Fatty acid has been suggested to be involved in development of diabetes. However, its association is unclear among Japanese populations, which consume large amounts of fish rich in n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids. The present cross-sectional study examined the association of individual dietary fatty acids and dietary fatty acid patterns with abnormal glucose metabolism among 1065 Japanese employees, aged 18-69 years. Impaired glucose metabolism is defined if a person has a history of diabetes, current use of anti-diabetic drug, fasting plasma glucose of 110 mg/dl (≥6.1 mmol/L) or greater, or hemoglobin A1C of 6.0% (≥42 mmol/mol) or greater. Dietary intake was assessed with a self-administered diet history questionnaire. Dietary fatty acid patterns were extracted by principal component analysis. Odds ratios of impaired glucose metabolism according to tertile categories of each fatty acids and dietary fatty acid patterns were estimated using logistic regression with adjustment for potential confounding variables. A higher intake of polyunsaturated fatty acid, n-6 fatty acid, linoleic acid, and oleic acid were significantly associated with a decreased prevalence of impaired glucose metabolism (P for trend = 0.03, 0.01, 0.02, and 0.04, respectively). Alpha-linolenic acid was marginally significantly associated with a decreased prevalence of impaired glucose metabolism (P for trend = 0.12). Of three fatty acid patterns identified, a higher plant oil pattern score, which characterized by high intake of alpha-linolenic acid, linoleic acid, and oleic acid, was associated with a decreased prevalence of impaired glucose metabolism (P for trend = 0.03). No association was observed for other patterns. In conclusion, plant source fatty acids might be protectively associated with development of diabetes in Japanese adults.