Concerns are mounting that the threat of another influenza pandemic will become a reality and that the epicentre of the outbreak could be the Asia-Pacific region. We assessed the documents that some Asia-Pacific countries have published as part of preparedness planning for an outbreak of influenza in people. Regional approaches were polarised. Thailand, China, and Vietnam had set out a strategic vision to strengthen future capacity in preparedness planning. By contrast, Hong Kong, Australia, and New Zealand took a strategic approach aimed mainly at harnessing available resources or preparing for the deployment of resources such as stockpiled antiviral agents and vaccines. The plans of Hong Kong, Australia, and New Zealand compared favourably with the best European plans. The plans of resource-poor countries addressed some issues that were largely neglected by most European plans. Other countries (including those that do not yet have plans) could benefit from analysis of the strengths and weaknesses of the plans drawn up by countries in the region and in Europe.