The interferon-inducible protein with tetratricopeptide (IFIT) family proteins inhibit replication of some viruses by recognizing several types of RNAs, including 5'-triphosphate RNA and 5' capped 2'-O unmethylated mRNA. However, it remains unclear how IFITs inhibit replication of some viruses through recognition of RNA. Here, we analyzed the mechanisms by which Ifit1 exerts antiviral responses. Replication of a Japanese encephalitis virus (JEV) 2'-O methyltransferase (MTase) mutant was markedly enhanced in mouse embryonic fibroblasts and macrophages lacking Ifit1. Ifit1 bound 5'-triphosphate RNA but more preferentially associated with 5' capped 2'-O unmethylated mRNA. Ifit1 inhibited the translation of mRNA and thereby restricted the replication of JEV mutated in 2'-O MTase. Thus, Ifit1 inhibits replication of MTase-defective JEV by inhibiting mRNA translation through direct binding to mRNA 5' structures.