J. League Division 2

The J. League Division 2 ( Jリーグ·ディビジョン2 J Rīgu Dibijon 2) or J2 League ( J2リーグJ2 Rīgu ) is the second division of the Japan Professional Football League (日本 プロ サッカー リーグNippon Puro Sakkā Rīgu ) and the second highest association football league in Japan. In the hierarchy of leagues it is in second place, behind the parent J. League Division 1

For the 1999 season, the newly founded J2 dissolved the former Japan Football League from ten clubs. Its founding members included a relegated the J1 and nine clubs in the JFL. This was re-established for third-rate Japan Football League with nine participants. In addition to the seven remaining clubs was the field around the Yokohama FC newly established and expanded a promoted from the regional leagues.

  • 3.1 League format (2014)
  • 3.2 Participants ( 2014)


Prior to founding ( -1999 )

With the Japan Soccer League Second Division, the first second-rate football league in the country was established in 1972. Five of the ten founding members of the JSL played in the J. League was founded later: Toyota Motors ( winner of the tournament preparation ), Yomiuri, Fujitsu, Kyoto Shiko Club and Kofu Club. The two last-place clubs in the premier league played in a Relegation to avoid relegation to the champion and runner of the JSL. From the season 1980, the runner-up had to do was play the ascent until the Relegation was first exposed completely and ascended both teams immediately.

Prior to 1977, teams were able to reach the second division only on participation in the final of the All Japan Senior Football Championship and a victory in the relegation. After that, the newly introduced All Japan Regional Football Promotion League Series decided on promotion to the second division. In 1985 the league by two teams, expanded to 16 teams in the following year. Until 1989, there were an East and West group that divided the teams geographically. This separation was lifted up to the reestablishment of the J. League and thus has reorganized the Japanese professional football in 1992. The JSL Second Division was renamed the Japan Football League, which was further divided into two divisions, each with ten clubs. In 1994, the two divisions were put back together and doubled the number of participants. With the increasing size of the teams in the J. League had to be made for a new second division. Many clubs newly established aimed at progressing to the new professional league from (to name here are Shonan Bell Mare, Kashiwa Reysol, Cerezo Osaka and Júbilo Iwata ), which did not qualify despite the gain of the JSL First Division for participation in the warm-up tournament.

Professionalization (1999-2004)

1999 The structure of the league changed greatly. Nine a team of J. League clubs in the JFL and were appointed to the new J. League Division 2. The top division was henceforth to the J. League Division 1 (J1 ) with 16 teams and the J. League Division 2 played with ten teams. The former second-class Japan Football League became the third-tier Japan Football League.

The criteria to become a member of the Division 2 were not as stringent as those for the House of Lords. Thus could be elevated to the successful professional league club from smaller towns without really investing for example in stages. So it was, among other things Mito Hollyhock with an average of 3,000 fans per game and lower sponsors support allows to play under the professional clubs.

Clubs took advantage of the participation in the J2, to line up for promotion to the J1. Investments in their own youth, the stadium and improve the finances, and building a following should allow an early upgrade. Clubs such as Oita Trinita, Albirex Niigata, Kawasaki Frontale and Ventforet Kofu achieved this quickly. Each of these clubs began in 1999 as a small clubs in the J. League Division 2 and increased between 2002 and 2005 to the House of Lords. Despite the decline of Kofu and Oita, there are still clubs with a basis of an average of 10,000 fans per game.

The league format has been adapted to European professional leagues. In the first three years, it was still customary to play off league games in a draw with extension. Only in 2002 the extension was abolished and the 3-1 -0- points system in 2004.

Expansion of the League (2004-2009)

In 2000 and 2001, received two third division, Mito Hollyhock and Yokohama FC, ​​eligible to play for the Division 2 Mito already tried in 1999 to the accession and Yokohama FC, ​​which was founded by fans of the defunct Yokohama wing in the same year, would also be been a potential candidate for the participants of the founding year of Division 2.

Except for these two club but no other club continued to seek admission into the professional league by 2004. Only then came with Kusatsu and Tokushima two new clubs, the league expanded the field. For the 2006 season the Ehime FC managed the climb. It turned out that it really was a great interest of the clubs at one enters, but they still played at the millennium in the regional league and could be built only within the next three to four years, to go for a climb.

Especially the fact that the Division 2 small clubs allowed to play with professional clubs in a league, they made ​​it so attractive. At the start of the 2006 season, the league launched a survey to determine the general interest of the clubs on a accession. It was found that 40 to 60 teams expressed their interest in the next 30 years of professional league to join. The end of the 90s said 100 -year vision of the J. League therefore seemed feasible.

In a newly formed committee two ways to increase the league should be checked: the Division 2 Either could be initially expanded as a second professional league or set up a third professional league to prepare for the emerging clubs on the rise in the Division 2. The following considerations led to the decision, the Division 2 first 22 clubs to expand:

  • The Japan Football League as third Japanese League was already sufficiently preparing to ascend.
  • At this time, the most distinguished clubs were still in the regional leagues in Japan and thus two to four leagues under Division 2
  • The establishment of 22 allowed to interfere with the perfect balance between sufficient home games per season without the round-trip round format.
  • In the established European leagues usually play more teams in the second and third division than in the House of Lords.

The Committee decided to introduce the Extraordinary members system, which should be introduced for the 2006 season. Thus, the League could assist interested clubs at their admission into the professional league in particular. This membership was thus awarded only clubs that have expressed their interest to want to move up in the professional league in the country and already meet a large part of the requirements of the rise in the J2. Some clubs in the Japan Football League and regional leagues competed and would receive immediate membership. Once one of the members in the Top 4 of the JFL placed, was a rise in the J2 nothing in the way. In addition to the Ehime FC increased in this way to six other clubs.

With increase in the participant field of J2 2008, the former four rounds were reduced to three per season. In the following season the number of participants has been extended from 15 to 18, and thus corresponded to the first time a typical European professional league. Also finished the one introduced in 2004 relegation matches between J1 and J2 to more clubs to make a direct ascent to the top flight.

End of the extension, J2 Playoffs and other changes (2010 -present)

Upon reaching 19 clubs for the 2010 season, the round-trip round format has been introduced. The field was expanded to 22, which for the first time the descent of the J2 in the Japan Football League was possible. This mark should not be exceeded for the next few seasons.

For the 2012 season series B or the Segunda a playoff tournament was similar to the Football League Championship, Liga, for promotion aspirants introduced. While the first and second place Division 2 rise automatically, play the ranks 3-6 in a tournament for the promotion place in the J1.

  • The third place winner plays against the sixth- and fourth against the fifth. Unlike in Europe, but only one game is played in the stadium of the higher -placed.
  • The winners will play either in the home stadium of the higher -placed or on neutral ground like the Tokyo National Stadium. The winner receives the third promotion place.
  • When Draw is omitted extension and / or penalties. The higher up receives the privilege and is a draw " winners ".

The two last -placed, depending on the output of the JFL, dismount.

As of the 2013 season clubs to be licensed. Teams that can not meet the requirements of the license, descend without regard to their placement in the JFL.

For the 2014 season another professional league is inserted below the J2. The new J3 League includes at the beginning of 12 teams and is composed of the losers of the J2 2013 Gainare Tottori, 9 clubs from the Japan Football League, a climber from the regional leagues as well as a U -22 team of the J1 and J2 teams. All registered teams had to meet a number of eligibility criteria. The Japan Football League thus falls back to the fourth stage of the Japanese leagues pyramid.


  • The Division 2 is set up with nine clubs of the old Japan Football League and the relegated from J1: Consadole Sapporo, Montedio Yamagata, Vegalta Sendai, Omiya Ardija, Kawasaki Frontale, Ventforet Kofu, Sagan Tosu and FC Tokyo, Albirex Niigata and Oita Trinita
  • The old Japan Football League is re- established itself as the third league.
  • The following clubs rise from the Japan Football League on: Mito Hollyhock
  • The following clubs rise from the Japan Football League in Yokohama FC
  • Extension is abolished and the 3-1-0 point system.
  • Introduction of the play-offs, as the upper house will be expanded in the following season on 18 participants.
  • The J. League Division 1 is expanded to 18 teams, so the descent was exposed last season.
  • The following clubs rise from the Japan Football League on: Tokushima and Kusatsu
  • The following clubs rise from the Japan Football League on: Ehime FC
  • For the play-offs, the away goals rule is introduced
  • The J. League expansion committee is founded and introduces the extraordinary members system.
  • The following clubs rise from the Japan Football League on: Roasso Kumamoto and FC Gifu
  • Division 2 Adopts the triple -round- robin format from quadruple -round- robin
  • The following clubs rise from the Japan Football League on: Tochigi SC, Kataller Toyama and Okayama
  • The play-offs will be abolished. As of now, the top three teams automatically promoted to the J1.
  • The following clubs rise from the Japan Football League on: Giravanz Kitakyushu
  • The round-trip round format is introduced.
  • The following clubs rise from the Japan Football League on: Gainare Tottori
  • The following clubs rise from the Japan Football League on: Matsumoto Yamaga and Machida Zelvia
  • For the third direct promotion place the playoff system is introduced.
  • Depending on the outcome of the Japan Football League can stay from now on up to two clubs.
  • The following teams rise in the Japan Football League from: Machida Zelvia
  • The following clubs rise from the Japan Football League on: V- Varen Nagasaki
  • Potential losers are incorporated into the newly formed J3 League.
  • The following teams rise in the J3 League from: Gainare Tottori
  • The following clubs rise from the Japan Football League on: Kamatamare Sanuki
  • The two last placed deny at the end of season playoff games against the top two teams of J3; the last play here against the J3- master who Penultimate against the J3- runner.

Position in the Japanese football pyramid

With its establishment, the Division 2 led for the professional leagues a promotion and relegation system similar to the European professional leagues, a. Between 2004 and 2008 play-offs, disputed by the third-placed J2 and the sixteenth day of the J1 discharged. Since 2009 there are three direct ascent places in the Division 1 Even if the clubs should meet the requirements of the J1 for the ascent, until now any club, the rise was denied.

An ascent from a unterklassigen League in the J2 is possible since 2007, a descent into a unterklassige League since 2012. By 2013, this league was the Japan Football League, where clubs were allowed from the JFL only rise if they are members of the J. League and were among the Top4 a season. From 2014, the new J3 League takes the place of the JFL. The two last-place teams in the J3 wear this playoff games against the top two teams from the J3; in return game the last table measures with the J3- Master, during the penultimate plays against the runner-up of the J3.

2014 season

League Format (2014)

The 22 clubs in the Division 1 play in a return match against each other, so each team has to contest 42 games. For a victory, the team receives three points, one for a draw and none for a defeat. The placement decision is based on points. Event of a tie decide on the placement in the following order:

  • Goal difference
  • Goals Scored
  • Results in the duels
  • Fair Play compare

If necessary, the placement is played. If two clubs are tied at # 1, both of which are declared champion and rise. The third promotion place will be played in a playoff tournament between places 3-6.

The two last placed deny relegation games against the two best teams in the J3 League. In this play, each in return game, the last placed against the J3- champion and the Penultimate against the J3- runner.

Participants (2014)

  • Grayed clubs show at last from the J1 relegated clubs.
  • Pink -backed clubs show at last from the Japan Football League Ascended clubs.
  • " Accession year " is the year in which the association has joined the J League ( Division 2, unless otherwise stated).
  • " Last time in the House of Lords " can also be the old Japan Soccer League First Division mine.

Summary of ascents

Initially, only the first two teams of the ascent was made possible in the J1. Between 2004 and 2008, played the third place against the table Sixteenth of a J1 relegation. Since 2009, dispenses with that and the 1-3 places automatically rise.

* Grease written clubs have risen; With marked † clubs lost the relegation; With ‡ marked clubs won the play-offs and have risen. Marked with # clubs which has been held since 2012 Rise of the playoff teams won in the squares 3-6 a season.

More Contests

Emperor's Cup (1921 - ) Xerox Super Cup (1994 - )