To assess the performance of the EULAR/ACR idiopathic inflammatory myopathies (IIMs) classification criteria to classify juvenile IIMs (JIIMs) in an Asian paediatric population.Sixty-eight JIIM patients and 49 non-JIIM patients diagnosed at seven major paediatric rheumatology centres in Japan between 2008 and 2015 were enrolled. Retrospective data were collected, and each patient's data form was submitted. The expert group reviewed the forms and re-examined the diagnoses. The EULAR/ACR criteria were then applied and the probability of having JIIM was determined for each case. The sensitivity and specificity of the EULAR/ACR criteria were compared with those of other existing criteria.The sensitivity/specificity of the EULAR/ACR classification criteria were 92.1/100% with muscle biopsy data (n = 38); 86.7/100% without muscle biopsy data (n = 30) and 89.7/100% in our total cohort (n = 68). The sensitivity of Bohan and Peter's criteria and Tanimoto's criteria were 80.9 and 64.7% in our total cohort, respectively. Among 68 physician-diagnosed JIIM patients, seven cases (three JDM and four overlap myositis) were not classified as JIIM because the probability did not reach the cut-off point (55%). The three JDM patients all presented with only one of the three skin manifestations that are listed in the criteria: Gottron's sign.Our validation study with Japanese JIIM cases indicates that the EULAR/ACR classification criteria for IIM generally perform better than existing diagnostic criteria for myositis.