The original staff included Lowell Chun-Hoon (first editor in chief), Don Nakanishi (first publisher), and a number of Yale University students who were involved in the Yale University Asian Americans Students Association. Within a few months of its founding, Amerasia Journal was relocated to the Asian American Studies Center at UCLA. Starting with Amerasia Journal 1.3, the journal was for two years was a joint publication of the Yale Asian American Students Association and UCLA. UCLA's Asian American Center took primary control of the journal in 1973 and continues to publish and house the journal to this day.
From its earliest issues, there is considerable interaction with writers involved in other Asian American magazines. Warren Furutani, who regularly wrote for Gidra, was interviewed in Amerasia 1.1. Yuji Ichioka, a faculty member at UCLA who also published in Gidra, published an essay on early Issei settlers in Amerasia Journal 1.2. Linda Shin's essay on "Koreans in America, 1903-1945" (Amerasia 1.3) was republished in Roots: An Asian American Reader in 1971. And the same issue of Amerasia Journal also contained a review of an anthology published by students at UC Berkeley, simply identified as Asian Women.
Over time, the provocative style adopted by many writers in early issues of Amerasia Journal (see especially the essays by Ben R. Tong) gave over to a more professionalized academic style. In its first three years, however, Amerasia Journal had a pronounced activist slant despite its status as the most 'academic' of the new Asian American magazines.