We examined the pathogenesis of the attenuated foot-and-mouth disease virus (FMDV) O/JPN/2000 in pigs. The virus used in this study was passaged three times in primary bovine kidney (BK) cells and once in baby hamster kidney-21 (BHK-21) cells after isolation. A plaque assay demonstrated that this virus exhibited the small plaque (SP) phenotype. There was no clinical or histological evidence of vesicular lesions in pigs intraorally inoculated with 106 50% tissue culture infectious dose (TCID50)/ml of the SP virus (SPV) of FMDV O/JPN/2000. Although fever was detected from 2 or 3 days post inoculation (dpi), there was no other prominent clinical sign up to 6 dpi. Virus shedding from saliva and nasal swab samples was not observed in any pigs inoculated with the SPV of FMDV O/JPN/2000. In the foot, mild lamellar degeneration of prickle cells in the upper layer of the stratum spinosum was histologically observed without development into vesicular or necrotic lesions. Immunohistochemical virus antigen- and terminal deoxynucleotidyl transferase-mediated dUTP-nick end labeling (TUNEL)-positive reactions observed in the foot at 1 dpi seemed to disappear after 3 and 6 dpi. Our findings suggest that the SPV of FMDV O/JPN/2000 had low pathogenicity against pigs by intraoral inoculation.