This paper reports the results of a radiological population study on the ossification of the posterior longitudinal ligament (OPLL) in both the cervical and the thoracic spine among Japanese. The study was carried out in the Yachiho-mura district in the central part of Japan, where 5074 people were living. X-ray examinations were made of 1058 of the people; there were 440 men and 618 women, 50 or more years of age. The roentgenograms showed 34 cases of OPLL in the cervical spine (3.2%): 19 men (4.3%) and 15 women (2.4%). The condition was most frequently observed at the level of C-4. Radiological classification showed 18 cases of the segmental type, 11 of the continuous type, and five of a mixed type. There were eight cases of OPLL in the thoracic spine (0.8%), four in men (0.9%) and four in women (0.6%). OPLL in the thoracic spine was most frequently observed at the midthoracic levels. All eight cases showed a continuous type of ossification. There were three subjects with OPLL in both the cervical and the thoracic spine. Therefore, the number of subjects with OPLL in either the cervical or the thoracic spine was 39 (3.7%) total.