For controlling bacterial leaf blight of rice, caused by Xanthomonas campestris pv. oryzae, the use of resistant cultivars is the most economical and effective method due to the scarcity of effective bactericidal agents and to the need for preserving the environment. Against this background, the resistance genes to this disease so far identified will be reviewed. Under the collaboration between the Tropical Agriculture Research Center, Japan and the International Rice Research Institute, Philippines, the genes identified were rearranged from Xa-1 to Xa-12 based on the numbering system of rice gene symbols and them near-isogenic lines with single resistance genes were developed. By using these near-isogenic lines, the strategy for monitoring the race distribution and the methods of identification of new resistance genes are reviewed.