We investigated native Japanese subjects whether C702T, C936T and G1612A polymorphisms in the 3' untranslated region (3'-UTR) of vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) gene are associated with the risk of renal cell carcinoma (RCC). Genomic DNAs from 145 RCC patients and 145 healthy controls were examined by polymerase chain reaction-based restriction fragment length polymorphism. Variant allele frequencies of C702T, C936T and G1612A were 0.00, 0.20 and 0.13 in the controls, respectively. The C702T and G1612A allele frequencies were significantly different between the Japanese population and the Caucasian population reported elsewhere. For each of C936T and G1612A polymorphisms, there was no statistically significant difference in the distribution of genotype frequencies between the cases and controls. Odds ratios and 95% confidence intervals computed by logistic regression analyses were not statistically significant. Stratification for the RCC cases according to pathological cell subtype, grade or stage failed to reveal any significant heterogeneity with respect to the genotype of each VEGF polymorphism. We revealed that there are significant ethnic differences in the C702T and G1612A allele frequencies, but suggested that C702T, C936T and G1612A polymorphisms in the 3'-UTR of VEGF gene are not associated with the risk of RCC, at least in Japanese population.