Since the end of the Pacific War in August 1945, South-East Asia has evolved from a category of convenience employed by a military command for dispossessing Japan of its wartime gains into a distinct region within which geographic and institutional bounds coincide, with the notable exception of East Timor. Free education and health care as well as guaranteed pensions and housing have been provided on a generous basis but have been under review because of changing economic circumstances. Economic planning has concentrated on developing alternative forms of employment to the energy industry and government service in the interest of political stability but with very limited success. Burma is the second largest country in Southeast Asia with an area of 676,000 square kilometres. It is situated to the east of India and Bangladesh, to the south-west of the People's Republic of China and to the west of Laos and Thailand.