In 1913, Elwood Brown, president of the Philippine Amateur Athletic Association and Manila Carnival Games, proposed the creation of the “Far Eastern Olympic Games” to China and Japan. It was at that time that Governor-GeneralWilliam Cameron Forbes was the president of the Philippine Amateur Athletic Federation from 1911-1913. Governor-General Forbes formed the Far Eastern Olympic Association.
The first event was held on the Manila Carnival grounds (later the Rizal Memorial Sports Complex) in Malate, Manila, Philippines on February 4, 1913 and was known as the “First Oriental Olympic Games”. Forbes was also the one who formally declare the games open. Six countries participated in the eight-day event: the host country then-named Philippine Islands, Republic of China, Empire of Japan, British East Indies (Malaysia), Kingdom of Thailand and British crown colony Hong Kong.
In 1915, the name changed to Far Eastern Championship Games and the association to Far Eastern Athletic Association when the event was held at Hongkou Park in Shanghai, China. They were held there again in 1921. The games were held every two years except in 1929 when Japan decided to delay the project to 1930. The FEAA decided to change the time table to four years and the Philippine Islands hosted the tenth games in 1934. Dutch East Indies (Indonesia) joined in the 1934 FECG.
The 1934 edition was held in a period of dispute between China and Japan, following the Japanese invasion of Manchuria in 1931. Inclusion of people from this region in the games caused controversy between the two member nations, which resulted in the break-up of the Far Eastern Athletic Association. In September 1937, Japan invaded China with the Marco Polo Bridge Incident and started the Second Sino-Japanese War (which later became part of World War II), thus the planned games in 1938 were cancelled.