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The impact of optical filtering on 40-Gb/s return-to-zero (RZ) signals was experimentally investigated with an optically time-division multiplexing (OTDM) receiver. Through the evaluation of the signal performance by changing the interpulse-phase conditions of the symmetrically band-limited 40-Gb/s signals, we have confirmed that similar performance was obtained regardless of the interpulse-phase condition, owing to the pulse-reshaping capability of an OTDM receiver. A performance comparison was also conducted between symmetrically and asymmetrically filtered 40-Gb/s RZ signals. It was found that the symmetrically filtered signal was more tolerant for the dispersion-compensation error, while the asymmetrically filtered signal was more tolerant for fiber nonlinearity with optical filters that have a 3-dB bandwidth of 45 GHz.