Eastern Asia and the western Pacific make up a broad region of active plate tectonic interaction. The area is a natural laboratory for studying the processes involved in the origin and evolution of volcanic island arcs, marginal basins, accretionary prisims, oceanic trenches, accreted terranes, ophiolite emplacement, and intracontinental deformation. Many of our working concepts of plate tectonics and intraplate deformation were developed in this region, even though details of the geology and geophysics there must be considered of a reconnaissance nature.
During the past few years researchers have accumulated a vast amount of new and detailed information and have developed a better understanding of the processes that have shaped the tectonic elements in this region. To bring together scientists from many disciplines and to present the wide range of new data and ideas that offer a broader perspective on the interrelations of geological, geochemical, geophysical and geodetic studies, the symposium Tectonics of Eastern Asia and Western Pacific Continental Margin was held December 13–16, 1988, at the Tokyo Institute of Technology in Japan, under the auspicies of DELP (Dynamics and Evolution of the Lithosphere Project).