Recessive dystrophic epidermolysis bullosa (RDEB) is an inherited skin disease caused by mutations in the gene encoding type VII collagen (COL7A1). The mutations are highly variable and this greatly complicates the study of the genotype-phenotype relationships. To date, three recurrent mutations, specific to Japanese RDEB patients have been reported. By comparing the phenotypes of RDEB patients with different recurrent mutations, the upstream positions of the premature termination codons (PTCs) showed strong correlation with the RDEB clinical disease severity. However, such correlations have not been supported by patients with mutations that were different from these recurrent Japanese patients mutations. In this study, we report a case of RDEB with a very mild clinical phenotype, who was a compound heterozygote harbouring both a recurrent Japanese mutation and a novel deletion mutation resulting in a more upstream PTC. The patient and his mother were shown to have a recurrent donor splice site mutation within intron 81 (6573 + 1G > C), a recurrent Japanese mutation that activates a cryptic donor splicing site and results in a downstream PTC. The patient and his father shared a single-nucleotide deletion within exon 64 (5504delA), which causes a downstream frame shift in five amino acids before creating a PTC. Occurrence of the PTCs in mRNA was confirmed by reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT)-PCR. The patient's skin showed reduced immunofluorescence staining for COL7A1 and reduced number of abnormal or short anchoring fibrils by electron microscopy. Although the position of the mutation 5504delA PTC was located upstream of the previous mutations reported in combination with the 6573 + 1G > C mutation, the two mutations together give an apparently milder clinical phenotype. Therefore, genotype-phenotype relationships in RDEB cannot be explained purely by the position of PTC.