A word which originally was associated with Asia (including Arabic-speaking regions, Central, South, and East Asia). The term is used for East Asians in British English (where 'Asian' means someone from South Asia; i.e. Pakistan or India). The term is controversial in North America as it is still used in parts of Canada to denote East Asian without racist connotation or denotation; however, in the US it is considered by politically correct people (=people who read Edward Said) to connote the imperialist/colonialist period of European attitudes towards (East) Asians. Usage is, therefore, relative to a) Where you are and b) Who you're talking to. So everybody just relax.
"He is a specialist in East Asian Languages." PC in the USA. However, he might have received his degree from the London School of Oriental and African Languages.