Psoriasis is a common human skin disease whereby abnormal production of inflammatory mediators is believed to play an important role in its pathogenesis. The IL12B gene, which encodes the shared IL-12p40 subunit in two cytokines, IL-12 and IL-23, and the IL23R gene, which encodes a subunit of the receptor for IL-23, were identified as psoriasis-susceptibility genetic factors in recent candidate gene and genome-wide association studies of Chinese and Europeans. Since there are significant differences in the incidence of psoriasis between Europeans and Japanese suggesting a genetic ethnic effect, we examined the association of IL12B and IL23R gene polymorphisms with psoriasis in a cohort of Japanese. In this study, we genotyped two SNPs (rs3212227 and rs6887695) in the IL12B gene and one SNP (rs11209026) in the IL23R gene using 560 Japanese psoriasis cases and 560 controls and compared our results with those previously published for Europeans and Asians. Our study showed significant associations between psoriasis and both IL12B gene SNPs, rs3212227 (odds ratio (OR) = 1.35, P = 4.94E-04) and rs6887695 (OR = 1.32, P = 2.00E-03), but no significant association between psoriasis and the IL23R SNP, rs11209026. Furthermore, a significant haplotype association was found for the IL12B gene protective haplotype C-C (OR = 0.71, P = 1.84E-04) in Japanese, as previously elucidated in the studies of European ancestry. © 2013 Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg.