Acute meningoencephalitis syndrome surveillance was initiated in three medical college hospitals in Bangladesh in October 2007 to identify Japanese encephalitis (JE) cases. We estimated the population-based incidence of JE in the three hospitals' catchment areas by adjusting the hospital-based crude incidence of JE by the proportion of catchment area meningoencephalitis cases who were admitted to surveillance hospitals. Instead of a traditional house-to-house survey, which is expensive for a disease with low frequency, we attempted a novel approach to identify meningoencephalitis cases in the hospital catchment area through social networks among the community residents. The estimated JE incidence was 2.7/100,000 population in Rajshahi (95% confidence interval [CI] = 1.8-4.9), 1.4 in Khulna (95% CI = 0.9-4.1), and 0.6 in Chittagong (95% CI = 0.4-0.9). Bangladesh should consider a pilot project to introduce JE vaccine in high-incidence areas.