To investigate the effect of metabolic syndrome (MS) components on early atherosclerosis markers, i.e., urinary albumin excretion rate (UAE), pulse wave velocity (PWV), and carotid intima-media thickness (IMT), we studied 536 Japanese patients with type 2 diabetes without cardiovascular disease or nephropathy. The MS definition by ATP III was employed. UAE, PWV, and IMT increased significantly with increasing the number of components even before fulfilling the diagnosis of MS. UAE was significantly influenced by high blood pressure, high triglycerides, and low HDL cholesterol. PWV was significantly increased by high blood pressure. IMT was significantly increased by high blood pressure and abdominal obesity. Multiple regression analysis, including MS components and putative risk factors, indicated that the number of MS components, age and glycosylated HbA1C were independent determinants of UAE, PWV, and IMT. LDL cholesterol and male gender were independent determinants of IMT. In conclusion, UAE, PWV, and IMT increased according to increasing the number of MS in type 2 diabetic patients without cardiovascular disease or diabetic nephropathy. The current observation considering the modifiable factors may help to identify patients who are at high risk of experiencing cardiovascular disease.