There have been few studies on the association of fruit and vegetable (FV) intake with cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk in Asian populations where both dietary habits and disease structure are different from western countries. No study in Asia has found its significant association with stroke. We examined associations of FV intake with mortality risk from total CVD, stroke and coronary heart diseases (CHDs) in a representative Japanese sample. A total of 9112 participants aged from 24-year follow-up data in the NIPPON DATA80, of which baseline data were obtained in the National Nutrition Survey Japan in 1980, were studied. Dietary data were obtained from 3-day weighing dietary records. Participants were divided into sex-specific quartiles of energy adjusted intake of FV. Multivariate-adjusted hazard ratios (HRs) were calculated between strata of the total of FV intake, fruit intake and vegetable intake. The adjustment included age, sex, smoking, drinking habit and energy adjusted intakes of sodium and some other food groups. Participants with higher FV intake were older, ate more fish, milk and dairy products and soybeans and legumes and ate less meat. Multivariate-adjusted HR (95% confidence interval; P; P for trend) for the highest versus the lowest quartile of the total of FV intake was 0.74 (0.61-0.91; 0.004; 0.003) for total CVD, 0.80 (0.59-1.09; 0.105; 0.036) for stroke and 0.57 (0.37-0.87; 0.010; 0.109) for CHD. The results showed that higher total intake of FVs was significantly associated with reduced risk of CVD mortality in Japan.