We determined polymorphism in the serotonin (5-HT) transporter gene-linked polymorphic region (5-HTTLPR) in 501 healthy Japanese, individuals, using the polymerase chain reaction of Lesch et al., with minor modifications. The distribution of allele frequencies was determined and found to differ from that in Caucasians. We also investigated the relationship of polymorphism in 5-HTTLPR to anxiety traits, by having 189 of the 501 subjects complete a self-rating questionnaire for anxiety and depression. Subjects with the short/short (s/s) genotype had significantly higher anxiety scores than those with the long/long (l/l) or l/s genotype. It is suggested that populations with the s/s genotype of 5-HTTLPR have stronger anxiety-related personality traits than those with the 1 allele.