Porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome virus (PRRSV) has two genotypes, the North American-type (NA-type) and the European-type (EU-type), and each genotype is also genetically diverged. We sequenced the ORF5 gene of 30 PRRSVs isolated from 23 prefectures of Japan during 1992 and 1993 and during 2000 and 2001. All of the isolates were of the NA-type. Phylogenetic analysis of the overall NA-type viruses isolated from around the world identified five major genetic clusters. The 1992-1993 Japanese samples belonged to only two genetic clusters, while the 2000-2001 samples included more diverged ORF5 genomes. One genetic cluster, which included 63% (20/32) of Japanese isolates, one Taiwanese isolate and one Chinese isolate, was mainly found in the eastern part of Japan. Another genetic cluster, which was found in various areas around the world, was distributed in the western part of Japan.