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The Japanese Society of Mood Disorders established a committee for treatment guidelines of mood disorders, which created the first edition of a treatment guideline for bipolar disorders on 10 March 2011. The committee has now created a second edition, which we report here. In creating this treatment guideline, the first step was to have several bipolar disorder specialists review well-conducted studies and meta-analyses. Based on this evidence, and with a consensus among the specialists, treatment procedures that were considered optimal were compiled and the strength of recommendation for each treatment method was determined. The first draft, prepared in this manner, was further revised through a process of critical investigation by all committee members to produce the final edition.