The origins of this book go back 30 years to the stimulation and interest generated by the political geography seminars led by John House at the University of Newcastle-Upon-Tyne. I was very fortunate to graduate among its extremely capable, sporty and enthusiastic "class of '68" from where several academic geographers emerged. Equally fortunately, some of them and their predecessors had already blazed a trail to undertake graduate studies in Canada. At the University of British Columbia I was supervised at different times by Julian Minghi and Victor Prescott, both of whom are not only extremely capable academics but are also very fine people. lowe an enormous debt to John, Julian and Victor and to the British and Canadian taxpayers who provided financial support for my University studies. In 1974, I began an academic career at the University of Western Australia where I have been ever since, save for a two-year period from 1991-3 as Professor of Australian Studies in the Department of International Relations at the University of Tokyo. Viewing Australia and the Asia-Pacific region from this different perspective within an extremely supportive Japanese environment had a profound impact. I am especially grateful for the support provided by so many Japanese academic colleagues and friends beginning as early as 1976. Three individuals deserve special mention for their help, guidance and enduring friendship - George Ohshima, Hiroshi Tanabe and Akihiro Kinda.