Abstract The Japanese criteria for diagnosing Sjögren's syndrome (SS) were revised in 1999, and consist of four major areas: histopathology, oral examination, ocular examination, and serological examination. A diagnosis of SS can be made when the patient meets at least two of these four criteria. This report describes how the revised Japanese criteria were established. After the publication of the revised Japanese criteria (1999), a research study which focused on evaluating its availability and validity was carried out in 2001 using funds from Grant-in-Aids for Scientific Research supported by the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science. The availability of the revised criteria was investigated by a questionnaire study through the Japanese Medical Society for Sjögren's Syndrome, and the use of the revised criteria for diagnosing SS in these medical facilities was found to be 76%. To evaluate the validity of the revised criteria, the records of 900 patients, including SS patients and non-SS controls, from 54 clinical centers were registered and analyzed to calculate the accuracy of the criteria. The revised Japanese criteria were found to have 96.0% sensitivity, 90.5% specificity, and 94.5% accuracy for diagnosing SS.