Metabolic Syndrome (MetS) is associated with increased risk of morbi-mortality, thus the characterization of the population magnitude of this syndrome is critical for allocating health care. However, prevalence estimates of MetS in the same population could differ depending on the definition used. Therefore, we compared the prevalence of the MetS using definitions proposed by: National Cholesterol Education Panel Revised (NCEP) and International Diabetes Federation (IDF) 2009 in a Japanese-Brazilians community (131 individuals, age 57 ± 16 years, 1st and 2nd generation). All individuals went through a clinical and laboratorial evaluation for assessment of weigh, height, waist circumference, blood pressure, triglycerides, HDL-cholesterol and fasting plasma glucose. The prevalence of MetS was 26.7% (n = 35) and 37.4% (n = 49) under the NCEP and IDF definitions, respectively. Despite higher blood pressure measurements, waist circumference and serum triglyceride levels and lower HDL cholesterol levels (p < 0.01), individuals identified with MetS did not show increased blood glucose levels. IDF definition classified 14 individuals (10.7%) with MetS that were not classified under the NCEP and 35 individuals were identified with MetS by both criteria. We observed, in this group, more severe lipid disorders, compared to individuals identified only under the IDF definition, and the BMI and waist circumference (p = 0.01; p = 0.006, respectively) were lower. In conclusion, the IDF revised criteria, probably because of the ethnic specific values of waist circumference, was able to identify a larger number of individuals with MetS. However, our data suggesting that additional studies are necessary to define best MetS diagnostic criteria in this population.