Despite moving to Kashiwa, Chiba and a soccer-specific stadium of their own, Hitachi did not adjust well and were relegated in bottom place, the first drop for the former champions. Matsushita, despite having more victories than relegation rivals Yamaha, had more losses as well and thus joined Hitachi.
Sumitomo returned to the top flight at the first time of asking, followed by Toyota Motors, who had been struggling since their 1977 relegation and came close to dropping out of the League. TDK and the Kyoto Police Dept. team went back to the regional divisions.