Since the turn of the century, most countries in Asia entered a frenetic period of pursuing European-style sui generis geographical indication (GI) laws to protect domestically reputed agri-food products. Indeed, by 2018, almost all South, Southeast and East Asian countries had enacted some form of sui generis legal protection. Some observers who speculate about why this seemingly obvious and necessary shift took so long to materialize often point to underdevelopment or weak administrative capacity, while others suggest that such arcane laws were simply not a high priority for many poor agrarian countries until required under the WTO Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS). These explanations, however, often contradict the same observers’ accounts of the current “GI turn” in Asia, namely that it is driven by the prominence of agriculture in many countries and the inherent alignment of Asian values about food comparable to the French concept of terroir. If an agrarian economy and territorial food awareness are indeed the basis of this recent momentum, the conditions for sui generis GI laws have long been present in much of Asia. And since European countries did not wait until they were highly industrialized to explore such legal protections, there must be other explanations for this late bloom. This chapter explores the contours of recent GI legislation in Asia by comparing well-endowed Japan with poorly resourced Cambodia. These two cases demonstrate that the European promotion of GI, which emphasizes trade and value generation in agri-food products, has been a weak incentive for Asian countries due to the perceived extent of capture of the heritage food trade by Europeans. Producers are also discovering that, as in Europe, GIs provide an inconsistent bulwark against domestic corporatization and/or appropriation of value by foreign entities. Asian governments, in turn, are discovering utility in subsidiary areas of GI, such as differentiating domestic products, privileging national producers and slowing the quality erosion of agri-food products; they are also leveraging the discursive power of GI to provide a cover for the progression of market neoliberalism.