Everlasting Kindred of Iokuzhan
Šo-Vân Okönīn No-Īoköxâno (Iokumese)
Xīân – Xâxan – Uvâdīyon
"Faith – Father – Family"
|Location of Vivaporius/Sandbox/Iokuma (dark green) – in Anterra (green & grey) – in Western Kesh (green)|
Patrimonial autocracy (de jure)|
Matriarchal kleptocracy (de facto)
|1,020,296 km2 (393,938 sq mi) (12th)|
• Water (%)
• 2021 estimate
• 2020 census
|210.9/km2 (546.2/sq mi)|
|GDP (PPP)||2021 estimate|
• Per capita
|GDP (nominal)||2021 estimate|
• Per capita
|Currency||Iokumese akzun (₳) (IOK)|
|Date format||dd-mm-yyyy CE|
|ISO 3166 code||IO|
Much of what is today modern Iokuma was originally inhabited by a wide variety of ancient cultures and civilizations which had some degree of contact with one another via the Zhona river running the full length of the country. The most prominent of these civilizations, the Aynokin, originated in temperate regions of the north within the river valley region known as Ja'Hud. These early peoples were eventually conquered, enslaved, and bred out of existence by the invading Hiyuvakin who had long resided in the mountains which form Iokuma's northern border. These Hiyuvakin would incorporate much of the language and culture developed by the Aynokin, and pass these traditions down to their descendants, the modern-day Iokumese people. Among the traditions that would be become the foundations of Iokumese culture would be the practice of jeyima, or "pruning", which concerns the state-mandated use of infanticide to cull 90% of its male population before or following birth. The long-term consequences of this practice—as well as the political intrigue surrounding the tradition and the parties specifically tied to its enforcement—has been that as of the recent 2020 census, Iokuma's population is overwhelmingly female, with women comprising approximately 91.74% of the national population.
Throughout the classical period, Iokuma would exist as a largely decentralized state in which the formal authority of the Highfather was delegated out to the hierarchs, who largely governed their domains as independent polities. The rapid growth of the empire would remain guided by the Highfather through the governing council of the Circle of Fathers, and the lands equally proportioned following a successful conquest. Iokuma would emerge as the most powerful regional empire by the late-5th century CE, when the formation of an early bureaucratic form of government allowed the hierarchs to marshal more warriors and resources for their campaigns within western Kesh. The centralization of Iokuma would begin sometime around the early-13th century with the rise of the political influence of the Koruzekin dynasty out of Zharakara. The family hierarch Zhautakin would unify the entirety of the country by 1258, and lay down the foundations of a truly-united empire with its capital based out of the city of Zanza. Subsequent rulers would build upon the successes of Zhautakin, with the ultimately culmination of his efforts realized during the rule of Takinayin in 1391. The sweeping reforms instituted during his reign would result in the creation of Iokuma's bureaucratic caste, the matrons, and the iteration of Iokuma known internationally today.
Iokuma is a newly industrialized country, and is considered a regional power and a middle power within international politics. It has the 21st-largest economy by purchasing power parity (PPP), and has one of the fastest-growings economies in the world today. Iokuma is widely-regarded as one of the youngest countries in the world, with approximately 42.7% of its total population under the age of 25 years old. The nation as a whole continues to face substantial socioeconomic issues, such as high rates of gender and wealth inequality, systematic corruption within the government and security forces, poor civil liberties for its citizens, and widespread organized crime within the majority of its urban centers. In spite of these issues, however, Iokuma boasts a strong cultural heritage which has been safeguarded at the national level, and maintains many of its ancient traditions well into the modern era.
The name Iokuma comes from the English translation for Īokömâr (or "the land of Iokuzhan"), which is the official name of the country within the Iokumese language. Iokuzhan was the legendary religious figure to whom the founding of the current state religion of Zheaniism is attributed, and through him the unification of the ancient Iokumese people was made possible. His name meaning "(the) child of God" was likely apocryphal or a pen name utilized by a number of priests as they compiled the religious text today known as the Zhautana. The Iokumese name Īokömâr also has its roots in the term īono kuma, meaning "abode of the beloved", which was the name by which the ancient Iokumese used to describe their homeland within religious texts and edicts. Throughout Iokumese history, Īonokuma and Īokömâr were utilized interchangeably by the inhabitants of the land, with the former used to denote the general land and its inhabitants as a whole, while the latter was used to denote the government and its immediate subjects. In foreign correspondence, the long name of Iokuma is Šo-Vân Okönīn No-Īoköxâno, literally "the Eternal Progeny of Iokuzhan" or "the Everlasting Kindred of Iokuzhan", while its official short name is simply Īokömâr. In general discussion, either Īokömâr or Īonokuma may be used, with the historical distinction between the state and the land as a whole having long since disappeared.
Archaeological evidence within the area known as Ja'Hud indicate that permanent habitation of Iokuma's central region dates back to around 600,000–850,000 years ago. The earliest know human remains within Iokuma are those of the ancient hominid known as the Ashen Girl, whose skeletal remains were uncovered within a cave near the modern-day city of Zokinkara. These fossils were later carbon-dated to sometime between 500,000 and 580,000 BCE, and were found within a pit filled with ashes, likely some type of burial pit, that held the remains of those believed to bear some high social standing within the tribe. Fossilized teeth, finger-bones, and skull fragments were also found in the area surrounding the cave in later years, leading to many researchers to also suggest some type of struggle may have instead been responsible for the findings. The development of agriculture and domestication of wild animals is believed to have emerged between 18,000 and 12,000 BCE. Evidence for these claims are linked to the discovery of wild rice and sorghum grains within pits near areas of interest believed to have been conurbations of early human settlements that would later progress on to becoming the first urban cultures of the region. Indeed, the formation of a sort of unified sedentary culture commonly known as the Aynid culture, is evidenced by the uncovering of clothing fragments, pottery and jewelry, ornate weapons of copper construction, and tools and relics of cultural significance, all possessing similarities indicative of a thriving trade of goods and resources between communities in the region.
The expansion of the Aynokin city-states in particular around 4,000 BCE is generally marked as the starting point of ancient Iokumese civilization as it is recognized today. In conjunction with the development of the pastoral Hiyuvakin civilization to the far north, the Aynokin would go on to provide the foundation for Iokumese culture, language, and religion. TBD...
Early dynastic rule
Geography and climate
Biodiversity and environment
Iokuma is a patrimonial autocracy comprised of thirteen hereditary patriarchal realms collectively governed by an absolute monarch known as the ta'zhazhan. This coalition of patriarchal states are represented at the national level by the Circle of Fathers, with its membership composed of fellow patriarchs known as dakazhanin or hierarchs, each of which represent one of the twelve domains of Iokuma, and presided over by the Highfather as the chief hierarch of the thirteenth imperial domain. While all hierarchs have wide berth to govern their individual realms as they see fit, the Highfather has the final say on any issues affecting the nation as a whole, and may impose his will upon any domain should he deem it necessary to moderate the behavior of his fellow hierarchs. In line with this authority, the powers of the Highfather are virtually unlimited in scope, counterbalanced only by the influence of the other hierarchs. There is no written constitution for Iokuma, with the government instead complying with a body of traditional and religious laws known as Tayohun. These laws outline the various powers and privileges possessed by the members of Iokumese patriarchal nobility which comprise the government, as well as the rights and obligations expected from their subjects. Regardless, Iokuma has consistently ranked as among one of the least free nations in the world, and has long been criticized as being a totalitarian dictatorship by journalists, foreign politicians, human rights activists.
Having no free elections or political parties, all major decision-making within the country takes place within the ranks of Iokuma's complex and byzantine network of bureaucracy which has presided over the management of the state for centuries. Members of the bureaucracy are drawn from three social castes within the Iokumese population; namely, the eunuchs, matrons, and state maids. The eunuchs serve as the immediate aides to the patriarchs, and make up the bulk of the leadership over ministries tasked with government regulation and oversight, and have the highest-level of access to information normally restricted to just the patriarchs. The state maids for their part serve as the national civil service of Iokuma, and are recruit via application through government organs and accepted based on merit and education. Finally, the matrons fill all leadership roles from the national level down to the local level involving routine interaction with the citizens of the state, and through their management of the population and bureaucracy, wield the bulk of the influence through which they control the country as a whole. Such is the all-pervasive influence of the matrons in the daily lives of the population, that most patriarchs have delegate many of their daily tasks to the matrons, leading many foreign observers to classify Iokuma as a de facto matriarchal kleptocracy, in which power is over the recruitment of state maids and the flow of influence to the patriarchs and their eunuchs is hoarded by the matrons, who steer the direction of government policy and decision-making.
The Highfather absolute monarch of Iokuma and the point of origin for all political authority exercised by the government. The current Highfather is Jadojazhautak IV, who has held the position since 1969, making him the single longest-reigning Highfather in Iokumese history. The executive, legislative, and judicial functions of Iokuma are all vested within the person of the Highfather, who has the freedom to exercise these powers in any manner he deems fit in accordance with his god-given "right to rule" or jedukor, a concept declaring that the Highfather has the absolute power to mold the subjects and institutions of Iokuma into whatever is required to fulfill the goals of the state as embodied by the Highfather. As such, the Highfather may direct the tens of millions of citizens residing within the country toward whatever political objective he desires through sheer force of will alone, shaping his nation into whatever form he has determined is necessary to achieve said goals. By way of this singular concept, the Highfather has life or death authority over every member of Iokuma, including his fellow hierarchs should they be deemed in violation of his supreme authority. Any member of government including those holding posts of hereditary status, may be dismissed or replaced at will by the Highfather, and he is directly involved in the review and appointment of members of government belonging to the Circle of Voices.
The Highfather is the commander-in-chief of the armed forces, directs the national intelligence services of the country, has singular power to declare war or peace, and may ratify treaties unilaterally on behalf of the state. The hazazhan who serves as the head of government, the chiefs of staff for the military and national police, and heads of the judiciary are directly-appointed by the Highfather. He also has the power to appoint the heads of the national broadcast networks, and pass regulations controlling access and behavior by said media organizations. The Highfather likewise has the ability to override the decisions of the twelve hierarchs within their own realms, and appoint the heads of the individual domain judiciaries and security forces so long as they hail from the domains in question. To date, no such interference within the affairs of another hierarch have been made by the Highfather. Consequently, the Circle of Fathers which is responsible for advising the Highfather and moderating his policies by influencing decision-making where possible, has never directly-challenged or publically-criticized the Highfather, and has historically rubber-stamped any decisions made by him as a show of deferrence.
Circle of Fathers
The Circle of Fathers is the highest constitutional authority within Iokuma, comprised of the Highfather and the twelve hierarchs of Iokuma. All thirteen members of the body govern their own individual realms which collectively make up the state of Iokuma, and as such, all wield vast political and institutional authority over all members of the population. The body is responsible for the formation of government policy, the creation and enforcement of laws, and the vetting of all members of government at the national level. The Circle of Fathers generally serves as an advisory body to the Highfather as well as a counterbalance to his unlimited authority over the state, as each hierarch possesses substantial political influence of his own to help sway the political decisions of the Highfather, though the final say in any matter of national importance ultimately rests with him. Likewise all members of the body are answerable to the Highfather, and are subject to dismissal and replacement by one of their eligible sons should the offense be significant enough to warrant it. The council is responsible for enforcing the laws and decrees of the Highfather within their own domains, and may also act as the court of final appeal in the event that a judicial decision is deemed to volatile to be left to the jurisdiction of the lower courts. In the event that the Highfather should die before the crown prince has reached the age of majority, the Circle of Fathers may serve as their regency council during which time the queen mother serves as the both head of the council and regent of the realm.
The Zhahokun is a special non-parliamentary advisory body that consists of two branches; the Circle of Voices and the Circle of Ringmaidens. All members of the Zhahokun are directly-appointed by the Highfather, and serve at his leisure or until such point that they is ejected from the body an official request by either the branch they belong to or by special request of a hierarch. The Zhahokun has no power to pass or enforce laws, serving only in an advisory capacity that offers suggestions on laws that could be passed unilaterally by the Highfather at the national level. This right may be waived by the Highfather and delegated to the Zhahokun to introduce and pass laws independently, but these proposed laws must pass before the Highfather before they become law throughout the country. All members of the Zhahokun are vetted by the Circle of Fathers, and any of the hierarchs has the ability to veto membership to the Zhahokun should said individual come from their individual domain. The hazazhan is the head of government and leader of the Zhahokun, and has traditionally been held by the crown prince of the Iokuma, the akitan. However, as the akitan is typically involved in more cultural engagements for the state, this post has been delegated to a senior matron and four subordinates who are recommended and vetted by the akitan and the Circle of Fathers respectively.
Within the Zhahokun, the most senior of the two bodies is the Circle of Voices, which consists of 30 members; twenty from the rings, six from the spheres, and four from the Zhahokun itself as appointed by the Highfather, and directly chaired by the hazazhan as the appointed head of government. The Circle of Voices has the most legitimate power in the Zhahokun, as its members frequently interact directly with the Highfather, and thus have the best opportunity to influence his opinion in person and decisions on policies and laws in question. It is through the Circle of Voices that the chief patriarch's wishes are relayed to the rings to be enforced. The Circle of Ringmaidens consists of 240 members, all of whom are comprise the twenty government ministries of Iokuma known as the rings. They have the least direct influence in advising the Highfather on government policy, and serve more as pool of knowledge on affairs which can be consulted in open meetings with the more powerful voices, or in select gatherings with the Highfather himself on very specific topics. Sitting independently of both bodies are the twelve hierarchs of Iokuma, who by virtue of their status sit on the Zhahokun.
Seating within the Zhahokun is assigned by seniority, with the youngest ringmaiden from a higher rank holding seniority over the oldest member of a lower rank. All of the first-ranked ringmaidens seat in the first two rows of the chamber, with the second-ranked ringmaidens seating in the rows just behind them. All of the third-ranked ringmaidens, the lowest-ranking members of the Zhahokun, seat in the rows allocated to them in the rear of the chamber. The thirty voices of the Highfather occupy the front row seats in the chamber, directly across from the twelve hierarchs, who are seated in the front and center of the chamber's seating rows in the place of honor around the Highfather's own seat. Speaking in the Allkin likewise follows the seniority rule, with the eldest members of the body speaking first, followed by the younger members in the chamber. The hierarchs speak first, followed by the voices, and then the ringmaidens, with time allocated to each member based on their age within each of the listed groups. Any topics for discussion must be agreed upon by each of the rings during their own meetings, and the first member of that ring called upon to speak will introduce it on the floor of the Zhahokun.
Iokuma is divided into twelve regular and two special semi-autonomous constituent states known as domains (hakiyonin). Each of the twelve regular domains is governed by a hierarch, while the thirteenth is directly administered by the Highfather and the fourteenth by the Reverend Mistress as a personal demesnes, under which the capital cities Zanza and Zhazhakara and holy city of Ravaza respectively are located as a neutral territories. The hierarchs rule over their realms as hereditary monarchs, and are free to enact their own laws within their domains in line with the allowances permitted under Tayohun; and unique among the world's nations, all domains are entitled to maintain their own independent security forces to ensure the laws of Iokuma and the Highfather are enforced at the local level. Any laws passed at the national level, however, are universal throughout the country and override any laws passed by a hierarch within their domain.
All of the domains are subdivided into 190 prefectures known as marin. Each marin is governed by a patriarch from a family of local renown who is appointed to the position of governor by the hierarch of the marin's domain, and exists primarily to ensure the collection of taxes and resources, provision of education and infrastructure, law enforcement, addressing issues of judicial nature at the local level. Beyond the marin level, are the counties (uvazokin) and townships (vaukin), which have no autonomy and exist solely to ensure the organization of police and firefighting services, as well as the administration of local resources and population control. Counties are governed by seven-member bodies known as matronic councils, while townships are governed by vestal assemblies, which are comprised of local patriarchs and matrons with a personal stake in the community's future.
|Map||No.||Domain||Capital||Population||Area (km2)||Density (/km2)|
|No.||Autonomous district||Capital||Population||Area (km2)||Density (/km2)|
Law and justice
Within Iokuma exist two legal codes; that which is derived from Tayohun, or Zheaniic religious law as dictated by the Zhautana; and that of Zhazohun, or civil patrimonial law as determined by the Highfather and the Circle of Fathers. Of the two legal systems, the former is most common as a source of law for legal cases throughout Iokuma's judicial system, as the Zheaniic law the country follows is not codified. Indeed, all decrees passed by the Highfather and the hierarchs are direct subordinate to the Zhautana, and supplement its enforcement throughout the country. Much of what is considered legal and illegal has long been defined by the will of the hierarchs within their respective domains and the religious laws they are bound to enforce. Because of the fickle nature of the hierarchs and their religious right to govern their lands in whatever manner they deem desirable, there is no system of judicial precedent within Iokuma's civil court system. This power to enforce the laws as they deem appropriate is enforced by way of the so-called "Privilege of the Hierarchs", which was written within the holy text known as the Zhautana. The excerpt from the text is provided below:Page Template:Blockquote/styles.css must have content model "Sanitized CSS" for TemplateStyles (current model is "plain text").
And ALLFATHER spoke with a thunderous voice, and said: "Lo and behold! I establish on the earth your Highfather, My faithful steward and Voice to the Faithful. To him I give Hierarchs; sons blessed with beauty and strength. Each shall carry in their voice the will of the Highfather; Each according to their custom, all for Highfather's glory. You shall serve the Hierarchs as you would your Highfather, but you shall serve Highfather first. Defy ME and die."— Iokuzhan, in the Zhautana, The Privilege of the Hierarchs
Each hierarch presides over their own public courts which they hold regularly to hear disputes and concerns from throughout their domains. These courts may be held anywhere the hierarch considers desirable or expedient, and may last for as long as he is willing to hear cases within his realm. The hierarch will generally hear issues on subjects of social or cultural importance, as well as seek to resolve disputes between patriarchs, guilds, and prefectures from throughout the domain. Any patriarch within the domain has a legal right to be heard by their hierarch should their case not be accepted by any of the lower courts. Criminal cases deemed to be "of significant public interest" may also be tried before the hierarch and his court, and any precedent set by the hierarch is generally deemed to be the law of the land within his domain until overturned by either the Highfather or a majority vote within the Circle of Fathers. As is their right by birth, the hierarch may freely decide cases based on their personal views on the matter, though most hierarchs will employ the expertise of legalists within their domain, or even call upon members of the ionakin should the matter involve issues of religion. Any decision a hierarch comes to, regardless of outcome or public outcry, is final and rarely contested by either the plaintiff or the defendant.
On the opposite end of the spectrum are the religious courts, which are nearly as numerous as the civil courts of Iokuma. These courts are run by the onazhanin priestly division, which operate an entire staff of clerks, judges, inquisitors, and jurists who fulfill all manner of legal roles within their end of the court system. All members of the Iokumese people are equally subject to the rulings of these religious courts should the hierarch authorize it, or the laws of the clergy be promulgated throughout Iokuma by the Circle of Fathers, at which point the clergy may enforce these laws within their rulings during court hearings. Should the Highfather or Circle of Fathers choose not to hear a case at the national level, or a hierarch refuse to hear a case within their own domain court, it falls upon the religious courts to hear the case, at which point the laws enforced change completely for the parties involved. At the highest levels of the religious court system is the Ion'Zokaynin, or Synod of Sacred Wisdom, which consists of the Reverend Mistress and the chief priestesses of the eight priestly divisions of Zheaniism. It is not uncommon for a member of the Circle of Fathers or the Highfather himself to request members of the Synod of Sacred Wisdom to hear a case on their behalf, lending their decisions far more weight at the political level, and making the overturning of their decisions politically unviable. However, as the Synod is directly chaired by the Reverend Mistress who is herself the eldest daughter of the Highfather, decisions which unmine or call into question the authority of the Highfather are rarely if ever considered.
At the local level of the Iokumese judicial system, all judges are either senior matrons or civil case or members of the clergy for religious or appellate cases. Depending upon which judge the parties are assigned, the judge may or may not be required to follow the judgement of previous court cases. In the case of civil cases, a senior matron judge will be bound to abide by past judgements and any precedent passed down by a hierarch in cases he was party to as the chief judge. However, in the event that a case falls into a religious case, either by the nature of the case or by appeal, the priestess responsible is fully-empowered by her superiors to disregard any judgements either she or another judge made. Furthermore, she may apply her own personal interpretation of tayohun to any case under her jurisdiction, making the outcome for the legal parties nearly impossible to determine.
For most of its history, Iokuma has maintained an unofficial position of neutrality in most geopolitical affairs, largely due to the religious doctrines which greatly influence the direction of foreign policy in the nation. Instead, Iokuma seeks to forge an independent foreign policy driven by its desire to dominate all of Kesh, either as a hegemon or as the primary core of a wider Iokumese empire. In spite of these lofty goals, Iokuma actively participants in more peaceful foreign endeavors for reasons known only to its leaders. The country is an observing member of SKECO, which is the only major international body Iokuma actively seeks to expand its involvement within, and by far the only intergovernmental alliance that will have the nation in any capacity. Joining in 19XX sometime after the organization's formation, Iokuma has participated in numerous peacekeeping operations throughout the region, though its troops have been accused of numerous war crimes in the past during these deployments, greatly harming its global reputation. As a deeply xenophobic nation, Iokuma has long had strained and often hostile relations with all of its neighbors throughout history, foremost being with its northwestern neighbor Habesha. Indeed, Iokuma and Habesha have fought numerous wars in the past, with the most recent being the TBD War from 19XX to 19XX, and ended in a stalemate. To the southeast, Paseiwa has long been under the suzerainty of Zahava, preventing the relatively weak nation from being devoured by Iokuma in spite of several attempts to do so. Iokuma's has tried to conquer the fragile nation in the past, only to find its efforts upended by Zahavan threats of retaliation, forcing the Iokumese government to pursue alternative paths of domination of West Kesh.
Unfortunately, Iokuma's government is heavily-influenced by the ongoing power struggle between the matronic caste headed by the imperial consort, TBD, and the head of the court eunuchs, TBD. This struggle has been raging for centuries, and at the present date, the matronic faction is believed to have the upper-hand. This has meant that the extremely conservative matronic faction has driven the nation's foreign goals for several decades, largely influenced by the desire to keep their party relevant within the nation's social hierarchy and ensure the status quo to which they benefit remains supreme. During the few periods of eunuch preeminence in the government, Iokuma adopted more peaceful and cooperative doctrines that made it more approachable on issues of bilateral trade and immigration. Given this fight for control of the Highfather and his government, Iokuma is often perceived as an unreliable ally largely driven by the policies of whichever faction gains enough control over the ruler of the nation to enforce their foreign goals. Much of the aggression in Iokuma's foreign affairs can be directly linked to the religious doctrines of TBD, which teach that it is the divine responsibility of Iokuma to conquer the world and exterminate all non-believing peoples ahead of a great cosmic war the Iokumese are to take part in. As such, past governments have maintained large standing armies and vast arsenals with the intent of using them on the continent. However, the government has always been more pragmatic in its approach to issues of diplomacy, and continues to seek alternatives to a conflict that Iokuma could very well lose. As such, more conciliatory policies such as joining international bodies and taking part in cultural exchange programs have been pursued by the current government for the last five decades.
At present, Iokuma promotes a policy of outward population exchange, namely the ability of Iokumese citizens, culture, and religious practices to spread across the globe with the intent of promoting Iokumese civilization. Conversely, it prohibits foreigners from setting foot within the interior of the nation. This is greatly at odds with its previous policy of rapid and unfettered expansionism, largely curtailed in the wake of the Kesh War. Even today, most corners of the Iokumese state and general population continue to push for a more aggressive stance on diplomacy and interventionalism, though the government of Jadojazhatak IV has managed to keep these elements in line and keep the nation's diplomats on a tight leash. One of the consequences of this religiously-driven hostility and the active role of the government in exporting its population to other nations across the world, has been the rise of foreign-born Iokumese being over-represented in international terrorist organizations. In spite of its often unpredictable behavior on the global stage, Iokuma maintains a large number of diplomatic missions, mainly within East Kesh and other locations outside of the continent of Kesh. Most foreign missions within Iokuma are restricted to the coastal city of Shokina, which has long served as the primary hub for interactions between Iokumese citizens and foreigners not permitted to entire the country beyond the TBD Mountains separating the coast from the rest of Iokuma.
|Country||Status||Current state of relations||Mutual Embassies||Visa Requirement|
|Template:Country data Chezzetcook||Does not recognize||Iokuma does not recognize Chezzetcook and has no formal diplomatic relations||No||No|
|Template:Country data Mursland||Neutral||Yes||Yes|
|Template:Country data Paseiwa||Does not recognize||Iokuma does not recognize Paseiwa and has no formal diplomatic relations||No||Yes|
|Template:Country data Theyka||Neutral||Yes||Yes|
|Template:Country data Tiperyn||Neutral||Yes||Yes|
The Iokumese Defense Forces (Yukadâkīn No-Īoköxâno) are the military forces of Iokuma. The armed forces are divided into five service branches, these being the Iokumese Army, Iokumese Navy, Iokumese Air Force, Iokumese Home Guard, and Iokumese Regional Forces. In 2020, the military was comprised of some 6.4 million personnel, with approximately 1.2 million active personnel and another 5.2 million in reserve. The Iokumese Defense Forces are headed by the Ta'Zhazhan, who is the commander-in-chief and wields sole authority to declare war and authorize the deployment of the armed forces to a combat zone. These powers are exercised through the Supreme Warmaster of the Iokumese Armed Forces, the Ta'Zhadak, who is in turn subordinate to the Makiyon of War, which is charged with developing military policy and doctrine. Military intelligence for the armed forces is provided by the Jadozhon, which coordinates its intelligence gathering efforts with both the Vekaza and Okiova. Iokuma has been involved in several regional conflicts throughout its modern history, and actively maintains an aggressive foreign policy with regards to its interests in Western Kesh, providing the nation with one of the most active and disciplined military forces on the continent.
Iokuma operates a unique military force in that all of its military and civilian personnel are female. Men are permanently barred from serving in the military in any capacity, a policy which has been in effect since at least the 15th century CE. This was a direct consequence of the long-term cultural practices which culminated in the Adin'Taza reforms which recognized and solidified the traditions which reduced the male population to less than a tenth of the Iokumese population. Prior to the reforms, Iokumese men dominated the armed forces, though centuries of nonstop expansion and attrition whittled away at their numbers under the reforms were enacted to officially restrict male population growth for social stability. Since then, Iokuma has fielded an exclusively all-female military, with all possible roles in both commissioned and enlisted ranked consisting of female personnel. Since the abolition of the Edict of the Barrens in 1837, infertile women are no longer obliged to serve in the armed forces, though they are still heavily-favored by the military during recruitment cycles. In recent years, there has been talk of allowing the recruitment of eunuchs within the ranks of commissioned officers, primarily in positions related to logistics and surveillance. However, the legal challenges to these proposals have stalled any adoption of reforms that would make this a possibility.
Conscription is enforced throughout Iokuma, with every fit Iokumese woman not medically exempt or pregnant, required to serve for a minimum period of six weeks to a year, with the timeframe influenced by education, job location, and physical ability. Historically, Iokuma has boasted a strong culture of civic duty and nationalistic fervor throughout all levels of the population. This has resulted in high volunteer enlistment rates for Iokuma, negating much of the need for conscription during times of war. In the event that conscription is necessary, it is the official policy of the military to recruit civilians in the following order of precedence; strong preference for infertile women, adult women with at least two living children over the age of nine, female prisoners serving out felony sentences, and women between the ages of 16 and 24. Due to these policies, Iokuma has never experienced a shortage of manpower for its armies during intense conflicts in the region. Historically, Iokumese soldiers have been known to be immensely brutal toward prisoners of war and noncombatants, committing innumerable atrocities against civilians as an unwritten policy within the military. The use of torture, rape and forced prostitution, and death marches have all been recorded within the ranks of the IDF, though to-date the Iokumese government has made no effort to stamp out these activities.
The capabilities of the Iokumese Defense Forces are some of the most robust in the region. Iokuma employs a number of advanced weapon systems and drone technologies to augment its natural strengths in the field. As a longstanding doctrine of the nation, Iokuma heavily-relies upon its superior numbers and firepower on the battlefield, while utilizing force multipliers such as its special forces to breakthrough enemy forces. Much of the advanced weaponry within the IDF is handled by the Iokumese special forces due to a military's stance on "tried-and-true" weapon systems, preferring to equip the rank and file personnel with reliable and affordable low-maintenance weaponry known to accomplish the goals of the command staff without relying to heavily on expensive parts and engineering teams. Given the predominately humid and tropical landscape the IDF operates in, such advanced weapons are viewed as being more of a liability during combat operations, as they are often prone to failure in the hostile terrain and climate of Western Kesh.
Since the mid-1950s, Iokuma has maintained a relatively high military budget as a percentage of its gross domestic product, a consequence of its aggressive behavior and military posturing in the region, and peaking at more than 28.8% of GDP in 19XX. As of 2021, Iokuma was spending 4% of its GDP, or about $78.234 billion for the 2021 fiscal year. There exists a strong domestic arms industry within the country, primarily to help arm and equip Iokuma's armed forces rather than for the export market. What few weapons Iokuma does export to other nations is classified for security purposes. A natural consequence of Iokuma's development of a local defense industry has been a more affordable supply of weapons and munitions for the Iokumese Defense Forces, and more reliable supply lines for its military during times of conflict. There is a burgeoning shipbuilding sector in the country that has allowed Iokuma to produce its own warships, though it is still somewhat reliant upon the purchase of larger vessels from other countries.
|IOKUMESE DEFENSE FORCES|
|Budget||$78.234 billion (₳6.678 trillion) (FY 2021)|
|Percent of GDP||4.00% (FY 2021)|
|Iokumese Air Force||102,758||15,414||198,479||49,620|
|Iokumese Home Guard||116,660||17,499||1,315,547||328,887|
|Iokumese Regional Forces||695,527||104,329||2,987,846||746,961|
Iokuma is a newly-industrialized mixed market economy. The state has historically played a major role in the direction of economic growth and development, and continues to influence economic planning at a macroeconomic level. However, its power over economic decisions has been declining in favor of control over strategic areas of the economy to allow for additional deregulation of national trade and finance as part of existing liberalization reforms in the country. Iokuma's GDP per capita (PPP) was $12,541 as of 2021, and the country has a labor force of some 117.8 million for the same year. Iokuma has a low unemployment rate by global standard 3.47% of the population in 2021, while the middle class population of the country was between 35–40% according to local standards. Approximately 8.38% of Iokumese live below the national poverty line. The gross domestic product in terms of purchasing power parity (PPP) was estimated to be $2.698 trillion in 2021, while government debt as a percentage of GDP was approximately 58.8% as of 2021. Iokuma's foreign exchange reserves stood at $122.773 billion as of 2021.
For most of its modern history, Iokuma was a largely agrarian state operating under an inefficient feudal economy designed to benefit the patriarchs and their matronic bureaucracy. Economic reforms throughout the 1930s and 1940s during the relatively relaxed reign of Ta'Zhazhan Vihozhak II witnessed the introduction of modern economic policies to help kickstart a second-wave of industrialization in th Iokuma. These reformed revamped the economic model under which Iokuma had operated for centuries, and brought about a hybrid free market system that preserved much of the pre-existing social status quo, but simultaneously opened up financial capital to peasantry living throughout the rural regions to create and run small businesses tailored to the needs of their communities. These aggressive reforms helped to liberalize the economy by ensuring the inclusion of the bulk of the workforce as business owners, and increase personal wealth and disposable income for consumption of goods and services within Iokuma. Since then, Iokuma has transitioned into a modern service-based economy, and benefits greatly from the global markets as both an exporter and importer of goods. Iokuma boasts a strong domestic market, low personal debt, and has made great strides toward reducing reliance on any one export market due to the thriving public–private partnerships which define much of the economy in the nation.
Iokuma is unique in the world in that it maintains a form of modern-day guild system in place of more traditional businesses. Iokumese families will generally work the same trade or profession, with the family patriarch typically the head of the family's local enterprise, or working with his brothers and extended relatives within a region of the country as part of a larger cooperative. These familial conglomerates, known as akzuhakin, are integral to the function of the Iokumese economy, and have been apart of the country's history for centuries. Each of these akzuhakin will consist of several familial guilds and fellowships within a particular area of the economy, each within a pyramid-like structure for the area of the economy the conglomerate dominates, be it shipbuilding, logging, mining, or the provision of specific consumer goods and services. They provide lifetime employment to their members, and as a function of their operation, likewise, ensure that most if not all members work with or near their family members. Virtually all businesses throughout Iokuma are direct associated with one or more of these akzuhakin, and pay annual membership fees to them, a percentage of which are in turn presented to the government as a form of corporate tax. This has created a huge amount of wealth inequality, with the patriarchs owning the lion's share of the country's wealth; though this has also introduced social stability as work is guaranteed, unemployment suppressed, and a largely universal standard of living enforced for most of the population.
The country boasts a wealth of natural resources in the form of hydrocarbons, forestry and logging, agriculture, and mining. The agricultural sector of the economy alone accounted for 6.77% of the GDP in 2020. The oil and gas industry has been vital to the economic development of Iokuma in the past, accounting for about 23% of the national GDP in 2020, and employing more than 7% of the Iokumese workforce in the year. Likewise, revenue from the petroleum industry made up nearly a fifth of government revenue, though this figure has been on the decline in recent years in an effort to reduce dependence on the energy export sector. Iokuma is one of the largest textile and furniture manufacturers in the world, and is internationally famous for its export of ebony hardwood products. Other important areas of the economy include Iokuma's substantial automotive industry, having produced 1.3 million vehicles of nearly every size in 2020 alone. Iokumese shipyards are still in their infancy, though the production of small vessels such as patrol boats and yachts for the international market have been on the rise. Iokumese brands such as TBD, TBD, and TBD specialize in the production of consumer goods, electronics, and home appliances, and have made considerable headway in the global market, primarily on the continent of Kesh, where Iokumese goods are in plentiful supply and within the means of the continent's generally-poorer residents to purchase.
Other key industries in Iokuma include banking and insurance, construction, home appliances and consumer electronics, computer components such as chips, hard drives and processors, oil refining, chemicals and plastics, jewelry, coal, pharmaceutical products, iron and steel, and machine industry. The Iokumese government has made significant effort to attract additional foreign capital into the country to fuel development of the economy and maintain Iokuma's status as a low-cost producer of goods and services. Today, foreign direct investment reached some $51.049 billion, and has been increasing thanks in part to several government initiatives such as "Iokuma Works" and "Build in Iokuma", with the former specializing in incentives to employment Iokumese service industry workers, and the latter producing reduced corporate taxation and financial grants to foreign companies willing to build factories and refineries in Iokuma for export purposes. Thanks in part to the nation's supply of cobalt and phosphates, Iokuma has successfully attracted the attention of several mobile phone producers and pharmaceutical supplies in need of a large and relatively affordable supply of the two minerals.
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