Japanese interest is surging across South and Southeast Asia for both economic and political reasons. Yet, while welcome by many in the region, the reasons for the renewed focus must be considered.

There are also new factors that the Japanese must look at and indeed re-learn. Otherwise expectations from both sides will be frustrated.

One economic push factor comes from unconventional "Abenomics" as the new administration and the Bank of Japan pump out more money at low interest rates. Domestic production cannot absorb all, given that labor and other costs remain high despite the managed drop in the value of the yen. The triple tragedy of 2011 also shows the potential vulnerability of keeping too much production at home.