Distinguishing hypoplastic myelodysplastic syndrome from aplastic anemia (AA) is challenging. In the present study, Japanese and Chinese pediatric hematologists and pathologists conducted a joint review of bone marrow (BM) smears and trephine biopsies in 100 children with acquired BM failure syndrome, using the criteria proposed in the 2008 edition of the World Health Organization classification of hematopoietic and lymphoid tissues. The final consensus for the diagnoses of 100 children was AA in 29 patients, refractory cytopenia of childhood (RCC) in 58 patients, and refractory cytopenia with multilineage dysplasia (RCMD) in 13 patients. No significant differences between Japanese and Chinese children were found with regards to clinical and laboratory findings, or the distribution of diagnoses. Patients with RCC/RCMD showed milder disease severity and BM hypocellularity than those with AA. To establish the provisional entities for RCC, it is essential to prospectively compare the clinical outcomes between AA and RCC groups in a large number of patients.