«A fragmented territory controlled by local potentates with a weak central government that is not taken seriously by the rest of the world(…) Japan was a patchwork of feudal provinces controlled by local lords, the daimyos, who were only subordinate to the supreme commander of the armed forces, the shogun. The administration of the shogunate, or bakufu, had an emperor in the city of Kyoto, although his powers were even more limited than those of the current EU President, Herman Van Rompuy.
The local daimyos governed their territories as they saw fit, with their own currencies, their own tax systems and their own armies. They often defied decrees issued by the bakufu and when the bakufu sent inspectors, the daimyos fooled them(…)
Today Europe is in the throes of a similar crisis(…)»