At the United Nations High-level Meeting on Non-communicable Disease Prevention and Control in 2011the link between health and socioeconomic issues was raised, becoming a global political issue. Health equity isone challenge that has hitherto not been addressed directly, although there is a growing shared recognition thatcancer in Asia is an urgent social issue. At the UICC-ARO we are working to promote and widen networks ofindividuals and organizations in Asia and involve them in cooperation for this purpose. As part of our currentactivities, we are addressing the question of the “Economic burden of cancer in Asian countries: How should weface the current situation?” from a variety of angles and seeking to bring together a wealth of multidisciplinaryknowledge about cancer in Asia and its related socioeconomic factors. It is essential to ensure that the real pictureof cancer in Asia, which is currently not accurately understood, is conveyed clearly to all concerned, and alsothat the differences between cancer in Asia and in the West are highlighted.