J2 League
J2 League
Country Flag of Japan Japan
Confederation AFC
Founded 1999
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
(3 titles)
TV SKY PerfecTV!
Website Official website
Football current event.png 2017

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.

2016 season

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
in J2
Based in First season
in D2
in D2
Current Spell
in D2
Last Spell in
Top Flight
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.

External links

2021 J1 League

Avispa Fukuoka · Cerezo Osaka · Consadole Sapporo · Gamba Osaka · Kashima Antlers · Kashiwa Reysol · Kawasaki Frontale · Nagoya Grampus · Oita Trinita · Sagan Tosu · Sanfrecce Hiroshima · Shimizu S-Pulse · Shonan Bellmare · Tokushima Vortis · FC Tokyo · Urawa Red Diamonds · Vegalta Sendai · Vissel Kobe · Yokohama F. Marinos · Yokohama FC

2021 J2 League

Albirex Niigata · Blaublitz Akita · Ehime FC · Fagiano Okayama · Giravanz Kitakyushu · JEF United Chiba · Júbilo Iwata · Kyoto Sanga FC · FC Machida Zelvia · Matsumoto Yamaga FC · Mito HollyHock · Montedio Yamagata · Omiya Ardija · Renofa Yamaguchi FC · FC Ryukyu · SC Sagamihara · Thespakusatsu Gunma · Tochigi SC · Tokyo Verdy · V-Varen Nagasaki · Ventforet Kofu · Zweigen Kanazawa

2021 J3 League

AC Nagano Parceiro · Azul Claro Numazu · FC Gifu · FC Imabari · Fujieda MYFC · Fukushima United FC · Gainare Tottori · Iwate Grulla Morioka · Kagoshima United FC · Kamatamare Sanuki · Kataller Toyama · Roasso Kumamoto · Tegevajaro Miyazaki · Vanraure Hachinohe · YSCC Yokohama

Other Info

J.League Players (J1 League players · J2 League players · J3 League players)

Football in Japan
League competitions The JFA Cup competitions
J1 League Japan Emperor's Cup
J2 League (U-23) (U-20) J. League Cup
J3 League (U-17) Japanese Super Cup
Japan Football League List of clubs J. League All-Star Soccer
Japanese Regional Leagues List of stadiums Senior Football Championship
List of leagues
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