the pokemon world is a dark place.
Governments cannot function. Pokemon run the wilderness.
Humans are forced to create City-states with defensive walls, not to protect against foreign invaders, but from nature itself.
there is no infrastructure connecting these towns, the fucking pokemon have destroyed any attempt. The only successful road system made was the controversial "bicycle road" which was built over water. It's managed to stay up over time, but one angry Magikarp can easily evolve and fuck the entire place up.
Children are recruited by their towns as early as age 10 to train and tame the very forces that threaten their lives. These trainers provide the bulk of the military and law enforcement. "Good" trainers are rewarded with prestige and stature. They are listed as special operations in case of an inevitable war against pokemon. Every year they hold tournaments to see who is the strongest, not necessarily to find out, but to provide a reason for trainers to improve.