J. League Division 1

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J.League Division 1
Country Japan Japan
Confederation AFC
Founded 1993
Number of teams 18
Levels on pyramid 1
Relegation to J. League Division 2
Domestic cup(s) Emperor's Cup
Yamazaki Nabisco Cup
Japanese Super Cup
International cup(s) AFC Champions League
Current champions Gamba Osaka
Most championships Kashima Antlers (7 titles)
TV partners SKY PerfecTV!
Website Official Website
2015 J. League Division 1

The J.League Division 1 (Jリーグ・ディビジョン1 J Rīgu Dibijon1?) or J1 League (J1リーグ J1 Rīgu?) is the top division of Japan Professional Football League (日本プロサッカーリーグ Nippon Puro Sakkā Rīgu?) and is the top professional association football league in Japan.[1][2][3][4][5][6][7] It is one of the most successful leagues in Asian club football and the only league given top class 'A' ranking by the AFC. Currently, J.League Division 1 is the first level of the Japanese association football league system. The second tier is represented by J. League Division 2. It is currently sponsored by Meiji Yasuda Life and thus officially known as the Meiji Yasuda J1 League.


For history of Japanese club association football before the inception of the professional league in 1993, see Japan Soccer League.
For detailed history of J.League Division 2, see J. League Division 2#History.

Phases of J1[edit]

Before the professional league (1992 and earlier)[edit]

Before the inception of the J.League, the highest level of club football was the Japan Soccer League (JSL), which consisted of amateur clubs.[8][9] Despite being well-attended during the boom of the late 60's and early 70's (when Japan's national team won the bronze Olympic medal at the 1968 games in Mexico), the JSL went into decline in the 80's, in general line with the deteriorating situation worldwide. Fans were few, the grounds were not of the highest quality, and the Japanese national team was not on a par with the Asian powerhouses. To raise the level of play domestically, to attempt to garner more fans, and to strengthen the national team, the Japan Football Association (JFA) decided to form a professional league.

The professional association football league, J.League was formed in 1992, with eight clubs drawn from the JSL First Division, one from the Second Division, and the newly formed Shimizu S-Pulse. At the same time, JSL changed its name and became the Japan Football League, a semi-professional league. Although the J.League did not officially launch until 1993, the Yamazaki Nabisco Cup competition was held between the ten clubs in 1992 to prepare for the inaugural season.

Inaugural season and J.League boom (1993–1995)[edit]

J.League officially kicked-off its first season with ten clubs on May 15, 1993 as Verdy Kawasaki (current, Tokyo Verdy) played host to Yokohama Marinos (current, Yokohama F. Marinos) at the Kasumigaoka National Stadium.

After the boom (1996–1999)[edit]

Despite the success in the first three years, in early 1996 the league attendance declined rapidly. In 1997 the average attendance was 10,131, compared to more than 19,000 in 1994.

Change of infrastructure and game formats (1999–2004)[edit]

Main article: J. League Division 2

The league's management finally realized that they were heading in the wrong direction. In order to solve the problem, the management came out with two solutions.

First, they announced the J. League Hundred Year Vision, in which they aim to make 100 professional association football clubs in the nation of Japan by 2092, the hundredth season. The league also encouraged the clubs to promote football or non-football related sports and health activities, to acquire local sponsorships, and to build good relationship with their hometowns at the grass-root level. The league believed that this will allow the clubs to bond with their respective cities and towns and get support from local government, companies, and citizens. In other words, clubs will be able to rely on the locals, rather than major national sponsors.

Second, the infrastructure of the league was heavily changed in 1999. The league acquired nine clubs from the semi-professional JFL and one club from J. League to create a two division system. The top flight became the J. League Division 1 (J1) with 16 clubs while J. League Division 2 (J2) was launched with ten clubs in 1999. The second-tier Japan Football League (former), now became third-tier Japan Football League.

Also, until 2004 (with the exception of 1996 season), the J1 season was divided into two. At the end of each full season, the champion from each half played a two-legged series to determine the overall season winner and runners-up. Júbilo Iwata in 2002, and Yokohama F. Marinos in 2003, won both "halves" of the respective seasons, thus eliminating the need for the playoff series. This was the part of the reason the league abolished the split-season system starting from 2005.

European League Format & AFC Champions League (2005–2008)[edit]

Since the 2005 season, J.League Division 1 consisted of 18 clubs (from 16 in 2004) and the season format became similar to the European club football. The number of relegated clubs also increased from 2 to 2.5, with the third-from-bottom club going into promotion/relegation playoffs with the third-placed J2 club. Since then, other than minor adjustments, the top flight has stayed consistent.

Japanese teams did not treat the Asian Champions League that seriously in the early years, in part due to the distances travelled and teams played. However, in the 2008 Champions League three Japanese sides made the quarter-finals.[10]

However in the recent years, with inclusion of A-League in Eastern Asia, introduction of FIFA Club World Cup, and increased marketability in the Asian continent, both the league and the clubs paid more attention to Asian competition. For example, Kawasaki Frontale built up a notable fan base in Hong Kong, owing to their participation in the Asian Champions League during the 2007 season.[11] Continuous effort led to the success of Urawa Red Diamonds in 2007 and Gamba Osaka in 2008. Thanks to excellent league management and competitiveness in Asian competition, the AFC awarded J.League the highest league ranking and a total of four slots starting from the 2009 season. The league took this as an opportunity to sell TV broadcasting rights to foreign countries, especially in Asia.

Also starting the 2008 season, Emperor's Cup Winner was allowed to participate in the upcoming Champions League season, rather than waiting a whole year (i.e. 2005 Emperor's Cup winner, Tokyo Verdy, participated in the 2007 ACL season, instead of the 2006 season). In order to fix this one-year lag issue, the 2007 Emperor's Cup winner, Kashima Antlers', turn was waived. Nonetheless, Kashima Antlers ended up participating in the 2009 ACL season by winning the J. League title in the 2008 season.

Modern phase (2009–2014)[edit]

Three major changes were seen starting in the 2009 season. First, starting that season, four clubs entered the AFC Champions League. Secondly, the number of relegation slots increased to three. Finally, the AFC Player slot was implemented starting this season. Each club will be allowed to have a total of four foreign players; however, one slot is reserved for a player that derives from an AFC country other than Japan. Also, as a requirement of being a member of the Asian Football Confederation, the J. League Club Licence regulations started in 2012 as one criterion of whether a club was allowed to stay in its division or to be promoted to a higher tier in professional level league. No major changes happened to J. League Division 1 as the number of clubs stayed at 18.

Future (2015–)[edit]

Starting from the 2015 season, the J. League will again change back to a two-stage "mini-league" (last held in 2004) with the winners of each stage then playing against teams that were runners-up from different "mini-league".[12] A qualifying format will also ensure that teams who finish 4th or above can also enter this play-off stage.[13] A similar idea was first discussed during committee meetings held in June 2013[14]


Year Important Events # J Clubs # ACL Clubs Rele. Slots
  • JFA forms a professional league assessment committee.
  • The committee decides the criteria for professional clubs
  • Fifteen to twenty clubs from Japan Soccer League applies for the professional league membership
  • The professional league, J.League is formed with the following 10 clubs:
    • Gamba Osaka, JEF United Ichihara, Nagoya Grampus Eight, Sanfrecce Hiroshima, Urawa Red Diamonds, Verdy Kawasaki, Yokohama Flügels, and Yokohama Marinos (pre-existing from the old JSL First Division)
    • Kashima Antlers (promoted from the old Second Division)
    • Shimizu S-Pulse (newly formed, non-company club).
  • Japan Soccer League becomes second-tier Japan Football League (former)
  • J.League hosts the first domestic league cup competition with the ten clubs
  • The J.League officially kicks off its first season
  • Following clubs are promoted from Japan Football League: Júbilo Iwata and Bellmare Hiratsuka
  • Following clubs are promoted from Japan Football League: Cerezo Osaka and Kashiwa Reysol
  • The points system is introduced for the first time: a club receives 3 pts for any win, 1 pts for PK loss, and 0 pts for regulation or extra time loss.
  • Following clubs are promoted from Japan Football League: Kyoto Purple Sanga and Avispa Fukuoka
  • The league adopts single season format
  • J.League average attendance hits the record low 10,131
  • Following club is promoted from Japan Football League: Vissel Kobe
  • The league goes back to split-season format
  • The points system changes: a club receives 3 pts for regulation win, 2 pts for extra-time win, 1 pt for PK win, and 0 pts for any loss.
  • Following club is promoted from Japan Football League: Consadole Sapporo
  • Yokohama Flügels announces that they will be dissolved into crosstown rivals Yokohama Marinos for the 1999 season
  • The league announces the J.League Hundred Year Vision
  • The league announces incorporation of two-division system starting 1999 season
  • The league hosts J.League Promotion Tournament to decide promoting and/or relegating clubs. As a result, Consadole Sapporo becomes the first club be to relegated.
  • Yokohama Marinos merges with Yokohama Flügels and becomes Yokohama F. Marinos
  • Penalty kick shootouts are abolished in both divisions; however, golden goal extra-time rules stayed
  • The points system changes: a club receives 3 pts for a regulation win, 2 pts for an extra time win, and 1 pt for a tie
  • Japan Football League (former) is also restructured, as it becomes the 3rd-tier Japan Football League.
Note: To distinguish between the former and the current JFL, the new JFL is pronounced Nihon Football League in Japanese.
16 2
2000 16 2
2001 16 2
2002 16 2 2
  • Extra time is abolished in Division 1 and traditional 3–1–0 points system is adopted
16 2
  • No automatic relegation this season, as the top flight expands to 18 clubs in the following season
  • Inception of the two-legged Promotion/Relegation Series
16 2 0.5
  • J.League Division 1 expands to 18 clubs
  • J.League Division 1 adopts singles-season format
18 2 2.5
2006 18 2 2.5
Note: If a Japanese club wins the AFC Champions League, the host loses its right.
18 2 2.5
2008 18 2 + 1 2.5
  • Four clubs enter AFC Champion League.
  • Implementation of 4th foreign player slot, a.k.a. AFC player slot
  • Promotion/Relegation Series is eliminated and 16th-place club is now relegated by default.
18 4 3
2010 18 4 3
  • J.League champions qualifies to the FIFA Club World Cup as the host for next two seasons again
18 4 3

Stance in the Japanese football pyramid[edit]

Level(s) League(s)/Division(s)
I J.League Division 1 (J1)
18 clubs
II J. League Division 2 (J2)
22 clubs
III J3 League
12 clubs
IV Japan Football League
18 clubs
V/VI 9 Regional Leagues
122 clubs
VII+ 46 Prefectural Leagues
& 4 Block Leagues of Hokkaido

many clubs

Since the inception of the second division in 1999, promotion and relegation follow a pattern similar to the European leagues, where the two bottom clubs of J1 and the top two clubs of J2 are guaranteed to move. From the 2004 to 2008 season, the third-placed J2 club entered Promotion/Relegation Series against the sixteenth-placed J1 club and the winner had a right to play in the top flight in the following year. Starting on the 2009 season,the top three J2 clubs receives J1 promotion by default in place of three bottom J1 clubs. However, promotion or right to play the now-defunct pro/rele series relies on the J2 clubs meeting the requirements for J1 franchise status set by the league. This has generally not been a hindrance, in fact, no club is yet to be denied promotion due to not meeting the J1 criteria.

Until the 2004 season, the J1 season was divided into two halves, with an annual championship series involving the champions from each half (with the exception of the 1996 season). However, from the 2005 season, the single-season format is adopted as the top flight was expanded to eighteen clubs. Currently, 18 clubs compete in double round robin, home and away. Starting on the 2008 season, the top three clubs, along with the Emperor's Cup winner receive ACL berths for the following season. If the Emperor's Cup winner happens to be one of the top three J1 finisher, the 4th-place club receives the final berth. Starting on the 2009 season, the bottom three clubs are relegated to Division 2 at the end of the year.

2014 season[edit]

League Format (2014)[edit]

Eighteen clubs will play in double round-robin (home and away) format, a total of 34 games each. A club receives 3 points for a win, 1 point for a tie, and 0 points for a loss. The clubs are ranked by points, and tie breakers are, in the following order:

  • Goal differential
  • Goals scored
  • Head-to-head results
  • Disciplinary points

A draw would be conducted, if necessary. However, if two clubs are tied for first place, both clubs will be declared as co-champions. The top three clubs will qualify to the following year's AFC Champions League, while the bottom three clubs will be relegated to J2.

Prize Money (2011 figures)
  • First Place: 200,000,000 Yen
  • Second Place: 100,000,000 Yen
  • Third Place: 80,000,000 Yen
  • Fourth Place: 60,000,000 Yen
  • Fifth Place: 40,000,000 Yen
  • Six Place: 20,000,000 Yen
  • Seventh Place: 10,000,000 Yen

Participating clubs (2015)[edit]

Club Logo Year
in J1
Based in First Season in
Top Flight
Seasons in
Top Flight
Current Spell in
Top Flight
Last Title
Albirex Niigata logo 1999 (J2) 12 Niigata & Seiro, Niigata 2004 11 2004—
Kashima Antlers Logo 1993 23 Southwestern cities/towns of Ibaraki 1985 26 1993— 2009
Shonan Bellmare Logo 1994 9 South and central cities/town in Kanagawa 1972 27 2015— 1981
Yokohama F. Marinos logo 1993 23 Yokohama & Yokosuka, Kanagawa 1979 35 1982— 2004
Kawasaki Frontale logo 1999 (J2) 12 Kawasaki, Kanagawa 1977 14 2005—
Gamba Osaka logo 1993 22 Suita, Osaka 1986/87 27 2014— 2014
Nagoya Grampus Logo 1993 23 Nagoya, Aichi 1973 31 1990/91— 2010
Montedio Yamagata logo 1999 (J2) 4 All cities/towns in Yamagata 2009 4 2015—
Urawa Red Diamonds Logo 1993 22 Saitama, Saitama 1965 48 2001— 2006
Kashiwa Reysol Reysol's Logo 1995 19 Kashiwa, Chiba 1965 43 2011— 2011
Sagan Tosu logo 1999 (J2) 4 Tosu, Saga 2012 4 2012—
Sanfrecce Hiroshima Logo 1993 21 Hiroshima, Hiroshima 1965 43 2009— 2013
Shimizu S-Pulse Logo 1993 23 Shizuoka, Shizuoka 1993 23 1993—
FC Tokyo logo 1999 (J2) 21 Tokyo 2000 21 2012—
Vegalta Sendai Logo 1999 (J2) 8 Sendai, Miyagi 2002 8 2010—
Ventforet Kofu Logo 1999 (J2) 6 All cities/towns in Yamanashi 2006 6 2013—
Vissel Kobe Logo 1997 17 Kobe, Hyōgo 1997 17 2014—
Matsumoto Yamaga Logo 2012 (J2) 1 Matsumoto, Nagano 2015 1 2015—

Source for teams participating:[15]

  • Pink background denotes club was most recently promoted from J. League Division 2.
  • "Year joined" is the year the club joined the J. League (Division 1 unless otherwise indicated).
  • "First season in top flight," "Seasons in top flight," "Current spell in top flight," and "Last title" include seasons in the old Japan Soccer League First Division.

Division 1 Stadiums (2014)[edit]

Primary venues used in the J. League:

Albirex Niigata Kashima Antlers Omiya Ardija Cerezo Osaka Gamba Osaka Yokohama F. Marinos
DENKA BIG SWAN STADIUM Kashima Soccer Stadium NACK5 Stadium Omiya YANMAR STADIUM NAGAI Expo '70 Commemorative Stadium Nissan Stadium
Capacity: 42,300 Capacity: 40,728 Capacity: 15,300 Capacity: 47,816 Capacity: 21,000 Capacity: 72,370
Bigswan080628.JPG Kashima Stadium 1.JPG Ōmiya Park Soccer Stadium, R1068484.jpg Nagai stadium20040717.jpg BanpakuEXPO'70Stadium.JPG NISSANSTADIUM20080608.JPG
Kawasaki Frontale Vissel Kobe Nagoya Grampus Tokushima Vortis Urawa Red Diamonds Kashiwa Reysol
Kawasaki Todoroki Stadium NOEVIR Stadium Kobe Toyota Stadium Pocarisweat Stadium Saitama Stadium 2002 Hitachi Kashiwa Stadium
Capacity: 26,000 Capacity: 30,132 Capacity: 45,000 Capacity: 20,441 Capacity: 63,700 Capacity: 15,900
Todoroki 100911.JPG Inside View of Kobe Wing Stadium.jpg Toyota sta 0313 1.JPG Naruto-athletic-stadium.jpg Saitama stadium.jpg Kashiwa20120311-1.JPG
Sagan Tosu Sanfrecce Hiroshima Shimizu S-Pulse F.C. Tokyo Vegalta Sendai Ventforet Kofu
Best Amenity Stadium EDION Stadium Hiroshima IAI Stadium Nihondaira Ajinomoto Stadium Yurtec Stadium Sendai Yamanashi Chuo Bank Stadium
Capacity: 24,490 Capacity: 50,000 Capacity: 20,339 Capacity: 50,100 Capacity: 19,694 Capacity: 17,000
Tosu Stadium 20110508.JPG Bigarch050423.jpg Nihondaira stadium20090412.jpg Ajinomoto Stadium 20101120.JPG Sendaistadium2.JPG Vfk2009112101.jpg

Former clubs[edit]

Club Year
in J1
Based in First Season in
Top Flight
Seasons in
Top Flight
Last Spell in
Top Flight
Omiya Ardija 1999 (J2) 10 Saitama, Saitama 2005 10 2005–2014 J2
Avispa Fukuoka 1996 8 Fukuoka, Fukuoka 1996 8 2011 J2
Cerezo Osaka 1995 16 Osaka, Osaka 1965 42 2010–2014 1980 J2
Consadole Sapporo 1998 5 Sapporo, Hokkaidō 1989/90 8 2012 J2
Yokohama Flügels 1993 6 Yokohama, Kanagawa 1985 11 1988/89–1998 Defunct
JEF United Chiba 1993 17 Chiba & Ichihara, Chiba 1965 44 1965–2009 1985/86 J2
Júbilo Iwata 1994 20 Iwata, Shizuoka 1980 29 1994–2013 2002 J2
Kyoto Sanga 1996 11 Southwestern cities/towns in Kyoto 1996 11 2008–2010 J2
Oita Trinita 1999 (J2) 8 All cities/towns in Oita 2003 8 2013 J2
Tokyo Verdy 1993 14 Tokyo 1978 28 2008 1994 J2
Tokushima Vortis 2005 (J2) 1 All cities/towns in Tokushima 2014 1 2014 J2
Yokohama FC 2001 (J2) 1 Yokohama, Kanagawa 2007 1 2007 J2
  • Grey background denotes club was most recently relegated to J. League Division 2.
  • "Year joined" is the year the club joined the J. League (Division 1 unless otherwise indicated).
  • "First season in top flight," "Seasons in top flight," "Last spell in top flight," and "Last title" includes seasons in the old Japan Soccer League First Division.


Championship History[edit]

Split-Season Era (1993–2004) Bold designates champions; † Single season; ‡ Same club won both stages

Year 1st Stage 2nd Stage
1993 Kashima Antlers Verdy Kawasaki
1994 Sanfrecce Hiroshima Verdy Kawasaki
1995 Yokohama Marinos Verdy Kawasaki
1996 Kashima Antlers
1997 Kashima Antlers Júbilo Iwata
1998 Júbilo Iwata Kashima Antlers
1999 Júbilo Iwata Shimizu S-Pulse
2000 Yokohama F. Marinos Kashima Antlers
2001 Júbilo Iwata Kashima Antlers
2002 Júbilo Iwata
2003 Yokohama F. Marinos
2004 Yokohama F. Marinos Urawa Red Diamonds

Single Season Era (2005–2014)

Year Champion Runners-Up 3rd Place
2005 Gamba Osaka Urawa Red Diamonds Kashima Antlers
2006 Urawa Red Diamonds Kawasaki Frontale Gamba Osaka
2007 Kashima Antlers Urawa Red Diamonds Gamba Osaka
2008 Kashima Antlers Kawasaki Frontale Nagoya Grampus
2009 Kashima Antlers Kawasaki Frontale Gamba Osaka
2010 Nagoya Grampus Gamba Osaka Cerezo Osaka
2011 Kashiwa Reysol Nagoya Grampus Gamba Osaka
2012 Sanfrecce Hiroshima Vegalta Sendai Urawa Red Diamonds
2013 Sanfrecce Hiroshima Yokohama F. Marinos Kawasaki Frontale
2014 Gamba Osaka Urawa Red Diamonds Kashima Antlers

Most successful clubs[edit]

Clubs in bold compete in top flight as of 2015 season.

Club Champions Runners-Up Winning Seasons Runners-Up Seasons
Kashima Antlers
1996, 1998, 2000, 2001, 2007, 2008, 2009 1993, 1997
Yokohama F. Marinos
1995, 2003, 2004 2000, 2002, 2013
Júbilo Iwata
1997, 1999, 2002 1998, 2001, 2003
Tokyo Verdy
1993, 1994 1995
Gamba Osaka
2005, 2014 2010
Sanfrecce Hiroshima
2012, 2013 1994
Urawa Red Diamonds
2006 2004, 2005, 2007, 2014
Nagoya Grampus
2010 1996, 2011
Kashiwa Reysol
Kawasaki Frontale
2006, 2008, 2009
Shimizu S-Pulse
Vegalta Sendai

Relegation history[edit]

Only seven clubs have never been relegated from J1. Among those, only four clubs—Kashima Antlers, Yokohama F. Marinos, Nagoya Grampus, and Shimizu S-Pulse—have been participating in every league season since its establishment in 1993. Albirex Niigata, Sagan Tosu, and Matsumoto Yamaga were promoted to the first division in 2004, 2012, and 2014, respectively, and remain there ever since. The former J. League club Yokohama Flügels have never experienced relegation before their merger with Yokohama Marinos in 1999.

In addition to never been relegated from J1, Shimizu S-Pulse is the only top flight club that has never participated in the second division, as this club has been formed in line with establishment of J. League. The only other club to maintain this accomplishment, JEF United Chiba, ended its top flight streak in 2009, when it has been relegated after 44 consecutive seasons in the first divisions of JSL and J. League.

The 1998 season

When the league introduced the two-division system in 1999, they also reduced number of Division 1 club from 18 to 16. At the end of 1998 season, they hosted the J. League Promotion Tournament to determine two relegating clubs.

Split-season era (1999–2004)

Throughout 1999 to 2003 seasons, two bottom clubs were relegated to Division 2. To accommodate for split-season format, combined overall standings were used to determine the relegating clubs. This created a confusing situation, where for championship race stage standing were used, while overall standing was used for relegation survival.

At end of the 2004 season, Division 1 again expanded from 16 to 18 clubs. No clubs were relegated; however, last-placed (16th) club had to play Promotion/Relegation Series against 3rd placed club from J2. Again, to determine 16th placed club, overall standing was used instead of stage standing.

Single season era (2005–present)

For the next four seasons, 2005 to 2008, the number of relegating clubs was increased to 2.5, with two clubs from each division being promoted and relegated directly, and two more (15th in J1 and 3rd in J2) competed in Promotion/Relegation Series.

Since 2009, the pro/rele series were abandoned and three teams are directly exchanged between divisions. In 2012 promotion playoffs were introduced in J2, allowing teams that finished from 3rd to 6th to compete for J1 promotion place.

Year 15th Place 16th Place 17th Place 18th Place
1998 JEF United Ichihara Consadole Sapporo Vissel Kobe Avispa Fukuoka
1999 Urawa Red Diamonds Bellmare Hiratsuka Only 16 clubs participated
2000 Kyoto Purple Sanga Kawasaki Frontale
2001 Avispa Fukuoka Cerezo Osaka
2002 Sanfrecce Hiroshima Consadole Sapporo
2003 Vegalta Sendai Kyoto Purple Sanga
2004 Cerezo Osaka Kashiwa Reysol
2005 Shimizu S-Pulse Kashiwa Reysol Tokyo Verdy 1969 Vissel Kobe
2006 Ventforet Kofu Avispa Fukuoka Cerezo Osaka Kyoto Purple Sanga
2007 Omiya Ardija Sanfrecce Hiroshima Ventforet Kofu Yokohama FC
2008 JEF United Chiba Júbilo Iwata Tokyo Verdy Consadole Sapporo
2009 Montedio Yamagata Kashiwa Reysol Oita Trinita JEF United Chiba
2010 Vissel Kobe FC Tokyo Kyoto Sanga Shonan Bellmare
2011 Urawa Red Diamonds Ventforet Kofu Avispa Fukuoka Montedio Yamagata
2012 Albirex Niigata Vissel Kobe Gamba Osaka Consadole Sapporo
2013 Ventforet Kofu Shonan Bellmare Júbilo Iwata Oita Trinita
2014 Shimizu S-Pulse Omiya Ardija Cerezo Osaka Tokushima Vortis

* Bold designates relegated clubs;
† Won the Pro/Rele Series;
‡ Lost the Pro/Rele Series and relegated

Other tournaments[edit]

Domestic Tournaments
International Tournaments
Defunct Tournament

J. League awards[edit]

J. League 20th Anniversary Team[edit]

Position Name
Goalkeeper Yoshikatsu Kawaguchi
Defender Naoki Matsuda
Defender Yuji Nakazawa
Defender Masami Ihara
Midfielder Yasuhito Endō
Midfielder Hidetoshi Nakata
Midfielder Shunsuke Nakamura
Midfielder Hiroshi Nanami
Forward Kazuyoshi Miura
Forward Masashi Nakayama
Forward Dragan Stojković

Players and managers[edit]



Media coverage[edit]

Country Network
 Brazil ESPN Brazil
 Germany /  Austria /   Switzerland Sportdigital.tv
 Hong Kong Cable TV
 Malaysia Astro SuperSport
 Thailand GMM Sport1
 United States One World Sports
 Vietnam VTVcab
 Philippines ABS-CBN Sports+Action
Internet Livesport.tv

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "J-League History Part 5: Expansion, success, and a bright future". Goal.com. 2013-09-09. Retrieved 2013-12-12. 
  2. ^ "J-League History Part 4: Exporting Talent". Goal.com. 2013-09-09. Retrieved 2013-12-12. 
  3. ^ "J-League History Part 3: Growing pains emerge on the road to the 2002 World Cup". Goal.com. 2013-09-09. Retrieved 2013-12-12. 
  4. ^ "J-League History Part 2: Verdy Kawasaki dominates the early years". Goal.com. 2013-09-09. Retrieved 2013-12-12. 
  5. ^ "J-League History Part 1: Professional football begins in Japan". Goal.com. 2013-09-09. Retrieved 2013-12-12. 
  6. ^ "Tokyo Journal; Japan Falls for Soccer, Leaving Baseball in Lurch - New York Times". Nytimes.com. 1994-06-06. Retrieved 2013-11-17. 
  7. ^ "Japan Wages Soccer Campaign". CSMonitor.com. Retrieved 2013-11-17. 
  8. ^ "Football finds a home in Japan". FIFA.com. 2005-12-02. Retrieved 2013-12-12. 
  9. ^ "When Saturday Comes - How Japan created a successful league". Wsc.co.uk. 2010-07-18. Retrieved 2013-12-12. 
  10. ^ John Duerden (11 August 2008). "Asian Debate: Is Japan Becoming Asia's Leader?". Goal.com. Retrieved 19 August 2012. 
  11. ^ 川崎Fが香港でブレーク中、生中継で火 (in Japanese). NikkanSports. March 8, 2008. Retrieved March 8, 2008. 
  12. ^ "J. League to adopt two-stage format". Japan Times. 2013-09-11. Retrieved 2013-09-17. 
  13. ^ "J. League method of league from 2015" (in Japanese). J-League. 2013-09-17. 
  14. ^ "Emperor's Cup final moves to Dec; J-League considers 2 stage system". Houseofjapan.com. 2013-05-21. Retrieved 2013-09-17. 
  15. ^ "J1 League: Summary". Soccerway. Global Sports Media. Retrieved 19 August 2012. 

External links[edit]