Gaia (Standard Gaian: ガイア), officially the Imperial Union of Gaia, is a country located on the planet of Kebir Blue on the southern coast of Austral Bergo, Centura Donna Continent. Gaia is a unitary state consisting of ten prefectures and a special region, with a parliamentary monarchy overseen by Empress Ryoko. The country is home to approximately 92 million people, 93% of which are ethnic Gaians. Chukyo is the capital of Gaia, and is home to approximately 11% of the country's population.
Gaia is a developed country and enjoys one of the highest GDP (PPP) per capita in the world. In 3600, Gaia had the highest ranked business index amongst its federation. Gaia is a member of various international organizations such as the Pnakotic Congressional Order and the UniSov World Trade Common Market.
The name Gaia comes from the name of the goddess or personification of the ancient homeworld.
The standard way to refer to a citizen of the Imperial Union of Gaia is as an "Gaian". The adjective Gaian is commonly used when referring to the Imperial Union of Gaia. It is also used in law to refer to Gaian citizenship. The country's full name is most often used in official documents and in matters involving the government, such as passports, which feature the country's full name on the front.
Internationally, the term Gaia is used in organizations originating from the country. Sports teams competing internationally, compete under the name Gaia. The country's diplomatic missions, such as embassies are referred to as Embassy of the Imperial Union of Gaia, in their respective countries.
Main article: History of Gaia
The first documented Gaian settlers that settled in the region were colonists that migrated from offworld, sometime in the early 26th century. By the mid 26th century, the bulk of Gaian colonists had arrived in the region, including members of the Gaian Imperial Family and the leadership of the Gaian government. The Gaian settlers founded the first settlements near present day Sora, which later became part of a larger colony known as the Central Colonies. Further colonization of the region was led by the Gaian Colonial Authority, which greatly expanded colonization efforts east of the Central Colonies.
Under the direction of the Gaian Colonial Authority, the colonies increased the speed of development. Although the development of the colonized territories was gaining speed, shortages became a common occurrence. As a result, the Gaian Colonial Authority initiated a series of rationing programs aimed at reducing the demand for food and supplies, giving colonial authorities time to increase the production of foodstuffs and supplies. The rationing programs were immensely unpopular among the colonists across the colonized territories, as they became more strict. Clashes often occurred between disgruntled colonists and local security forces. It became evident that reform was needed for the continued existence of the colonies. The increasing need to reform the Colonial Authority led to the passing of the Sora Agreement.
Shortly after the establishment of the main colonies and settlements, representatives from various territories administered by the Gaian Colonial Authority met in Sora to discuss the end of the colonial system. The Sora Agreement was eventually created and the Imperial Federation of Gaia was born. The new country was administered from the country's temporary capital, Sora. Under the agreement, the colonial system of rule was ended and the colonies were unified into a single country. Following the unification, the government ordered the construction of major infrastructure projects across the country, in order to boost the economy and to better link the towns.
Following the years after the establishment of the Imperial Federation of Gaia, Emperor Isamu orders a frontier settlement program, in an effort the expand the country. The initial settlement program expands the country into the northeastern reaches. Under the Eastern Settlement Act, government incentives such as tax breaks and jobs opportunities were implemented in order to intensify the speed of settlement. The initial settlement program faced only a few minor difficulties, the most severe being the skirmishes along the expanding frontier with warlords from the north. This eventually led to the construction of a series of border defence posts and the creation of the Public Security Bureau. Massive infrastructure projects followed the expansion. Superhighways, National North-South (N-1) and National West-East (N-2) were built during this era. The construction of the country's new capital also began during this period. The construction of Chukyo continued on for decades and would become one of the world's largest planned cities.
During the initial settlement program, the frontier lands were a clashing point between the fledgling Gaian Defence Forces and the armies of the northern warlords. Gaia's expansion northwards and eastwards would continue to be unhindered until the present day borders were established.
The New Era
The New Era brought about unprecedented changes to the nation and the people. Waves of advancements swept the across nation, fueled by government and private investments. Technological advancements altered the fabric of the country, from the average household to largest companies. The country's rail networks were largely built during this time, as the need to transport people and goods greatly increased. Numerous scientific breakthroughs also occurred in the medical field. HR Pharmaceuticals developed nano-machines capable of negating the effects of most harmful cancers during this era. Some lesser, but notable advancements also included stronger and more durable concrete, the discovery of new alloys, limited human augmentation, and the improvement of eco fuels.
A state of energy self-sufficiency was achieved by the 2900's as the country's latest fusion power generating facilities came online. During this same era, plans were being drawn for a large scale energy generation project in space. The large surplus of energy indirectly influenced the creation of a culture and architectural style centered around the use of lights. It also led to the expansion of the country's burgeoning telecommunications network.
In 3054, the Northern Rebellion broke out in the northern prefectures of Gaia. The rebellion acted as a precursor to the passing of the Imperial Union Act.
Following the Northern Rebellion, Emperor Hiroshi, initiated a series of political and administrative reforms that culminated in the creation of the Imperial Union Act. The Act was passed overwhelmingly in the two chambers of parliament and was signed into law by the Emperor, creating the Imperial Union of Gaia. The Imperial Union Act reallocated powers in the government, divided the country accordingly into different administrative zones, and created a more centralized state.
Shorty after Emperor Choei abdicated the throne for retirement, Crown Princess Satomi ascended the throne to become the Empress of Gaia. Following her ascension to power, Her Imperial Majesty began a series of economic, education, and health reforms, with cooperation from the Gaian parliament. As a result of her reforms the economy expanded significantly within the first few years of her rule. The industrial sector benefited the most from these reforms, as corporate tax rates hit an all time low. Thousands of kilometres of road and rail were also built as part of the effort to boost the economy. The education and health system in the country also benefited immensely, as hundreds of new schools and hospitals were built. In order to execute these reforms, funding for the military was drastically cut. Numerous army units were disbanded or put on hold, and multiple naval vessels were dry docked. These numerous reforms to Gaian society and governance became known as the Satomi Restoration, along with her years as monarch, and became one of the most defining eras in Gaian history.
Following the National Elections of 3353, Gregory Wong of the Liberal Gaia Party is elected as the country's new Prime Minister, with an astonishing 78% majority in the Imperial Assembly. Following his election, a new omnibus bill was drafted. Known as the "Gaia Omnibus Bill", this bill includes a wide range of political reforms. Reforms began in 3355, with the expansion of the powers of the Imperial Assembly and the creation of new electoral districts to better represent the populace.
Economic Recession of the 3350's
The economy was reaching new heights of prosperity before the 3350's. But as the new decade dawned, discrepancies in the country's supply system began to adversely affect both state and public corporations. The recession took a turn for the worse during the mid 3350's, as the governments treasury numbers dropped below the mandated minimum. Measures were put into place by the Ministry of Industry, Commerce and Trade during the late 3350's to streamline the supply system and to erase inefficiencies regarding trade policies. Steady recovery of the economy began shortly afterwards. Government revenue, and corporate incomes have risen dramatically following the recession of the 3350's.
Decades of Prosperity
From beginning of 3360, the economy of the country began a trend of rapid growth. This was fueled by new foreign investments and large-scale government infrastructure projects. Foreign investments came as the government halted the creation of state corporations and began to attract potential companies to invest in the country. Large infrastructure projects across the country helped attract much of the foreign investment. Hundreds of new schools and dozens of new hospitals were built from 3370 to 3390. Hundreds of kilometres of roads and rail lines were also built during these years. New legislation was passed regarding the increase of social security payments as well. This was partially due to the increase of government revenue.
The decade of 3410 saw an increase in military size as the government moved forward with its decades long planned expansion of the defence forces. It involved putting weapons and ammunition quality at the forefront of the plan and upgrading current units became a major priority. Under the strategy of "Flexible Spending", the procurement of new military units changes every year to match the current economic situation. This ensures the ever growing economy is protected from the impact of major purchases. By 3420 upwards to 30 destroyers were added to the Homeland Defence Fleet, which had shrunk significantly since the budget cutbacks of 3300. This was followed by the reopening of numerous naval stations by the Ministry of Defence to support the Navy.
The Nationalist Party of Gaia wins the 3425 National Elections with an astonishing majority, its leader Fumiko Yoshida becomes the Prime Minister. She is expected to continue many policies set by her predecessors, most notably the military buildup. Political analysts speculate that changes to immigration laws are to occur.
A system wide depression occurred during the late 3430's until the early 3440's. As early as 3438, a massive economic downturn hits the solar system. Reports of declining economic welfare and health come in from every planet, include Kebir Blue. Early reports from the Ministry of Industry, Commerce and Trade give a grim outlook for the future. The current downturn surpasses the recession of 3350. The Imperial Government passes fiscal restriction measures, which includes an indefinite halt to military procurement programs and foreign investment. By 3442 the economy begins to slowly recover as foreign investment increases and government owned corporations are required to turn over more of their profits to the government.
On May 11, 3452 an earthquake measuring 6.4 on the Richter Scale occurs 4 kilometres off the eastern coast of Eastern Province. The cities of Richmond and Yangcheng in Dongnan District are hit the hardest. Dongnan District and parts of Elizabeth District are put into an state of emergency shortly afterwards. Damage to the French Bay Bridge impedes the recovery efforts, which results in the Gaian Defence Forces Engineer Corps being deployed to fix parts of the bridge for temporary use. May 11, 3453 marked the 1 year anniversary of the earthquake. A moment of silence was held across the country at 9:00am to commemorate the event. The earthquake was one of the deadliest in the Imperial Union's history.
In response to the relatively slow growth of the economy, the Government of Gaia began a restructuring of state owned corporations, which began in 3458. Numerous corporations were either closed or restructured to be more efficient. As a result government income rose and state corporations became more profitable.September 3, 3465 marked the 200th anniversary of the signing of the Imperial Union Act, which dissolved the Imperial Federation of Gaia and formally established its successor, the Imperial Union of Gaia. Plans for the bicentennial were underway as early as 3458, which began with the construction of the Sceptre of Gaia, an enormous tower overlooking Sora. Numerous festivities were held across the country during the weeks following the bicentennial. During the week of the bicentennial access to the capital was controlled by the authorities and all holographic billboards were put under government control in order to display celebratory messages and announcements. On the day of the bicentennial, large parades were held across the country, with the largest of them being in Chukyo. The Chukyo Gaia Day parade featured extravagant floats from various organizations and military hardware from the Gaian Defence Forces. Large scale light shows were also orchestrated over the skies of Sora and Chukyo by the ships from Gaian Naval Defence Forces. The light shows began with the Sceptre of Gaia firing a large beam of light into the night sky, that could been seen from as far as the capital. Gaia Day/Bicentennial celebrations ended with elaborate fireworks displays lighting up the skies of the country following a nationwide address by the Empress.
The beginning of 3470, saw the Nationalist Party gain complete dominance in the Imperial Assembly under its new leader, Prime Minister Yoshiko Kayabuki. The 3470 National Elections also saw the Green Party and Ascendance rise in popularity and Liberal Gaia losing much of its support. Prime Minister Kayabuki began her term, just as an economic downturn started to loom over the country. By 3475, her government successfully gets the country out of the economic downturn, mainly due to her economic policies which expanded state owned corporations and reduced the country's reliance on foreign corporations. She became one of the most travelled Prime Ministers in the history of the Imperial Union, when she went on a tour of allied nations in 3474 to foster greater diplomatic relations. Large scale military procurement began in 3477, when the government authorized the spending of tens of billions of Imperial Credits on the purchase of military hardware for the Gaian Defence Forces. In a controlled manner, the Gaian government continued to spend even more on and by the end 3479, well over a trillion Imperial Credits were spent on the military buildup, becoming one of the largest military buildups in Gaian history.
In 3483, the Imperial Union of Gaia signed the Economic Cooperation and Investment Treaty, ushering in an era of economic cooperation and prosperity with the other signatories, the Republic of White Highlands, the Republic of Romanam and the Socialist Union of Mandarr.
On November 12, 3497 Gaian Defence Forces crossed the border into Picara and begin its War of Liberation. It was the first time the GDF had participated in a War of Liberation and within days the 31st Armoured Division, the 11th Mechanized Division and units of the Survey Corps descended upon the Picaran capital. With the capture of the capital and a majority of the country complete, a pro-Soviet government led by the Picaran people was installed. By 3498 a majority of the Gaian Defence Forces withdrew, leaving behind a liberated country led by the its own people.
The Nationalist Party under its new leader, Cornelius Jiang, wins the 3500 National Elections continuing the party's political dominance in the Imperial Assembly. When a global recession hits Gaia in 3510, the Prime Minister puts forward the Emergency Economic Measures Act. The act resulted in the restructuring of state owned corporations and further diversification of the economy. While the economy was gradually recovering, a magnitude 7.1 earthquake strikes off the coast of Western Province on September 15, 3519, severely hampering the economic recovery. The earthquake and the subsequent tsunami became one of the worst disasters in Gaian history, causing untold amounts of damage along the country's western coastline. The death toll was significantly reduced as a result of the rapid reaction of the Gaian Emergency Relief Agency. GERA activated the regions emergency broadcast system moments after the earthquake was detected and confirmed; emergency alerts were sent to all electronic devices within the region, which reduced the loss of life from the subsequent tsunami. The 3530 National Elections is expected to become one of the most contested elections in Gaian history, as the economic recovery efforts waned under the governance of Prime Minister Jiang.
The Gaian economy rebounds in 3530 as private investments in the country increased and recent government investments in allied countries began to payoff. 3530 also marked a new era of governance in Gaia, as the long time Nationalist political dynasty falters in the 3530 National Elections, resulting in a majority government led by a coalition comprised of Liberal Gaia and Ascendance, known as the Liberal-Ascendance Coalition, under the leadership of Prime Minister Samuel Chan. In 3531, his government announced that it will set aside 6 trillion Imperial Credits for upgrades to the armed forces, and the country's vital infrastructure.
By 3549, the Gaian economy recovers to its pre-downturn normalcy. Recent investments in the country's infrastructure has helped to boost the relatively stagnant economy.
On Dec 10 3550, Empress Satomi announced her intentions of abdicating the throne within a year, in favour of the coronation of her daughter, Crown Princess Isabella. The Crown Princess enjoyed provisional powers until her ascension on January 5, 3555.
On January 5, 3555 Crown Princess Isabella ascends the throne after her mother's abdication. Her mother is credited with the transformation of the country's economy, healthcare and education system, the expansion of diplomatic relations, and the buildup of the military. The coronation of Crown Princess was attended by many world leaders, most notably the Aquitanian and Ruthenian Imperial Families.
Sakuya Yanagi of the Nationalist Party wins the 3559 National Elections, establishing a majority Nationalist government. Since gaining power, she has tabled new defence legislation and has stated her intent to expand existing diplomatic relations. Her role as Prime Minister had raised some controversy, since she is a member of one of the Seven Appointed Noble Families, the House of Yanagi. Her first act as Prime Minister, was the mobilization of the GDF for allied defence operations on Kebir Blue.
The 3560s saw the Gaian Defence Forces being deployed into multiple peacekeeping operations, most notably the Arendale intervention and the Tactical Rock peacekeeping operation. This decade also saw the economy stabilize, but with little growth. Large-scale infrastructure projects were initiated by the Gaian government in 3564, in an effort to provide a boost to the stagnant economy.
3565 marked the 300th anniversary of Gaia. Numerous festivals and parades were organized for Gaia Day 3565, in what has become one of the largest nationwide celebrations in Gaian history. The main parade in Chukyo featured shows from the Gaian Defence Forces and numerous cultural organizations. The parade was also notable for the participation of allied countries, such as the Soviet RSFSR, Ossory, Romanam, Greenwood, Mandarr, and offworld allies such as Aquitania and Ruthenia. The Empress made a brief speech from the city of Sora during Gaia Day, congratulating the populace for their contributions to the nation and the world. She ended the speech praising the efforts of Gaia and its allies. On June 1, 3570, Empress Isabella ordered the cessation of all liberation operations conducted by the Gaian Defence Forces. The maintenance of overseas bases remains undetermined, as the country recalls all of its non-essential military personnel serving overseas. Her Imperial Majesty released a statement shortly afterwards, stating that this will not affect Gaia's defence commitments abroad, as the order only nullifies the country's current offensive operations.
The Nationalist Party remains in power as the country's dominate political party after the 3577 National Elections. Ichiro Hayashi is sworn in as the new Prime Minister, as the previous incumbent Sakuya Yanagi, reached her term limit. Prime Minister Hayashi introduces a multitude of economic stimulus plans in order to jump start the stagnant Gaian economy during his first year in office in 3577. By 3579, the Gaian economy began to show signs of growth, with the country's financial index and national income rising rapidly. From 3585 onwards, the country began to change its foreign policy, adopting much more isolationist policies.
On May 3, 3599, Gaia was struck by a magnitude 7.5 earthquake, one of the strongest to hit the country in its recent history. In 3623, Gaia annexes its eastern neighbour, which more than doubles the country's landmass.
In 3701, the Nationalist Party and the newly formed Social Democratic Party form a coalition government, the first in well over a century. The coalition government would face its first real test in 3709, when a magnitude 7.9 earthquake and tsunami strikes the country.
The Social Democratic Party, in a coalition with the Green Party, defeats the Nationalist Party in the general election of 3726, ending their centuries long dominance of the lower house. A series of economic reforms aimed at creating a more efficient economy are launched shortly afterwards, with general support from most parties.
On March 11, 3745, missiles fired by ships belonging to US Gamora stuck a Tadokoro Services facility in Eastern Gaia, leading to the deaths of 2686 people. The Soviet Federation dissolves a few decades later and Gaia is admitted into the Pnakotic Congressional Order, its successor.
On January 11, 3942, a magnitude 6.2 earthquake struck Mizuho Prefecture.
Gaia is situated in the central portion of the Austral Bergo region of Centura Donna. The country borders the Austral Mountain chain to the north and the Centura Sea to the south. Gaia almost entirely lies on flat terrain, with highlands and mountains located mainly in the northern and eastern sections of the country.
Grasslands comprise nearly a quarter of Gaia's landmass and form some of the country's largest tracts of arable land. Gaia's boreal forests are predominantly comprised of conifers such as spruce, and are home to a multitude of animal and plant life. Deciduous trees such as maple and oak, are also interspersed throughout the forests.
The Chiheisen Mountains in the northeast contain some the highest mountains in the country. Mount Leblanc, named after the Colonial Era explorer Jean-Pierre Leblanc, has an elevation of approximately 3300 metres and is the tallest mountain in Gaia. It is a popular skiing destination during the winter months and is also a popular destination for hikers and mountain climbers during the warmer months of the year.
Gaia is located in a relatively active geological area, with a number of particularly active faults lying approximately 400km offshore in the Centura Sea. Earthquakes are a fairly common occurrence in the region, as are tsunamis from offshore earthquakes. Recent major earthquakes to strike Gaia include the 3895 Nadahama earthquake and tsunami, which resulted in 19,143 deaths, and the magnitude 7.4 Austral earthquake, which struck the region on December 5 3972.
The climate of Gaia is predominantly temperate and mild, with temperatures ranging from a low of around -15ºC to a high of around 30ºC. Precipitation is plentiful and is fairly spread out across the country, although coastal regions receive a slightly higher amount of precipitation annually. The rainy season typically starts in late September and can last up to late April. Prevailing winds approach the country from the southerly direction, causing stormy conditions along the coast of the country during the late summer and early autumn months. On average, Gaia receives considerably more precipitation than other countries on the continent, as a result of the country's location on the windward side of the Austral Mountain Range.
Summers are usually mild throughout the country, with temperatures reaching a high of no more than 28ºC. Heavy snowfall occurs during the winter months, with the most snow falling in the northern regions of the country. Polar air masses from the north have caused blizzard like conditions as far south as Shiraishi, on the country's southern coastline.
Since the New Era, the country has made strides in preserving and protecting the environment. Rapid industrialization and urbanization during the New Era has resulted in mass deforestation and the disappearance of many wetlands. However, afforestation programs and the establishment of ecological preserves have recovered much of the lost woodlands and wetlands.
Since the New Era, the government has focused on promoting a green policies throughout the country. Green initiatives include LED street lighting in cities, and next generation electrical grids. Because the use of fossil fuels is non-existent, even before the Great Migration, the country's air quality is quite high and mostly pollution free. Environmental issues such as light pollution continue to persist.
Gaia is a world leader when it comes to the development of new environmentally friendly technologies. Innovations include biofuels and pollution eliminating nanobots.
Government and Politics
See also: Government of Gaia
Gaia is a unitary parliamentary monarchy. Empress Ryoko is the head of state of Gaia. Executive powers are exercised by the Empress and are delegated to the Prime Minister and his Cabinet.
The Gaian Parliament meets in the Imperial Parliamentary Complex in Chukyo. The Parliament of Gaia is bicameral, consisting of an upper house, the Imperial Senate, and a lower house, the Imperial Assembly. The latter has 400 seats that allocated based on the results from general elections. Senators are appointed by the monarch based on their own discretion, and from recommendations made by the Prime Minister. Senators are limited to a 6 year term. The Prime Minister and Members of Parliament (Imperial Assembly) do not serve on a fixed term, but they traditionally serve 5 year terms before elections are called. Additionally, there is no limit to the number of terms a Prime Minister, Member of Parliament, or Sentor may serve. The Prime Minister is chosen by the members of the Imperial Assembly and appointed by the monarch. Voting is compulsory for those between the ages of 18 and 65 during national elections, and there is universal suffrage for citizens and permanent residents aged 18 and over.
The Nationalist Party currently has majority seats in the Imperial Assembly. The current Prime Minister is Kazuhiro Shiraishi. The governing party's agenda largely focuses on economic development.
Each prefecture also has a legislature to govern their local affairs, although their powers are somewhat limited. Prefectures are ruled by governors, who are elected in local elections. Gaia's only special region, Eastern Gaia, is led by a Chief Representative, who is elected by members of Eastern Gaia's Regional Assembly.
|Nationalist Party||Kazuhiro Shiraishi||208||Centrism, Gaian nationalism|
|Social Democratic Party||Machiko Yoshida||111||Social democracy, Progressivism|
|Liberal Gaia||Nao Nishizawa||37||Social liberalism, Gaian liberalism|
|Green Party||Minako Abe||20||Green politics|
|Akatsuki||Takasugi Shimura||19||Conservative, Gaian nationalism|
|Diagram out of date|
See also: Imperial House of Gaia.
Gaia is ruled by a monarchy, under Empress Ryoko, from the country's seat of power in Chukyo. Although Gaia is technically an absolute monarchy, power is delegated to the Parliament of Gaia, which is comprised of the Imperial Senate and the Imperial Assembly. It is also up to the members of the Imperial Assembly to nominate the Prime Minister, not the reigning monarch. In regards to the parliament, the reigning monarch is responsible for the appointment of Senators for the Imperial Senate and the approval of legislation and new Prime Ministers. Despite the fact that absolute power is vested in the monarchy, the reigning monarch must abide to basic principles and guidelines outlined in the Imperial Family's Book of Governance. Also outlined in the book are the rules regarding the line of succession in the Imperial Family. The eldest child of the reign monarch, regardless of gender, is the heir apparent to the throne of the Imperial Union.
The official residence of the Imperial Family is Celestial Imperial Palace in Chukyo, other residences of the Imperial Family include the Sora Estate in Sora, and Migiwa Palace in Elizabeth. The Office of the Imperial Household is responsible for the maintenance and upkeep of the residences and properties exclusively owned by the Imperial Family. The Office of the Imperial Household also oversees the daily operation of the Imperial Guard, which answers directly to the reigning monarch. The Imperial Guard is responsible for the security and safety of the members of the Imperial Family. They can also be deployed to combat situations by a Imperial Decree.
Gaia is a unitary state that currently has ten prefectures and a special region. The country's prefectures are governed by a governor. Prefectures are semi-autonomous. They are responsible for programs such as healthcare and education. In 3920, the restructuring of administrative divisions led to the dissolution of the remaining provinces and the merger of numerous prefectures into the current ten prefectures. The Gaian government is currently continuing the process of restructuring the country's administrative divisions, which could result in the creation of new prefectures throughout the country.
|2||Constitution of Gaia|
The Gaian monarchy, with its Book of Governance, and the Gaian Constitution, form the basis of all laws within Gaia. The Supreme Court of Gaia serves as the highest court of law in the country, with monarchs being unable to intervene in its matters unless national interests are at risk or are being undermined. Laws are uniform across Gaia, except for prefectural bylaws. Officially there is a death penalty in Gaia, but there has been an official moratorium on its use since the reign of Empress Satomi. With numerous crime prevention programs, and a well funded support network, Gaia has one of the lowest crime rates in the world.
Laws in Gaia exist in a hierarchical structure, with Imperial Decrees issued by the monarch taking precedence over all other laws. National laws enacted by the Gaian Parliament are subject to judicial review by the Supreme Court of Gaia, which makes sure they are constitutionally sound. While prefectural laws are subject to the judicial review of the provincial courts. The country's national policing agency is the Public Security Bureau (PSB).
Main article: Foreign Relations of Gaia
Gaia is a member of the Pnakotic Congressional Order and the UniSov World Trade Common Market. The country's first embassies opened in the Federal Empire of Lusitania and the Aquitanian Empire. Today, Gaia maintains embassies in most allied countries. Gaia's largest embassies are in the People's Republic of Malizi and the Aquitanian Empire, where strong diplomatic ties exist and in the case of Malizi, it is also due to the country's enormous landmass. The country also operates interest sections in most Aquitanian embassies since 3439.
Gaia continues to open up more diplomatic relationships with other countries, as part of a government initiative to expand the country's diplomatic relationships and to expand the country's political influence abroad. As part of those efforts, Gaia operates Kebir Blue's largest disaster relief network, resulting in the country being ranked the largest disaster relief supplier on Kebir Blue. Foreign policy is the responsibility of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, which has to seek the approval of both chambers of Parliament and Her Imperial Majesty before important decisions are made. For the most part, foreign policy is dictated by the reigning monarch.
Main article: Gaian Defence Forces.
The armed forces of Gaia are collectively known as the Gaian Defence Forces. They are comprised of two branches: The Gaian Ground Defence Force and the Gaian Naval Defence Force. These branches are managed jointly by the Ministry of Defence and Her Imperial Majesty. The commander in chief of the Gaian Defence Forces is the monarch of Gaia, to whom the members of the armed forces swear allegiance. Military service is voluntary, although limited conscription may occur in wartime. As of 3896, the Gaian Defence Forces had 532,762 military personnel on active duty, with another 26,638 in the reserves.
Since the mid 3470's, the strength of the Gaian Defence Forces has growth considerably. Along with the rapid growth of the country's armed forces, came an large increase in the country's military expenditures. In the recent decades, most of the military's expenditures has come from the large scale procurement efforts undertaken on behalf of the Gaian Ground Defence Force. The Ground Defence Force has since doubled in size and has become the largest military ground force in the region. Under the successive Nationalist governments, the Gaian Defence Forces has seen a gradual increase in military capabilities. Current government policy restricts the military to defensive roles if deployed abroad.
Gaia has a mixed economy, with a high degree of government oversight. It is the 4th largest economy in terms of GDP, and has the 2nd highest GDP per capita (PPP) in the Soviet Federation. The economy of the country is highly developed and is based heavily on the industrial and high tech sectors. The New Era age brought about much of today's economic growth and infrastructure. In fact, many of the country's corporations were created during the New Era. The latter decades of the New Era saw the government largely ignore military spending in favour of economic growth and prosperity. Government regulations concerning economic practices are in place to help guide the country's ever growing economy. Since the economic downturn of 3350, the government has made numerous attempts to create a economy that is more and more efficient, and as a result the economy has grown considerably and is thriving.
As a mixed economy, Gaia hosts variety of state-owned and private corporations. State-owned corporations, known as charted corporations, make up more than half of the registered corporations in the country. Many of these chartered corporations are managed and co-owned by family-owned business conglomerates headed by the Gaian nobility. The top five conglomerates are significant contributors to the Gaian economy, and have subsidiaries operating in nearly every sector of the economy, from agriculture to trade. In recent years, foreign owned corporations share of the economy has been steadily declining, as their entry into the economy has been increasingly limited in favour of relatively more stable domestic corporations.
Gaia is a member of the UniSov World Trade Common Market. As much as 40% of the country's exports and 41% of imports, are tied the common market. Trade with members of the common market has increased over the years, as Gaia tries to distance itself from the volatile world market. A majority of foreign enterprises operating in Gaia also originate from the country's common market. As part of its efforts to ensure continued economic growth and prosperity, Gaia actively pursues economic cooperation with its federal and common market allies.
Gaia is also one of the world's largest creditor nations, with global investments in the trillions and loans provided in the billions, most of which is a result of the government's enormous surpluses. This is likely to continue, as the country hopes to increase investments abroad. The ratifying of the Economic Cooperation and Investment Treaty in 3484, greatly contributed to the rise of overseas investments made by the Gaian government. Today, the country owns a substantial percentage of shares in foreign corporations operating in federal allies.
Gaia has a 10% corporate tax rate and Eastern Gaia has a 0% corporate tax rate.
As much as 45% of energy in Gaia is produced from fusion reactors, an estimated 25% from the country's orbital solar array system, which is yet to be fully operational, and another 30% from sources such hydro power, and geothermal power plants. Increased energy consumption nationwide, especially from the industrial sector, has prompted the country's energy providers to promote reduced consumption and to invest in new sources of energy.
A large network of interconnected expressways and roadways link cities across country. The largest expressways date back from the Expansion Era, the National North-South (N-1) and the National West-East (N-2), although these roadways are fairly old they are still being used to a great extent as they have been extensively upgraded. The country's large network of roadways is expected to expand as the amount of automobiles increase. In order to decrease the need for new roads the government has continued to expand the country's high speed rail network.Railways are an important means of transportation in Gaia. Since the beginning of the Expansion Era, rail transportation has become an important aspect of everyday life in Gaia. Because railways can transport large amounts of passengers and cargo with great speeds, numerous monarchs have emphasized the development of rail infrastructure, thus resulting in an extensive and modern rail network. An extensive network of maglev lines connects most of the country's major cities and towns. The government owned Gaia Railways operates the bulk of the country's vast railway network. Gaia Railways also operates shopping centres inside many of their main rail terminals. They provide the company with supplemental income that can be spent on improvements to the rail network as well as assist them with their daily maintenance operations. Maglev lines in the country receive thousands of riders a day, which sometimes causes delays on the main lines, such as on the busy Chuo Main Line. Recent expansions to the country's rail network include a new north-south maglev line between Niihama, Chukyo and Coral.
Air travel has become an important mode of transportation in Gaia and has quickly become the primary way of entering the country. Almost every major city in the country has an airport to serve its needs. The country's largest domestic airport, Sora International Airport, is the region's second busiest airport, the busiest being Migiwa International Gateway in Elizabeth. Takada International Airport (Chukyo), Sora International Airport (Sora) and Migiwa International Gateway (Elizabeth), serve as the country's major ports of entry, with each airport handling a bulk of foreign travelers entering the country. Gaia Airlines, Sora Airways, and Celestial Galactic are the largest airlines in Gaia. All airlines and aerospace transport companies operating in Gaia are regulated by the Gaian Aerospace Transportation Agency. GATA manages the country's air corridors set by the Ministry of Transport. GATA is also responsible for the inspection of aircraft and spacecraft within the country. Space travel in Gaia has seen a increase since the completion of Migiwa Spaceport within the Migiwa International Gateway and the establishment of relations with the Aquitanian Empire.
Gaia possesses one of the world's most advanced telecommunications networks. GaiaNet can trace its origins back to the networks that were used for communicating between Migration Era colonial vessels. The development of GaiaNet began during the early decades of the New Era, when a joint research project was initiated by the Ministry of Defence and the Research and Development Agency. GaiaNet's initial purpose was to provide the military and the county's government agencies with an unrivalled high speed communications network and an operating system for its administrative systems and computing devices. By the conclusion of the New Era, GaiaNet had been released to the general public and had quickly evolved to include social networking capabilities. GaiaNet service is distributed in the country by various service providers. The management of GaiaNet and its continued innovation is the responsibility of the RDA. Today, GaiaNet is widely used by the populace of Gaia and is integrated in almost every aspect of life.
Science and technology
Gaia is a leading nation in scientific research and advancements, particularly in the fields of technology, robotics and medical research. The country maintains a fairly substantial research and development budget, which is shared amongst the numerous research and development agencies and organizations in the country. Advances in technology has substantially increased the country's standard of living and has proven to be a catalyst for economic growth and prosperity. Approximately two-fifths of the country's economy is categorized as high tech, making it a significant contributor to the county's economy.
Founded during the infancy of the New Era technological boom, the Research and Development Agency has become the driving force in the country's research and development sector. The RDA is responsible for research and development across a wide variety of fields of study, ranging from agricultural research to engineering. The agency has been responsible for numerous technological advances and innovations, most notably GaiaNet. The RDA also played a major role in the development of domestic space travel technology, which spurred the development of the country's infrastructure systems and created the environment in which many aerospace corporations were founded. Today, the RDA works in a close partnership with the Gaian Outer Space Exploration Agency to further the efforts in space development. Through the partnership, the RDA operates research modules aboard GOSEA space stations such as the Hinode.
The Gaian Outer Space Exploration Agency (GOSEA) is the country's primary space exploration agency. The agency operates from the Kosumosu Space Center on the island of Kaguyashima, off the coast of the Austral Bergo Region. It conducts space, aerospace and aviation research and is responsible for the development of aerospace technologies. Since 3330's, the agency has been launching research probes into the stellar reaches in hopes of finding life and other habitable planets. GOSEA is at the forefront of Gaian space development, today the agency operates numerous research facilities across the country and has partnerships with the Coral Institute of Technology and the Research and Development Agency.
Gaia is one of the most populous nations in the Austral Bergo Region, with an estimated population of 90,571,388, which is gradual increase from the previous nationwide censuses. A majority of the growth in the population comes from natural growth, and to a lesser extent, immigration from foreign countries. Immigration accounts for little of the country's population growth, because of strict immigration laws which prevents most foreign residents from becoming citizens. As a result, Gaian society is largely homogeneous, with approximately 93% of the population being ethnic Gaian. Foreign nationals account for approximately 1.1% of the population. The median age in the country is 34 years old and the average household size is around 6 people. Housing remains a special issue in many prefectures, as the increasing population and the governments two-child policy has caused higher demand for homes. Due to recent advances in medical technology, the average Gaian is living for a much longer period of time. As a result the healthcare and social services systems will have to adjust in the coming decades to meet the populations demands.
Approximately 85% of the population lives in urban areas. Most of the population lives near the country's coastline, in the Western, Central and Eastern Provinces. The Eastern Province is the by far the country's most sparsely populated province. The capital, Chukyo, is the country's largest city, with approximately 3.8 million inhabitants. The Chukyo Capital Region, of which Chukyo is part of, has 6.5 million inhabitants, making it the largest metropolitan area in the Austral Bergo Region. Other major cities include, Miyako(3.4 million), Hamasaki(3.2 million) and Fukuroku(1.6 million).
Approximately 95% of the population owns or uses mobile devices on a daily basis. As a result, the government along with the country's telecommunications companies spend substantial amounts of money yearly to maintain and expand the country's telecommunications infrastructure. Around 7 in 10 Gaians owns an automobile. This is mainly due to the fact that the need to own a car is relatively low as a result of the country's well developed national and local rail networks.
Gaia is a fairly urbanized country. A majority of its population live in the 40 designated cities, four of which are designated as Special Cities.
|Language||Percentage of Speakers|
|*Taught in all Gaian schools (Standard Gaian and English are the only mandatory language classes)
**Taught in some Gaian schools
Gaian is the official language of Gaia. Spoken and written Gaian are both officially known as Standard Gaian, which is based on the dialect used in the western prefectures of Gaia. However, Standard Gaian is commonly used to refer to written rather than spoken Gaian. Most regional dialects of Gaian only have minor differences in pronunciation and/or writing.
Since the government reformations of 3260, the country has exercised unofficial bilingualism with Gaian and English. An estimated 96% of the population is fluent in both languages, as a result a majority of the country's signage is in both languages. They are also the only two languages that are mandatory in the curriculum of the Gaian education system. Optional languages taught in schools include French, Austral Bergonian, and Aquitanian.
Standard Gaian is comprised of thousands of characters with different meanings and are combined to form phrases and sentences. The language is also unique, in that it uses a system of honorifics for everyday speech and writing. Compared to other languages, Standard Gaian is relatively difficult to learn or master. As a result, a majority of the population also uses English. English print is common on signage throughout Gaia, with bilingual signage being mandatory on national and provincial roadways, as well as public spaces and buildings.
Minority languages in Gaia include Austral Bergonian, which are protected by law. These languages are taught in regions where their number of speakers are significant, such as the northern areas of the country.
Public education in Gaia is compulsory until the end of secondary school, at the age of eighteen, and is completely free. The Ministry of Education is responsible for regulating the country's education system, while provincial and local government are responsible for delivering the education. Prior to elementary school children attend kindergarten or day care centres, where they are prepped for elementary school. Options for higher education exist after secondary school, but are voluntary. Roughly 90% of secondary school graduates attend a higher education institution, which includes universities, colleges and trades schools. Post-secondary education is fully subsidized by the government, which means education is free in Gaia for domestic students. The country's world-class education system attracts many international students from a wide range of countries. Virtually every school in the country hosts some form of international exchange program with schools abroad. Additionally, the country's free education system applies to students originating from countries that are federal allies.
The most prestigious higher education institutions in Gaia, include University of Chukyo and the Niihama Institute of Technology.
Healthcare in Gaia is provided for by provincial governments, with oversight and regulation from the national government. Strict standards are put into place by the national government to ensure the highest quality of medical care possible. Access to the medical system is paid for by the government, as part of its universal healthcare laws. Healthcare costs are subsidized by the government sponsored health insurance plan. All residents of Gaia are required by law to have health insurance coverage, which allows access to preventive, curative, and rehabilitative services at an affordable cost or at no cost at all. At birth, all citizens receive a multipurpose ID card, known as GaiaID. Along with other purposes, this ID contains information regarding the health of the cardholder, which significantly aids in the efficiency of the healthcare system.
By law, all medical clinics and facilities in the country must be run by non-profit organizations, such as provincial and local governments. Special exemptions apply for medical facilities located in the country's Special Economic Zones. Hospitals inside these zones are permitted to operate as for-profit organizations. Since the healthcare reforms at the beginning of Empress Satomi's reign, these for-profit organizations have been under increasing scrutiny and tighter regulation.
Medical facilities in Gaia lead the world in health and biotechnology innovations. Research of treatments and cures at medical facilities across the country are funded by both private and government sources. As a result of the country's high quality healthcare system, Gaia is rapidly becoming a favoured destination for medical tourists worldwide. As of 3533, the Ministry of Health and Welfare has permitted two private hospitals within the Machanto Special Economic Zone to operate as international medical centres.
Gaian culture draws influences from a broad range of constituent ethnic groups that form the population of the country. Gaian culture is largely derived from traditions and values of its most prominent ethnic groups. The Ministry of Culture, Tourism and Sports actively promotes Gaian culture in the country and abroad in foreign nations.
The mass industrialization, urbanization and technological advancement of the country has brought many changes to the way the Gaian people live. Changing lifestyles have led to many people to migrate to urban centres and as a result of higher housing prices in the larger cities, many households today contain many generations of family members living together.
The architectural landscape of Gaia has changed over the ages, as a result of technological advancement and urban renewal. Gaian architecture is characterized by its sleek building designs, the extensive use of glass, and its soothing interior designs.
The Colonial Era's architecture focused on purpose and space for the most part. Buildings were constructed with a variety of materials, intended to make them as strong as possible. Land was at a premium during this era, so many buildings were built with the idea of maximizing existing spaces. Extra spaces on buildings were often covered with electronic billboards or lighting fixtures. Lighting would play a major role in this era's architecture and beyond.
During the New Era, many cities began mass urban renewal projects. The resulting buildings were often constructed with integration with technology and eco-friendly lighting concepts in mind. The largest mass urban renewal project to date occurred in the capital, Chukyo. Large boulevards were built throughout the city and a large array of buildings showcasing Gaian architecture was commissioned by the government. The city became one of the world's largest planned cities as a result. It was also during this era that many aspects of modern Gaian architecture was starting to take place. Because of the aesthetic appeal of glass, it had been used for centuries in Gaian architecture. But it was only during the New Era, when technologies around glass making was taking off and it had became more feasible to use it on huge surfaces and in many different varieties of climates, that glass became more extensively used.
Today, modern Gaian architecture can be seen in many of the country's cities. With the growing economy and strict policies preventing cities from expanding into the countryside, many redevelopment projects are reshaping the skylines of many Gaian cities.
Gaian cuisine is highly diverse, drawing from a multitude of ancient cultures. Gaian cuisine is largely based upon staples such as rice, noodles, vegetables, seafood and meat. Traditional meals are often accompanied by various side dishes comprised of a diverse array of vegetables, seafood and meat. Popular seasonings used in dishes include soy sauce, ginger, soybean pastes, and a various seafood based sauces. As a result of the large assortment of ingredients and seasonings used, Gaian cuisine is noted for its diverse flavours. Seasonality also plays an important role in the cuisine of the country. This is most evident in the range of produce available in the countries markets and grocery stores throughout the year. Accordingly, the type of dishes available throughout the year are often dependent upon the season of the year.
Staple dishes vary across the country, region by region. Regions in the Western Province tend to specialize in seafood, due to their proximity to the ocean and lakes. Northern parts of the country specialize in hearty dishes such as noodles and dumplings. Cuisine in the eastern parts of the country generally feature meat as the centrepiece in meals. Regardless of location, rice is an important staple. Rice is usually accompanied by side dishes such as meat, fish and various vegetables. Noodles are also an important staple dish in the country. Noodles such as udon and ramen are very popular, especially during the cold winter months as is hot pot and many varieties of seasonal soups.The Niwa Roll (Garden Roll) is a popular type of sushi roll in the country, it is served widely at cafes, food stands and other types of restaurants. Popular drinks in the country include, teas such green tea. Coffee is also becoming an increasingly popular drink, due to the widespread popularity of cafes.
Due to the increasing popularity of cafes as gathering places and places of social interaction, foods such as pastries and cakes have been making their way into the Gaian diet. Because of the country's increasing interactions with foreign nations, foreign recipes have also made their way into Gaian diets, but because of strict border controls many chefs in the country have to make do with domestic ingredients rather than foreign ingredients. This has led to a unique fusion of foreign cuisines with Gaian cuisine at many high end restaurants in the country.
Gaian media consists of several different types of communications media. They include television, cinema and GaiaNet based services such as social networking, video, online newspapers and magazines. GaiaNet is the country's internal telecommunications network and is by far the most popular media source in the country. It is owned by the government but is licensed to service providers who distribute the service throughout the country.
Media has remained an important fixture of Gaian society. Media and information can be accessed within seconds, through computers, displays, and more. This has made advertising a very lucrative business. Several media corporations exist in the country. They provide broadcasting, and advertising services to the populace. The Gaia Broadcasting Service is the country's primary public broadcaster and is wholly government owned. The GBS broadcasts a variety of news and entertainment across the country. Its sister company, Gaia News Network, is responsible for international broadcasting services. Available in most allied countries, it provides news and information straight from Gaia. Both the GBS and the GNN are connected to the GaiaNet Emergency Broadcasting Network, which broadcasts emergency bulletins and announcements during states of emergencies and natural disasters to all capable electronic devices. The system was successfully utilized during the 3452 French Bay Earthquake, for regional evacuations.
The music of Gaia reflects many diverse influences that has shaped the country, and includes a wide array of composers and performers with their own distinctive styles. Popular music in Gaia has been heavily influenced by the country's media, most notably the anime industry. Gaia has one of the largest music markets on the continent, with most of the market dominated by Gaian artists.
Popular musical instruments in the country include the piano, flute and violin. Gaia is known for producing many talented pianists, flutists and violinists, as a result of the increasing popularity of those instruments and the increased availability of music programs in the country's schools.
Popular music in Gaia has been heavily influenced by the country's anime and media industries, which has led to the evolution of G-pop, also known as Gaian popular music. One of the most popular forms of musical expression in the country is karaoke. Karaoke is one of the country's most practiced cultural activities. It is especially popular amongst the youth as a pastime and for adults as a leisure activity.
Mother Gaia is the current National Anthem of Gaia. The anthem was composed in the Colonial Era during the initial times of hardship. Mother Gaia was reinstated as the national anthem in 3542, following a national referendum.
Popular sports played in Gaia include soccer, baseball and badminton. The de facto national sport of Gaia is considered to be badminton or soccer. Soccer is currently the most popular spectator sport in the country. Other popular sports include, figure skating, swimming and martial arts. Stadiums across the country provide venues for many different sports. Most major stadiums can be converted to host a variety of sports. The Ministry of Culture, Tourism and Sports provides financial assistance to Gaian athletes and assist in their training for international competitions. It also provides incentives for athletes to "go for gold" in international competitions. Gaian athletes are known for excelling at sports such as, figure skating, badminton, soccer and baseball.
Winter sports are also extremely popular throughout the country. Ski resorts on the Chiheisen Mountains provide prime destinations for tourists and locals alike, who wish to ski, skate or snowboard. Ice skating has also seen a large increase in popularity as a growing number of children are choosing it over other sports, as arenas have become more of a commonplace in cities across the country. The popularity of ice skating has also led increased popularity of other arena-based sports such as figure skating and speed skating. The government offers incentives for people to enroll in sports or participate in them. These incentives are designed to promote a healthier lifestyle, which helps the country's healthcare system in the long run.
The Gaia Grand Championship auto race has been conducted every year in the country since 3375. The event has been held at numerous venues since its creation, the most notable one being the 25km long Hamasaki Circuit. The length of races can range from 100km to over 300km. The races are a major source of revenue for advertisers as well as the government, which runs sanctioned gambling services.
Public holidays in Gaia are legislated at the national level and are celebrated nationwide. Lengths of holidays vary, some last only for a day, while others last for a week. Law mandates that if the holiday falls on a weekend, the weekend plus the next working day will be considered part of the holiday.
||January 1st||This holiday occurs during the country's busiest holiday season. It celebrates the arrival of the new year and is an extension of the Winter Solstice Festival. It is a custom to exchange monetary gifts during this holiday.|
||March 1st||Established in 3555, Empress Day celebrates the achievements of Empress Satomi, who has since gained the nickname "Mother Gaia" following her abdication. The holiday has also come to symbolize the Imperial Family's benevolent reign over Gaia, which has brought the country into periods of prosperity and growth. Empress Day has since become one of the largest cultural holidays in Gaia, in terms of festivities and government sponsored events. Notable events include a speech by the reigning monarch and a ceremonial parade in the government ward of Chukyo.|
||May 1st||Labour Day celebrates the hard work and achievement of workers. Most businesses are closed during this holiday, and public services are limited.|
||June 1st||Children's Day honours the children of the country, who represents its future. It is customary for parents to give presents to their children, as well as spend time with them. It is also common for children to be taken on trips to places such as parks, zoos, museums, and other entertainment venues.|
||July 7th||The Night of the Stars Festival celebrates the country's history and cultural link the to the cosmos. It is tradition to write wishes and place them into lanterns, which are then released into the night sky. The largest simultaneous releasing of lanterns occurs in Sora, which also hosts the country's largest Night of the Stars event.|
||August 18th||Memorial Day honours the country's deceased and those who have fallen in the line of duty. During this solemn holiday, people pay their respects by visiting memorials or cemeteries. In a ceremony, paper lanterns are usually illuminated and placed into bodies of water. After the ceremony, a moment of silence follows.|
||September 3rd||This 3 day long holiday celebrates the founding of the nation. Large parades and events, such as concerts, occur across the country during this holiday. It ends with enormous firework shows in almost every major city.|
The festival is one of the most important holidays celebrated in the country. Families will usually get together for this week long holiday and have a evening meal together. This is also the busiest time of the year for airports and train terminals. Gifts are often exchanged during this holiday.
- ↑ Population of Mainland Gaia, Population of Eastern Gaia. Statistics Gaia
- ↑ Active Personnel in Mainland Gaia, Active Personnel in Eastern Gaia. Ministry of Defence
- ↑ 3600 Soviet Datacommons. Soviet Federation Datacommons
- ↑ 3640 Soviet Datacommons. Highlandic Office of Soviet Affairs
- ↑ Gaia's Total Investment Fund. Ministry of Finance