In order to prepare H5N1 influenza virus vaccine, the hemagglutinins (HAs) of 14 H5 virus isolates from water birds in Asia were antigenically and genetically analyzed. Phylogenetic analysis of the H5 HA genes revealed that 13 isolates belong to Eurasian and the other one to North American lineages. Each of the deduced amino acid sequences of the HAs indicated a non-pathogenic profile. Antigenic analysis using a panel of monoclonal antibodies recognizing six different epitopes on the HA of A/duck/Pennsylvania/10218/1984 (H5N2) and chicken antiserum to an H5N1 reassortant strain generated between A/duck/Mongolia/54/2001 (H5N2) and A/duck/Mongolia/47/2001 (H7N1), [R(Dk/Mong-Dk/Mong) (H5N1)] showed that the HAs of highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) viruses currently circulating in Asia were antigenically closely related to those of the present isolates from water birds. Mice subcutaneously injected with formalin-inactivated R(Dk/Mong-Dk/Mong) were protected from challenge with 100 mouse lethal dose of A/Viet Nam/1194/2004 (H5N1). The present results support the notion that the H5 isolates and the reassortant H5N1 strain should be useful for vaccine preparation.