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Sulu Protectorate

From about 2005, the Sultan of Brunei, reading the writing on the wall, begins moving people and resources into the Sulu Archipelago. In 2015, when Indonesia annexes Brunei, he moves the majority of his people to Sulu, occupying the power vacuum there and buying loyalty easily. Among other things, he brings a vast influx of money and industry contacts to the islands, promising the people there a standard of living like that of Brunei (free education and medical, etc.). The governments of Palawan and Mindanao both court the Sulu government, each hoping for an ally against the other. The Sultanate continues to play them off against each other without making a decision until about 2070, when the Palawan "Jihad" against foreigners causes a sudden influx of refugees. They handle some of them, and pass as many as possible off to Mindanao and Indonesia. In 2291 the Sultan dies without sons; his younger brothers launch civil war. By 2296, Sulu has been devastated, and second brother (last legal successor to the Sultanate) is killed by the forces of the third brother, who had died earlier. Joint Japan-Pilipinas-Arab peacekeeping forces enter nation, enforce peace while trying to figure out something to do.

Masbate Protectorate

In about 2280, the ruler of Masbate (basically a king, in a hereditary rule system) decided that since he had no kids, a lot of unruly underlings, and a desire for a more peaceful and rich kingdom, he would join one of the larger nations. Pilipinas and Visayas of course courted him royally, and in 2283 a formal meeting was held at the Masbate capital of the same name. In residence were high-ranking diplomats and military personnel from both Pilipinas and Visayas, along with a contingent of Japanese diplomats to keep an eye on things and make sure that Masbate wasn't being (unduly) pressured. Nobody knows how the negotiations went, because shortly before lunch on August 4 a tactical nuclear weapon was exploded under the building housing the meeting, destroying a quarter of the city outright and setting fire to much of the rest. Fortunately, the blast was largely directed upward by the concrete foundations, saving all but the immediate (within a km or so) area from lethal radiation. Pilipinas, Visayas, Japan, Mindanao and even Indonesia went berserk, with code red military emergencies called left and right. The majority of the Japanese fleet was standing by near or in the Philippines. Military law was declared in Pilipinas. The Japanese Imperial family was evacuated to an undisclosed location. Days passed, then weeks, and absolutely nothing happened... there was not a single weapon fired, not a single phone call or letter claiming responsibility, not the slightest trace of follow-up action. After a while, everybody went home, but as Masbate was now a prime bone of contention with no government whatsoever and two neighbors eying it hungrily, Japanese "Federal Troops" were dispatched to maintain order until they could figure out what to do with the situation. They have been there since, and the people of Masbate are quite happy with the way things are now, although Japan would love nothing more than to be able to extricate itself.

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