Sequence polymorphisms of the hypervariable region HV1 in mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) were analyzed in a sample of 137 unrelated Japanese individuals living in Gifu Prefecture (central region of Japan) using polymerase chain reaction amplification and direct sequencing. Eighty-two different haplotypes resulting from 81 variable sites were found in the mtDNA HV1 region between positions 16061 and 16450. The most frequent haplotype (16223T, 16362C) was shared by ten individuals. The genetic diversity and the genetic identity were 0.985 and 0.022, respectively. The C-stretch region located around position 16189 was observed in 23.4% of this population sample. Sequence heteroplasmy at the position 16103 (A/G) was found in one individual.