In 1977, JCIE initiated the ASEAN-Japan Dialogue, a project involving policy research and dialogue, to address salient issues in the ASEAN-Japan bilateral relationship as well as in the multilateral environment surrounding it. The project, which lasted until 1992, was organized in six phases over the period of fifteen years, and the subjects under study included the roles of trade and invesment in the development of ASEAN countries, ASEAN-Japan mutual perceptions, security and political relations, the role of China, and the concept of a Pacific community. This project of interdisciplinary, inter-professional policy research and dialogue has contributed significantly to the development of a close network of policy specialists from diverse academic disciplines and professional fields in ASEAN and Japan. The later stages of the project included outreach to specialists in China and South Korea, after which these two countries started to contribute to the dialogue.

Following up on the ASEAN-Japan Dialogue series, JCIE, with major funding from the Japanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs, launched the Asia Pacific Agenda Project (APAP), a consortium of policy research institutions in Australia, Canada, China, Japan, South Korea, Southeast Asia, and the United States (at the East-West Center) in 1996.