‘Asia’ is an omnipresent keyword in government policy on education and training in Japan and the primary sphere of international activity for Japanese universities. This chapter addresses both these discursive and empirical aspects of Asia’s prevalence. It maps the convergence of discourses addressing the rise of Asia in contemporary Japan and explores the products of such convergence in the context of university reform policy, demonstrating how such policy is increasingly driven not by concerns with the functionality of Japan’s domestic higher education system itself, but rather by awareness of the place of Japanese universities in regional and global networks of knowledge and markets for educational services. Through a review of the historical and contemporary activities of Japanese universities in Asia, the chapter identifies several modes in which Asia is manifested in Japanese higher education: as beneficiary, as market, as capability and as context.