Throughout the world the internationalization of higher education has assumed a key position on domestic policy agendas, not only for educational and scientific reasons but also increasingly due to socio-economic considerations. National contexts are still influential in the actual process of internationalization. In the case of Japan Japan, in addition to a strong national identity based on an advanced higher education system, the continuous development of neighbouring countries in relation to their science and technology and their industrial and service economies is having a significant impact on policy direction and actual internationalization. The Japanese government and the nation’s higher education institutions are still discovering their identities amidst rapidly changing regional circumstances. The direction of national and institutional strategies has often been observed to be unsettled and inconsistent. In analyzing policy changes in Japanese higher education and in Japan’s higher education institutions, the chapter emphasizes the need for autonomous initiatives on the part of universities and academics themselves in relation to the internationalization of higher education. To sustain a continuous internationalization process, dynamic initiatives by academics and universities for knowledge creation and exchange are indispensable.