It's no surprise that after WWII, Japan was in bad shape and that the US took upon itself to rebuild it yet was having issues with the economy and of course was subjected to Cold War politics regarding purging communists and socialists and bolstering conservative and capitalist forces to support the US in East Asia. And yet, Japan managed to have rebounded from the ashes and became a stable, democratic economic power to this day, even though it had seen better days in the late 20th century prior to the 90's. On the other side of the Old World however, Italy, a former Axis member was also subject to Cold War divides and yet had a series of conflicts that were almost civil war like, henceforth, the Years of Lead. Germany in contrast didn't have such political strife, outside of being divided by the Allies and having a share of communist militancy, by the Red Army Faction in this case.

So henceforth, your challenge is to have post-1945 Japan get embroiled in a civil war, whether it's on par with that of Spain or not in terms of sides, that will inevitably draw in the outside world besides the US, whether it'd be the Western and Eastern blocs of the Cold War or not. Of course having a POD just before 1945 doesn't count for obvious reasons. Bonus points if you have the POD after 1950, whether it's related to the Korean War or not.

Edit: And in case anyone asks, yes handicapping the economic recovery would do the trick, unless I'm mistaken.
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