Vietnam is an elongated coastal nation in Southeast Asia. It is bordered by China, Laos, Cambodia, and the South China Sea. Japan occupied the region during the Second World War and France then tried unsuccessfully to restore colonial rule in a perennial war. As a result of the French defeat, Vietnam was divided in 1954 into communist North Vietnam (capital Hanoi) and South Vietnam (capital Saigon). In 1976, the two states were reunified by force under Communist leadership following the Vietnam War.