In recent years, diabetes has been shown to be associated with cancer risk, and this has led to a joint committee being formed, enlisting experts from the Japan Diabetes Society and the Japanese Cancer Association to address this issue. Epidemiological data in Japan provides evidence to demonstrate that diabetes is associated with increased risk for cancers, especially colorectal, liver, and pancreatic cancers. The mechanisms through which diabetes is assumed to promote oncogenesis include insulin resistance and associated hyperinsulinemia, hyperglycemia, and inflammation. Common risk factors for type 2 diabetes and cancer include aging, male sex, obesity, physical inactivity, inappropriate diet (excessive red/processed meat intake, inadequate vegetable/fruit/dietary fiber intake), excessive alcohol drinking, and smoking. Given that inappropriate diet/exercise, smoking and excessive alcohol drinking are common risk factors for diabetes and cancer, diet/exercise therapy, smoking cessation and alcohol moderation may be associated with decreased risk for cancer in diabetic patients. There is as yet limited evidence as to whether any particular antidiabetic agents may influence cancer risk.