Bronchial asthma is a common inflammatory disease caused by the interaction of genetic and environmental factors. Through a genome-wide association study and a replication study consisting of a total of 7,171 individuals with adult asthma (cases) and 27,912 controls in the Japanese population, we identified five loci associated with susceptibility to adult asthma. In addition to the major histocompatibility complex and TSLP-WDR36 loci previously reported, we identified three additional loci: a USP38-GAB1 locus on chromosome 4q31 (combined P = 1.87 × 10(-12)), a locus on chromosome 10p14 (P = 1.79 × 10(-15)) and a gene-rich region on chromosome 12q13 (P = 2.33 × 10(-13)). We observed the most significant association with adult asthma at rs404860 in the major histocompatiblity complex region (P = 4.07 × 10(-23)), which is close to rs2070600, a SNP previously reported for association with FEV(1)/FVC in genome-wide association studies for lung function. Our findings offer a better understanding of the genetic contribution to asthma susceptibility.