I don't think one can be guaranteed by their own junior partner. Pics! As for myself, I saw the great military NIs Shimazu have and brought them from OPM to absolute Asian hegemon. It helped that while I started it on 1.20 I only got MoH halfway through, so Ming was suddenly losing Mandate like crazy while I already controlledmost of Manchuria and the Eastern Korean coast. By game's end Japan controlled all of East Manchuria, all of RL China except for Qinghai and Tibet, and had a sizeable Australian colony. Also the largest army in the world, over twice as large as the 300k Ottoman army in second place.