|Number of teams||22|
|Promotion to||J1 League|
|Relegation to||J3 League|
|Levels on pyramid||2|
|Domestic cup(s)||Emperor's Cup|
|Current champions||Consadole Sapporo (2016)|
|Most successful club||Consadole Sapporo |
The J2 League is the second division of the Japan Professional Football League and the second-tier professional association football league in Japan. It (along with the rest of the J.League) is currently sponsored by Meiji Yasuda Life and it is thus officially known as the Meiji Yasuda J2 League. Currently, the J2 League is the second level of the Japanese association football league system. The top tier is represented by the J1 League.
Second-tier club football has existed in Japan since 1972; however, it was only professionalized during the 1999 season with ten clubs. The league took one relegating club from the top division and nine clubs from the second-tier semi-professional former Japan Football League to create the J2 League. The remaining seven clubs in the Japan Football League, the newly formed Yokohama FC, and one promoting club from the Regional Leagues, formed the nine-club Japan Football League, then the third-tier of Japanese football. The third tier is now represented by J3 League.
League formats (2016)
- Main article: 2016 J2 League
Twenty-two clubs will play in double round-robin format, a total of 42 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 difference
- Goals scored
- Head-to-head results
- Disciplinary points
A draw would be conducted, if necessary. However, if two clubs are tied at the first place, both clubs will be declared as the champions. Two top clubs will be directly promoted to J1, and third promotion spot will be decided in the playoff series among clubs placed 4th to 6th. Note that in order to participate in the playoffs a club must possess J1 license; if one or more clubs fail to do so, they will not be allowed to playoffs and they will not be replaced by other clubs.
The relegation to lower tier J3 League will depend on the number and final standings of promotion-eligible clubs that possess J2 license. Up to two clubs can be exchanged between two leagues, with direct promotion/relegation between 22nd J2 place and J3 champion and/or playoff series between J3 runner-up and 21st-placed J2 team. If one or both J3 promotion candidates fail to obtain J2 license, they will not be allowed to promote and J2 relegation spots will be cut accordingly.
- Prize Money
- First Place: 20,000,000 Yen
- Second Place: 10,000,000 Yen
- Third Place: 5,000,000 Yen
Participating clubs (2016)
|Club Name||Year Joined||Seasons
|Based in||First season
|Last Spell in|
|Cerezo Osaka||1995 (J)||6||Osaka & Sakai, Osaka||1991/92||10||2015–||2010–2014|
|Consadole Sapporo||1998 (J)||14||All cities/towns in Hokkaido||1978||31||2013–||2012|
|Ehime FC||2006||11||All cities/towns in Ehime||2006||11||2006–||–|
|Fagiano Okayama||2009||8||All cities/towns in Okayama||2009||8||2009–||–|
|FC Gifu||2008||9||All cities/towns in Gifu||2008||9||2008–||–|
|Giravanz Kitakyushu||2010||7||Kitakyushu, Fukuoka||2010||7||2010–||–|
|Mito HollyHock||2000||17||Mito, Ibaraki||1997||19||2000–||–|
|JEF United Ichihara Chiba||1993 (J)||7||Chiba & Ichihara, Chiba||2009||7||2009–||1965–2009|
|Template:Fb team Kamatamare||2014||3||Takamatsu, Kagawa||2014||3||2014–||–|
|Template:Fb team Montedio||1999||14||All cities/towns in Yamagata||1994||19||2016–||2015|
|Template:Fb team Renofa||2015 (J3)||1||All cities/towns in Yamaguchi||2016||1||2016–||–|
|Template:Fb team Roasso||2008||9||Kumamoto, Kumamoto||2008||9||2008–||–|
|Template:Fb team S-Pulse||1993 (J)||1||Shizuoka, Shizuoka||2016||1||2016–||1993–2015|
|Kyoto Sanga||1996 (J)||10||Southwestern cities in Kyoto]||1972||23||2010–||2008–2010|
|Template:Fb team Thespa||2005||12||All cities/towns in Gunma||2005||12||2005–||–|
|Template:Fb team Verdy||1993 (J)||10||Tokyo||1972||16||2009–||2008|
|Template:Fb team Yokohama FC||2001||15||Yokohama, Kanagawa||2001||15||2008–||2007|
|Template:Fb team V-Varen||2013||4||All cities/towns in Nagasaki||2013||4||2013–||–|
|Template:Fb team Vortis||2005||11||All cities/towns in Tokushima||1990/91||18||2015–||2014|
|Template:Fb team Yamaga||2012||4||Central cities/towns in Nagano||2012||4||2016–||2015|
|Template:Fb team Zelvia||2012||2||Machida, Tokyo||2012||2||2016–||–|
|Template:Fb team Zweigen||2014 (J3)||2||Kanazawa, Ishikawa||2015||2||2015–||–|
- Gray background denotes club was most recently relegated/demoted from Division 1.
- Pink background denotes club was most recently promoted from J3 League.
- "Year joined" is the year the club joined the J.League (Division 2 unless otherwise indicated).
- "First season in D2," "Seasons in D2," and "Last spell in D2" take into account all past incarnations of second-tier football: the second division of the Japan Soccer League and the former Japan Football League.
- "Last spell in top flight" includes seasons in the old Japan Soccer League First Division.
- (Japanese) J. League official website
- J. League official website
- (Japanese) Official YouTube channel
|Football in Japan|