Limited and inconsistent associations between cholesterol and egg consumption and type 2 diabetes risk have been observed in Western countries. In the present study, the association of dietary cholesterol and egg intakes with type 2 diabetes risk was examined prospectively. The study subjects comprised 27, 248 men and 36,218 women aged 45-75 years who participated in the second survey of the Japan Public Health Center-based Prospective Study and had no histories of type 2 diabetes or other serious diseases. Dietary cholesterol and egg intakes were estimated using a validated 147-item FFQ. The OR of self-reported, physician-diagnosed type 2 diabetes over 5 years were estimated using multiple logistic regression. A total of 1165 newly diagnosed cases of type 2 diabetes were self-reported. Although dietary cholesterol intake was not associated with type 2 diabetes risk in men, it was found to be associated with a 23 % lower odds of type 2 diabetes risk in women in the highest quartile of intake, albeit not statistically significant, compared with those in the lowest quartile (P trend= 0·08). Such risk reduction was somewhat greater among postmenopausal women; the multivariable-adjusted OR for the highest quartile of cholesterol intake compared with the lowest quartile was 0·68 (95 % CI 0·49, 0·94; P trend= 0·04). No association between egg intake and type 2 diabetes risk was found in either men or women. In conclusion, higher intake of cholesterol or eggs may not be associated with an increased risk of type 2 diabetes in Japanese populations. The observed association between decreased type 2 diabetes risk and higher dietary cholesterol intake in postmenopausal women warrants further investigation.