Japan Data Archive

About Japan > Life and Customs > 

What is professional soccer like in Japan?

The Japanese professional soccer league is called J.League, an abbreviation for the Japan Professional Football League.
Since the league was launched with ten teams in 1993, the number of teams has increased every year.
In 1999, a two-tier system was launched, comprising J1 (Division 1) and J2 (Division 2), made up of 16 teams and 12 teams, respectively.
On the basis of scores accumulated at the end of each season, the bottom two teams of J1 and the top two teams of J2 mutually exchange division memberships.
The soccer season is from March to November.
Gaines are played on Wednesdays and Saturdays through the season.
Japanese soccer teams have improved over the years, and a national team was finally able to qualify in the World Cup soccer championship games in 1998.
Nakata Hidetoshi and other Japanese players have become key plavers on well-known Italian soccer teams.
In addition, the 2002 World Cup soccer championship was hosted jointly by Japan and South Korea.