This chapter offers an introduction to the two key concerns of this book as a whole: the idea of Asia and the practice of international higher education in Japan. It briefly outlines the historical use of Asia both as an axis of academic analysis and a core policy theme, situating contemporary Japanese discussion of the challenges posed by the economic rise of Asia as an exercise in self-questioning which both mobilises and dislocates an East/West cultural dialectic. It explains how the book’s later case studies of Japanese university collaboration across borders in Asia involve an articulation of different policy discourses and texts, a sharing of experiences by practitioners and the production of hybridised and localised understandings. Asia emerges not as a fixed concept but an interactive curriculum, evolving in the transnational contexts of student mobility and academic partnership.