasian Oriental Company gained significant sway over the Daimyo of Ōshima, gradually increasing its influence over the region. In 1734 the Agreement of Lission was signed allowing the MOC to establish a trading port. By 1837 owing to the political instability on the island, Midrasia had come to dominate Ōshiman affairs, removing the Daimyo and annexing the region as a colony. In 1978 due to local tensions, the island was granted a considerable level of autonomy, allowing residents to elect a regional parliament and vote in Consular elections.

Ōshima remains relatively rural with the only major settlements being the cities of Lission and Kitami. The most notable geographic feature on the island is Mount Tamura which is an active volcano and the highest point on the island at 1,032 m (3,386 ft). Mount Tamura last erupted in 1973 causing an evacuation of the surrounding areas, whilst the village of Toma was abandoned and remains so to this day as a ghost town. An exclusion zone of exactly 5 miles now exists around the perimeter of the volcano which is closely monitored by local police forces.

Ōshima is governed by the President of the Council who is elected by the Kokkai, the territory's legislative body. Midrasian citizens on the island are entitled to vote for elections to the Kokkai which take place every four years. Midrasian citizens on the island are also entitled to vote in Midrasian Consular elections. The island has a considerable level of autonomy, though remains reliant on Midrasia for security and foreign policy matters. Ōshima is considered to be part of the Commonwealth of Democratic Nations' single market and as such benefits from trading privileges with the bloc.

History

Early History

Fictional depiction of an Ashiharan colony ship

Prior to Ashiharan colonisation, the island of Ōshima was inhabited by aborigines who inhabited much of the Chishiman island chain. Little is known about this previous civilisation due to their almost complete destruction during colonisation, either through warfare or disease. Those that did survive usually interbred with the colonial Ashiharan population.

Much of the Ashiharan colonisation of Chishima was primarily centred on the island of Nanto, the largest of the Chishiman islands. Originally, many of the lesser islands functioned as penal colonies for Ashihara, with exile from the mainland selected as an appropriate punishment for some crimes. Though much of the islands early industry was centred on agriculture, the position of the islands also allowed them to function as key trading posts connecting to the continent of Savai.

Nevertheless, Ashiharan control of the region was intermittent, with the island courts holding very high levels of autonomy for the majority of their lifespan. This sense of separation from the mainland greatly contributed to Chishiman independence within the fifteenth century. However, considerable internal issues remained, leading the southern and northern courts to split over a dynastic dispute within the seventeenth century, greatly undermining the power of the Kingdom of Chishima.

Midrasian control

Midrasian trading post at Lission
Sketch depicting the Midrasian intervention in Ōshima (1837)

With the power of the Kingdom of Chishima on the decline, and Asuran trading influence within Yidao rising, Midrasia was able to begin asserting considerable pressure on local rulers to grant preferential trading rights. This dispute reached its peak in 1734 when the Midrasian Oriental Company was able to pressure the Daimyo of Ōshima through gunboat diplomacy to grant the company its own trading post on the south-western coast of the island. This new settlement known as Lission was independent of the island's wider administration, allowing Midrasian law to be applied to the area. The preferential position of this new settlement also led to a wide influx of Midrasian merchants and settlers. However, a certain percentage of all taxes continued to go to the Ōshiman court, considerably angering many Midrasian merchants. Additionally, the Southern Court of Chishima refused to acknowledge the agreement, leading to an official boycott of Midrasian goods in 1804. This measure did not last long however, owing to pressure from Chishiman merchants. Following this incident, Midrasia began to increase its naval presence within the region.

In 1824, a rebellion of rōnin, or masterless samurai occurred on the island of Ōshima, greatly threatening the position of the island's ruler. Due to divisions between Kitami and Kyūkyō, the Ōshiman daimyo elected to ask Midrasia for military protection in quelling the rebellion. Whilst the rōnin were able to lay siege to Kitami, after a short war lasting seven months the rebellion was quelled. The outcome of the war led to the signing of the Second Agreement of Lission which placed the entire island of Ōshima under Midrasian protection and extended Midrasian judicial authority over all Midrasians on the island. Additionally, the agreement allowed for Midrasian colonial authorities to intervene in the local politics of the island 'with the consent of its ruler'. Though in reality, Midrasian authorities wielded a huge level of influence over the island without the consent of the sitting Daimyo.

In 1837, the Midrasian delegate to Ōshima was murdered by a group of drunk locals, leading colonial authorities to institute reprisals against the territory. The Daimyo of Ōshima was blamed for the incident, leading to his conviction on trumped up charges of conspiracy to commit murder. As a result, Midrasian authorities abolished the position of Daimyo, and appointing a colonial governor to the territory. Ōshima, now renamed to Saint-Louis officially became a colonial territory of Midrasia the following year.

During the Second Great War the Kingdom of Chishima gained official independence from Newrey. Though there were a number of rebellions on the island of Ōshima, most of these were unorganised, allowing Midrasian authorities to quickly quell any dissent. This did not stop independence movements however, with many radical groups continuing guerilla campaigns underground.

1973 Devolution

Owing to the rising opposition to Midrasian rule and the political fallout following the eruption of Mount Tamura, Midrasian authorities deemed it necessary to create an autonomous Ōshiman administration. The new administration would have full autonomy over all internal matters, though foreign policy and defence of the island would remain under the purview of Midrasia. Additionally, the naval base near Lission was moved to a different administrative area which remained under the control of Midrasia proper.

The new administration was able to ease many of the tensions present among the island's population, though a sizeable independence movement continues to exist on the island in the form of the Keiyaku Party. In 2007 a major protest on the island broke out for the implementation of a referendum on Ōshiman independence. This was carried out in 2009, though 52.3% of the population voted against independence.

Geography

Eruption of Mount Tamura in 1973

Ōshima's terrain is relatively hilly, owing to its location along the Chishiman volcanic fault lines which form a part of the Jade Ocean's 'Ring of Fire'. As a result, much of the island's population is concentrated within the coastal regions, with only 23% of the population living within the central areas of the island. The capital of the island Lission is located on the south-west coast of the island, whilst the largest city of Kitami is in the north-west.

Ōshima is a major producer of sugar cane, pineapple, papaya, and other tropical fruit with agricultural produce forming a significant portion of the island's economy. Fishing is also another significant industry on the island to the extent that marine life within the region has been put at risk by overfishing. Fish such as the dugong along with local coral are at risk due to the exploitation of the island's surrounding waters, leading the local government to introduce strict quotas and regulations on fishing activity.

Mount Tamura

Mount Tamura is the highest point on Ōshima at 1,032 m (3,386 ft). A dormant volcano, records have indicated that Tamura has erupted at least 4 times in recorded history: 1312, 1659, 1874, and 1973. The latest eruption in 1973 was the most devastating in recent memory, claiming the lives of 87 people and destroying the nearby village of Toma which remains abandoned to this day. Initially, an exclusion zone of 10 miles existed around the volcano which was reduced to 5 in 2002. Following the eruption, several early warning signals have been installed on the island, whilst rescue authorities regularly train to deal with any future eruptions. Recent seismological data indicates that Mount Tamura is once again active and has the potential to erupt at any point in the near future.

Politics

Kokkai

The Kokkai, or the Diet is the regional council for the island of Ōshima. Since 1978 the council has had a considerable level of overall autonomy, managing the vast majority of international issues, whilst foreign policy and defence and maintained by Midrasia. The one notable exception to this is the island's relations with Nanto, wherein Ōshima retains its own ambassador, though nominally acts within the boundaries of Midrasian policy.

Elections to the Diet take place every four years, using the same rules and procedures as the rest of Midrasia. Elections utilise party-list proportional representation to determine the allocation of seats. The largest party on the council is currently the Union Party with 15 seats, followed by Keiyaku with 8 seats, whilst two minor parties: Agrarian Interest and the Socialist Party hold the remaining 3 seats.

The Union Party can generally be regarded as centre-right and advocates for the continuation of Midrasian control over the island territory. The party is generally socially conservative, seeking to maintain the traditional cultural practices of the region. Nevertheless, the party also receives a very large amount of support from the ethnically Midrasian population on the island.

Keiyaku is ideologically centrist to centre-left and primarily campaigns for the transfer of Ōshiman sovereignty to Nanto via the process of a referendum. Failing this, the party has in the past advocated for greater Ōshiman autonomy under Midrasia.

President of the council

Yanase Nomi is the current President of the Council

The President of the Ōshiman council is the leader of the Ōshiman government. The President is appointed by the Kokkai and is usually the leader of the largest party within the council. Since the creation of the Ōshiman council in 1978, there have been 4 Presidents from the Union Party and one from Keiyaku. There are no term limits on the office of the President, meaning the holders of the office usually hold the position until they are defeated within an election. The President of the Council is empowered with setting the legislative agenda for the government of Ōshima and managing the business of the council. The President is empowered to appoint a cabinet to with appointed positions dedicated to specific policy areas. The current President of the Council is Yanase Nomi of the Union Party, having held the office since 2013.

Relationship with Ashihara and Nanto

Ashihara

Since 1981 the State of Ashihara has refused diplomatic relations with any state that recognises the independence of the government of Nanto. As a result, Midrasia and Ashihara do not hold any diplomatic ties. Ashihara views Midrasian control over Ōshima as illegitimate and has in the past publically denounced Midrasia's 'imperialistic control of the region'. Midrasia had previously provided material support to the Kingdom of Chishima during Ashihara's invasion of Peito and Toiyama, further souring relations between the two nations.

Nanto

Whilst Midrasia's relationship with Nanto is considerably strained due to its ownership of the island, this has not stopped the two country's cooperating in the past. As Midrasia's stance towards Nanto is far less hostile than that of Ashihara both countries still have an open trading relationship and have met on a number of occasions to discuss the 'Ōshiman question'. The sitting government in Nanto led by the Radical Committee of the Kokuminto has also taken a more reconciliatory stance towards Midrasia and Newrey recently, seeing Ashihara as a far larger threat to Nantojin independence.

Midrasian military presence

The Midrasian Armed Forces maintains a number of facilities on the island, most notably a naval base, airstrip, and small military garrison. The island's naval base operated as the headquarters for Midrasia's Jade ocean Fleet which maintains 12 vessels in total, primarily made up of patrol craft and a small number of Destroyers. The airstrip on the island does not maintain any military aircraft, being reliant on the wider Midrasian navy and Newreyan North Burmondsey for protection. The installation was originally installed for the purpose of allowing transported aircraft to land on the island rather than accommodating a rapid response presence based on Ōshima.

The military garrison on the island is relatively small, numbering within the range of 4,000 personnel. This force is primarily made up of local recruits from the island, though most officers and high-ranking staff are from Midrasia proper. Around 20% of all stationed forces on the island were posted from mainland Midrasia.