The distribution of HLA-B61 alleles and their association with HLA-C and DRB1 alleles were investigated in six East Asian populations (South Korean, Chinese Korean, Man (Manchu), Northern Han, Mongolian and Buryat) and Spanish Gypsies and compared to our previous report on the Japanese population. The alleles were identified using a group-specific polymerase chain reaction (PCR) and genomic DNA followed by hybridization with sequence-specific oligonucleotide probes (SSOP). Both HLA-B*4002 and B*4006 were commonly detected in the South Korean, Chinese Korean, Man, Northern Han and Japanese populations, while HLA-B*4002 was predominant in the Mongolian and Buryat populations. Strong associations of B*4002 with Cw*0304 and of B*4006 with Cw*0801 were commonly observed in these East Asian populations. In contrast, in Spanish Gypsies, only HLA-B*4006 was found and the allele exhibited a strong association with Cw*1502. HLA-B*4003 was also identified in the South Korean, Chinese Korean, Northern Han, Mongolian and Japanese populations at relatively low frequencies, and exhibited an association with Cw*0304. Moreover, the association of these B61 alleles with the DRB1 alleles revealed considerable diversity among the different populations. HLA-B*4004 and B*4009 were not observed in these populations. Consequently, the frequencies of the B61 alleles varied among the different East Asian populations, but the individual B61 alleles were carried by specific haplotypes often regardless of the ethnic differences.