During October and December of each year of from 1994 to 1996, 3,849 strains of 10 species of bacteria were isolated from clinical materials in 21 institutions nationwide. The minimum inhibitory concentrations (MICs) for these bacteria of four carbapenems (imipenem [IPM], panipenem [PAPM], meropenem [MEPM], and biapenem [BIPM]) and other representative antibacterial agents were measured to investigate annual changes in antibacterial activity. Carbapenems showed potent activity against methicillin-sensitive S. aureus (MSSA), S. pneumoniae, E. faecalis, H. influenzae, E. coli, K. pneumoniae, E. cloacae, S. marcescens, and the B. fragilis group, with the activity being stable. However, these drugs showed weak activity against methicillin-resistant S. aureus (MRSA) and P. aeruginosa. The antibacterial activity (MIC90) against the tested organisms generally remained stable. Particularly, there was annual improvement of the MIC90 values of IPM and BIPM for S. pneumoniae, as well as the values of IPM and PAPM for H. influenzae, and those of IPM, PAPM, and BIPM for S. marcescens. On the other hand, the activity of carbapenems (including IPM) against MRSA was not necessarily strong, but there was annual improvement of MIC90 values.