Julian oscillation (MJO) indices were used because the MJO is a short timescale climate variability and has important implications for droughts in East Asia. The validation results show that those drought prediction models with the MJO variables (r ~ 0.7 on average) outperformed the original models without the MJO variables (r ~ 0.4 on average). The predicted drought index maps showed similar spatial distribution to actual drought index maps. In particular, the MJO-based models captured sudden changes in drought conditions well, from normal/wet to dry or dry to normal/wet. Since the developed models can produce drought prediction maps at high resolution (5 km) for a very short timescale (one pentad), they are expected to provide decision makers with more accurate information on rapidly changing drought conditions.