HOME
The Info List - J. League Division 2


--- Advertisement ---



(i) (i) (i) (i) (i)

The 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-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. Until the 2014 season it was named the J.LEAGUE DIVISION 2. Currently, the J2 League
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
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
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
Japan
Football League , then the third tier of Japanese football. The third tier is now represented by the J3 League .

CONTENTS

* 1 History

* 1.1 Phases of Japanese second-tier association football

* 1.1.1 Amateur era (until 1999) * 1.1.2 Professionalization era (1999–2004) * 1.1.3 Early expansion era (2004–2009) * 1.1.4 Introduction of double round-robin (2010–2011) * 1.1.5 End of expansion and J2 Playoffs (2012–present) * 1.1.6 Future plans (2013–present)

* 1.2 Timeline

* 2 Stance in the Japanese football pyramid

* 3 2017 season

* 3.1 League formats * 3.2 Participating clubs (2017) * 3.3 Stadiums (2017) * 3.4 Former clubs

* 4 Championship and promotion history

* 4.1 Most successful clubs * 4.2 Promotion playoff results

* 5 Relegation history * 6 Other tournaments

* 7 Players and managers

* 7.1 Managers * 7.2 Top scorers

* 8 See also * 9 References * 10 External links

HISTORY

For history of Japanese club football before the inception of the professional league in 1993, see Japan Soccer League . For detailed history of J1 League, see J1 League#History .

PHASES OF JAPANESE SECOND-TIER ASSOCIATION FOOTBALL

Amateur Era (until 1999)

A national second tier of Japanese association football was first established in 1972, when the Japan Soccer League formed a Second Division. Among the founding 10 clubs, 5 later competed in the J.League: Toyota Motors (inaugural champion), Yomiuri , Fujitsu , Kyoto Shiko Club and Kofu Club . The new division consisted of 10 clubs, like the First Division, and initially required both the champion and runner-up teams to play off a Promotion/Relegation series of test matches against the top flight's bottom clubs. The requirement was abolished for the champions in 1980, and for the runners-up in 1984.

Prior to 1977, the way for clubs to gain access to the Second Division was by making the finals of the All Japan
Japan
Senior Football Championship and then playing off in their own Promotion/Relegation series against the second tier's bottom clubs. After 1977, the new Regional Football League Competition served as provider of aspiring League clubs. In 1985, the Second Division increased to 12 clubs and in 1986, the number reached 16. Until 1989, the table was divided into East and West groups, depending on geographical location; after that year and until 1992 the table was unified.

In 1992, following the formation of the J.League, the JSL Second Division was renamed the (former) Japan Football League
Japan Football League
. The league was divided into two hierarchical, unequal divisions of 10 clubs each. In 1994, the JFL was again reunified into a single division. As the J.League
J.League
expanded in numbers, the need for another second tier with promotion and relegation arose, as the number of clubs which wanted to become professional increased (particularly in the case of Shonan Bellmare ! Shonan Bellmare , Kashiwa Reysol ! Kashiwa Reysol , Cerezo Osaka
Osaka
! Cerezo Osaka and Júbilo Iwata ! Júbilo Iwata , who had been JSL First Division champions but had not been chosen for the inaugural J.League
J.League
season).

Professionalization Era (1999–2004)

The infrastructure of the league was heavily changed in 1999. The league acquired nine clubs from the semi-professional JFL and one club from J.League
J.League
to create a two-division system, both being the professional leagues. The top flight became the J.League
J.League
Division 1 (J1) with 16 clubs while J.League
J.League
Division 2 (J2) was launched with ten clubs in 1999. The second-tier (former) Japan
Japan
Football League became the third-tier Japan Football League
Japan Football League
at that time.

The criteria for becoming a J2 club were not as strict as those for the top division. This allowed smaller cities and towns to maintain a club successfully without investing as much as clubs in J1. In fact, clubs like Mito HollyHock
Mito HollyHock
! Mito HollyHock
Mito HollyHock
only draw an average of 3,000 fans a game and receive minimal sponsorship, yet still field fairly competitive teams in J2.

Clubs in J2 took time to build their teams for J1 promotion, as they also tried to gradually improve their youth systems, their home stadium, their financial status, and their relationship with their hometown. Clubs such as Oita Trinita ! Oita Trinita , Albirex Niigata ! Albirex Niigata , Kawasaki Frontale ! Kawasaki Frontale , and Ventforet Kofu ! Ventforet Kofu accomplished this successfully. All these clubs originally started as J2 in 1999 and were comparatively small, but they eventually earned J1 promotion, in 2002, 2003, 2004, and 2005 respectively. Even though Kofu and Oita were later relegated back to Division 2, they are well-established association football clubs, managing to average 10,000 fans per game.

The league also began to follow European game formats, as time went on. In the first three seasons (1999–2001), games were played with extra time for regular league matches if there was no winner at end of the regulation. The extra time was abolished in 2002, and the league adopted the standard 3-1-0 points system.

Early Expansion Era (2004–2009)

Two Japan Football League
Japan Football League
clubs, Mito HollyHock
Mito HollyHock
! Mito HollyHock
Mito HollyHock
and Yokohama FC ! Yokohama FC joined the J2 League
J2 League
in the 2000 and 2001 seasons. Mito initially tried in the 1999 season, but failed, having better luck the following year. On the other hand, Yokohama FC was formed by the fans of Yokohama Flügels
Yokohama Flügels
! Yokohama Flügels
Yokohama Flügels
, who went defunct after the merger with Yokohama F. Marinos
Yokohama F. Marinos
! Yokohama
Yokohama
F. Marinos on 1 January 1999. In essence, these two clubs could and should have joined the league in the inaugural year with the original ten clubs, and it was inevitable that they were eventually accepted by the league.

However, besides these two clubs, it seemed that there was no interest from the lower-level clubs; the second division did not see any further expansion for a few seasons. In 2004, however, two clubs showed interest as Thespa Kusatsu !Thespa Kusatsu and Tokushima Vortis ! Tokushima Vortis were accepted to the league. Two years later, in the 2006 season, Ehime FC ! Ehime FC followed in their footsteps. It turned out that many clubs were aiming for membership at the professional level. However, in the early 2000s, these clubs were still in the regional leagues, and it took them three to four years to even eye professionalism.

Clearly, the concept of second-tier professional association football – the fact that clubs can compete at the professional level with low budgets, was something that attracted many amateur clubs across the nation of Japan. At the beginning of the 2006 season , the league took a survey to determine the number of non-league clubs interested in joining the professional league. The results showed that about 40 to 60 clubs in Japan
Japan
had plans to professionalize over the next 30 years. From the league's perspective, the J.League
J.League
'Hundred Year Vision' from the late '90s has been moving in a positive direction.

In light of this, league management formed a committee and looked at two practical options for further expansion – either expand the second division or form a third division. In other words, the league had a choice between letting the non-league clubs achieve the J2 standard, or forming a third division with non-league clubs, where these clubs can prepare for J2. After conducting several case studies, the committee made a professional assessment that it was in the best interest of the league to expand the J2 to 22 clubs rather than form a third division. Several reasons led the committee to this decision:

* The Japan Football League
Japan Football League
, then the third tier in the Japanese football league system, was already serving the purpose of preparing the non-league clubs. * At the time, most non-league clubs interested in professionalism were still in the regional or prefectural leagues, two to four levels below J2. * Twenty-two clubs is the perfect number for the J2 league, as it allows enough home games for annual revenue, while keeping the competition a fair double-round-robin format. * Most European leagues have similar association football pyramids, where there are more clubs in 2nd and 3rd-tier leagues than in the top flight.

The committee also reintroduced Associate Membership System in the 2006 season. This allowed the committee to identify interested non-league clubs and provide necessary resources to them. The membership was exclusively given to non-league clubs that had intentions of joining the J.League, while meeting most of the criteria for J2 promotion. Several clubs in the Japan Football League
Japan Football League
and Regional Leagues have applied for and received membership. Associate members finishing in the top 4 of the JFL were promoted to J2. Following the promotion of Ehime
Ehime
F.C., six more clubs joined J2 League through this system.

As the number of clubs increased, the league format changed from a quadruple round-robin to a triple round-robin format. This was adopted during the 2008 season with 15 clubs and the 2009 season with 18 clubs. In 2009, the J2 league also saw an increase in promotion slots to three, to accommodate the eighteen-club league. As a result, the Promotion/Relegation Series , which allowed the third-place J2 clubs to fight for J1 slots for the following season, was abolished, after its introduction in the 2004 season.

Introduction Of Double Round-robin (2010–2011)

When the league reached 19 clubs in the 2010 season, the J2 League adopted the double round-robin format. The league continued to expand to 22 clubs, and until then there was no relegation to the Japan Football League. In the next few seasons, the maximum number of clubs that could be promoted to J2 was decided by taking the difference of twenty-two minus the number of clubs in J2.

End Of Expansion And J2 Playoffs (2012–present)

When the league reached 22 clubs, two new regulations were introduced. Only the top two clubs earn automatic promotion, while clubs from 3rd to 6th entered playoffs for the final third promotion slot, as in the Football League Championship , Serie B
Serie B
, or Segunda División . However, the rules will be heavily slanted to favor those with higher league placement:

* The team third in the standings will face the sixth place team, and the fourth place team will face the fifth, as in the European leagues; however, unlike these leagues, the round will be only one match, at the home side of the higher placed team. * The winners of the two matches meet at the home side of the higher placed team, or potentially at a neutral venue (likely Tokyo
Tokyo
National Stadium ). The winner of this match is promoted to J1. * In all matches, in case of a draw after regulation time, the team that ended the season with the higher placement in the league table will be considered the winner, so there will be no extra time and/or penalty shootout. * If teams ineligible for promotion finished above sixth, they will not be allowed to participate in the playoffs. Instead, the highest ranked team(s) will receive byes .

Also starting in 2012, at most two clubs can be relegated to the lower tier (for 2012 season only, Japan Football League
Japan Football League
; from 2013, J3 League ), depending on how that league finished.

Future Plans (2013–present)

Starting in 2013, a club licensing system was implemented. Clubs failing to fulfill this licensing requirement can be relegated to the third tier, regardless of their league position. The third-tier league, J3 League , was established in 2014, targeting teams having ambitions to reach the J.League. The structure of J2 is likely to remain stable.

TIMELINE

YEAR IMPORTANT EVENTS # J2 Clubs Prom. Slots Rel. Slots

1999

* The J.League
J.League
adopts two divisions, as nine clubs from the former Japan Football League
Japan Football League
join Division 2, along with the relegated Consadole Sapporo: MONTEDIO YAMAGATA, VEGALTA SENDAI, OMIYA ARDIJA, KAWASAKI FRONTALE, VENTFORET KOFU, SAGAN TOSU, FC TOKYO, ALBIREX NIIGATA, and OITA TRINITA * The Japan Football League
Japan Football League
is also restructured, as it becomes the third-tier Japan Football League
Japan Football League
(JFL).

Note: To distinguish between the former and the current JFL, the new JFL is pronounced Nihon Football League in Japanese. 10 2 0

2000

* MITO HOLLYHOCK is promoted from Japan Football League
Japan Football League

11 2 0

2001

* YOKOHAMA FC is promoted from Japan Football League
Japan Football League

12 2 0

2002

* Extra time is abolished in Division 2 and traditional 3-1-0 points system is adopted

12 2 0

2003

12 2 0

2004

* Inception of the two-legged Promotion/Relegation Series as the top flight expands to 18 clubs in the following season

12 2.5 0

2005

* J.League
J.League
Division 1 expands to 18 clubs (No relegated clubs from the 2004 J1 season) * TOKUSHIMA VORTIS and THESPA KUSATSU are promoted from Japan Football League

12 2.5 0

2006

* EHIME F.C. is promoted from Japan Football League
Japan Football League
* Away goals rule is adopted in Promotion/Relegation Series * The league forms J.League
J.League
expansion committee and reintroduces J.League
J.League
Associate Membership

13 2.5 0

2007

13 2.5 0

2008

* Two clubs are promoted from Japan Football League
Japan Football League
: ROASSO KUMAMOTO and F.C. GIFU * Division 2 adopts the triple-round-robin format from quadruple-round-robin

15 2.5 0

2009

* Three clubs are promoted from Japan Football League
Japan Football League
: TOCHIGI S.C., KATALLER TOYAMA and FAGIANO OKAYAMA * Promotion/Relegation Series is eliminated and the third-place club now receives automatic promotion to J1

18 3 0

2010

* One club is promoted from Japan Football League
Japan Football League
: GIRAVANZ KITAKYUSHU * Division 2 adopts the double-round-robin format from triple-round-robin

19 3 0

2011

* One club is promoted from Japan Football League
Japan Football League
: GAINARE TOTTORI

20 3 0

2012

* MATSUMOTO YAMAGA and MACHIDA ZELVIA are promoted from Japan Football League * The playoff system for the third promotion spot is introduced * Conditional relegation to Japan Football League
Japan Football League
is introduced. MACHIDA ZELVIA became the first club to be relegated from Division 2.

22 3 1

2013

* One club is promoted from Japan Football League
Japan Football League
: V-VAREN NAGASAKI * GAINARE TOTTORI became the first club to be relegated to the new J3 League after losing the Promotion/Relegation Series to KAMATAMARE SANUKI, the last team to get promoted from the Japan Football League
Japan Football League
.

22 3 0.5

2014

* KATALLER TOYAMA has been relegated to the J3 League , and Kamatamare Sanuki played and won the first Promotion/Relegation Series with the J3 runners-up. ZWEIGEN KANAZAWA becomes the first team to get promoted from the J3 League.

22 3 1.5

2015

* TOCHIGI SC has been relegated to the J3 League , and Oita Trinita played and lost their first Promotion/Relegation Series with the J3 runners-up. RENOFA YAMAGUCHI and runners-up MACHIDA ZELVIA get promoted from the J3 League.

22 3 1.5

2016

* GIRAVANZ KITAKYUSHU has been relegated to the J3 League , and Zweigen Kanazawa played and won their first Promotion/Relegation Series with the J3 runners-up, TOCHIGI SC. OITA TRINITA is promoted from the J3 League.

22 3 1.5

2017

* Starting this season, the promotion-relegation playoff is defunct and there are two promotions and two relegations.

22 3 2

STANCE IN THE JAPANESE FOOTBALL PYRAMID

Main article: Japanese association football league system

Since the inception of the second division in 1999, promotion and relegation follow a pattern similar to European leagues, where the two bottom clubs of J1 and the top two clubs of J2 are guaranteed to move. From the 2004 to the 2008 season, the third-place J2 club entered a Promotion/Relegation Series against the sixteenth-place J1 club, with the winner playing in the top flight in the following year. Starting after the 2009 season, the top three J2 clubs received J1 promotion by default, replacing three relegated bottom J1 clubs. However, promotion or the right to play the now-defunct pro/rele series relied on the J2 clubs meeting the requirements for J1 franchise status set by the league. This was not a hindrance, in fact, as no club has been denied promotion due to not meeting the J1 criteria.

The J3 League is currently the third level in the association football system, supplanting the Japan Football League
Japan Football League
(JFL) which is now one step lower in the system. Being a professional league, the J.League
J.League
allows only certain clubs from J3 to be promoted. In 2000, 2001, and 2006 the JFL league champion was promoted to J2; in 2005 two teams were promoted. From 2007, the league requires J.League
J.League
Associate Membership and at least a fourth-place finish in JFL (J3 from 2013) to be promoted to J2. Currently, there are two relegations from J2 to J3. Since 1999, a total of sixteen clubs from JFL (later J3) have been promoted to J2, two of which were expanded into J1. Currently, J1 has 18 clubs and J2 has 22 clubs. Division two expanded to 22 clubs from 20; regular promotion and relegation is in place.

Since its inception in 1999, the format of J2 has been consistent. Clubs played a quadruple round-robin (two home and away) format during the 1999 to 2007 seasons. To accommodate the ongoing expansion process, a triple round-robin format was implemented during the 2008 and 2009 seasons. Until the 2001 season, the clubs played extra time if they were tied after regulation and the clubs received three points for a regulation win, two points for an extra time win, one point for a draw, and no points for a loss (there were no penalties ). However, starting in 2002, the league abolished extra time and set the points system to the standard three-one-nil system.

The number of clubs reached 19 in 2010, and the league format was changed to double round-robin. The number increased to 20 in 2011 and to 22 in 2012, where it has remained since then.

2017 SEASON

LEAGUE FORMATS

Main article: 2017 J2 League

Twenty-two clubs will play in double round-robin format, a total of 42 games each. A club receives three points for a win, one point for a tie, and no 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 first place, both clubs will be declared champions. Two top clubs will be directly promoted to J1, and the third promotion spot will be decided in the playoff series among clubs placed third to sixth. Note that in order to participate in the playoffs a club must possess a J1 license; if one or more clubs fail to do so, they will not be allowed in the playoffs and they will not be replaced by other clubs.

The relegation to the lower tier J3 League will depend on the number and final standings of promotion-eligible clubs that possess a J2 license. Up to two clubs can be exchanged between two leagues, with direct promotion/relegation between the two bottom-place J2 teams (21st and 22nd) and top two J3 teams (champion and runner-up). If one or both J3 promotion candidates fail to obtain a 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 (2017)

Fukuoka
Fukuoka
Ehime
Ehime
Okayama Gifu Nagoya Sanuki Kanazawa Kyoto Yamaguchi Kumamoto Oita Tokushima Nagasaki Matsumoto Yamagata GREATER TOKYO AREA Locations of the 2017 J2 League teams Mito Gunma
Gunma
Chiba Machida Tokyo
Tokyo
Shonan Yokohama
Yokohama
Greater Tokyo
Tokyo
Area J2 League
J2 League
Teams

CLUB NAME YEAR JOINED Seasons in J2 BASED IN First season in D2 Seasons in D2 Current spell in D2 Last spell in top flight

Avispa Fukuoka ! Avispa Fukuoka 1996 (J) 13 Fukuoka
Fukuoka
, Fukuoka
Fukuoka
1991/92 17 2017– 2016

Bellmare ! Shonan Bellmare ! Shonan Bellmare 1994 (J) 14 Western cities/towns in Kanagawa 1990/91 18 2017– 2015–2016

Ehime FC ! Ehime FC 2006 12 All cities/towns in Ehime
Ehime
2006 12 2006– –

Fagiano Okayama ! Fagiano Okayama 2009 9 All cities/towns in Okayama 2009 9 2009– –

Gifu ! FC Gifu ! FC Gifu 2008 10 All cities/towns in Gifu 2008 10 2008– –

Grampus ! Nagoya Grampus
Nagoya Grampus
! Nagoya Grampus
Nagoya Grampus
1993 (J) 1 All cities/towns in Aichi 1972 13 2017– 1990–2016

HollyHock ! Mito HollyHock
Mito HollyHock
! Mito HollyHock
Mito HollyHock
2000 18 Mito , Ibaraki 1997 20 2000– –

JEF United Chiba
JEF United Chiba
! JEF United Chiba
JEF United Chiba
1993 (J) 8 Chiba " class="sortkey"> Kamatamare Sanuki ! Kamatamare Sanuki 2014 4 All cities/towns in Kagawa 2014 4 2014– –

Montedio Yamagata ! Montedio Yamagata 1999 15 All cities/towns in Yamagata 1994 20 2016– 2015

Renofa Yamaguchi !Renofa Yamaguchi 2015 (J3) 2 All cities/towns in Yamaguchi 2016 2 2016– –

Roasso Kumamoto ! Roasso Kumamoto 2008 10 Kumamoto , Kumamoto 2008 10 2008– –

Sanga ! Kyoto Sanga ! Kyoto Sanga 1996 (J) 11 Southwestern cities in Kyoto 1972 24 2010– 2008–2010

Thespa Kusatsu !Thespa Kusatsu 2005 13 All cities/towns in Gunma
Gunma
2005 13 2005– –

Trinita ! Oita Trinita ! Oita Trinita 1999 11 Ōita , Ōita 1996 14 2017– 2013

Verdy ! Tokyo Verdy ! Tokyo Verdy 1993 (J) 11 Tokyo
Tokyo
1972 17 2009– 2008

Yokohama FC ! Yokohama FC 2001 16 Yokohama
Yokohama
, Kanagawa 2001 16 2008– 2007

V-Varen Nagasaki ! V-Varen Nagasaki 2013 5 All cities/towns in Nagasaki 2013 5 2013– –

Vortis ! Tokushima Vortis ! Tokushima Vortis 2005 11 All cities/towns in Tokushima 1990/91 19 2015– 2014

Yamaga !Matsumoto Yamaga !Matsumoto Yamaga 2012 5 Central cities/towns in Nagano 2012 5 2016– 2015

Zelvia !Machida Zelvia !Machida Zelvia 2012 2 Machida , Tokyo
Tokyo
2012 3 2016– –

Zweigen Kanazawa ! Zweigen Kanazawa 2014 (J3) 3 Kanazawa , Ishikawa 2015 3 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
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
Japan
Football League . * "Last spell in top flight" includes seasons in the old Japan Soccer League First Division.

STADIUMS (2017)

Primary venues used in the J2 League:

AVISPA FUKUOKA SHONAN BELLMARE EHIME F.C. FAGIANO OKAYAMA NAGOYA GRAMPUS MATSUMOTO YAMAGA FC

Level-5 Stadium Shonan BMW Stadium Hiratsuka Ningineer Stadium Kanko Stadium Toyota Stadium Matsumotodaira Football Stadium

Capacity: 22,563 Capacity: 18,500 Capacity: 20,000 Capacity: 20,000 Capacity: 45,000 Capacity: 20,396

F.C. GIFU OITA TRINITA JEF UNITED ICHIHARA CHIBA MONTEDIO YAMAGATA KAMATAMARE SANUKI KYOTO SANGA F.C.

Gifu Nagaragawa Stadium Ōita Bank Dome Fukuda Denshi Arena
Fukuda Denshi Arena
ND Soft Stadium Kagawa Marugame Stadium Nishikyogoku Athletic Stadium

Capacity: 20,000 Capacity: 40,000 Capacity: 18,500 Capacity: 20,315 Capacity: 30,099 Capacity: 20,588

MITO HOLLYHOCK ROASSO KUMAMOTO THESPAKUSATSU GUNMA RENOFA YAMAGUCHI FC FC MACHIDA ZELVIA TOKYO VERDY

K\'s denki Stadium Mito Umakana Yokana Stadium Shoda Shoyu Stadium Gunma
Gunma
Yamaguchi Ishin Park Stadium Machida Athletic Stadium Ajinomoto Stadium
Ajinomoto Stadium

Capacity: 12,000 Capacity: 32,000 Capacity: 15,253 Capacity: 20,000 Capacity: 10,600 Capacity: 49,970

TOKUSHIMA VORTIS V-VAREN NAGASAKI YOKOHAMA FC ZWEIGEN KANAZAWA

Pocarisweat Stadium Nagasaki Athletic Stadium Nippatsu Mitsuzawa Stadium Ishikawa Kanazawa Stadium

Capacity: 20,441 Capacity: 20,246 Capacity: 15,454 Capacity: 20,000

FORMER CLUBS

CLUB Year joined Seasons in J2 BASED IN First season in D2 Seasons in D2 Last spell in D2 Current league

Albirex Niigata ! Albirex Niigata 1999 5 Niigata " class="sortkey">Ardija ! Omiya Ardija ! Omiya Ardija 1999 7 Saitama , Saitama 1987/88 17 2015 J1

Cerezo Osaka ! Cerezo Osaka 1995 (J) 6 Osaka
Osaka
and Sakai , Osaka
Osaka
1991/92 10 2015–2016 J1

Consadole Sapporo
Consadole Sapporo
! Consadole Sapporo
Consadole Sapporo
1998 (J) 14 All cities/towns in Hokkaido
Hokkaido
1978 31 2013–2016 J1

Frontale ! Kawasaki Frontale ! Kawasaki Frontale 1999 5 Kawasaki , Kanagawa 1972 25 2001–2004 J1

Gainare Tottori ! Gainare Tottori 2011 3 All cities/towns in Tottori 2011 3 2011–2013 J3

Gamba Osaka
Osaka
!Gamba Osaka
Osaka
1993 (J) 1 Suita , Osaka
Osaka
1984 4 2013 J1

Giravanz Kitakyushu ! Giravanz Kitakyushu 2010 7 Kitakyushu , Fukuoka
Fukuoka
2010 7 2010–2016 J3

Júbilo Iwata ! Júbilo Iwata 1994 (J) 2 Iwata , Shizuoka 1979 6 2014–2015 J1

Kataller Toyama ! Kataller Toyama 2009 6 All cities/towns in Toyama 2009 6 2009–2014 J3

Reysol ! Kashiwa Reysol ! Kashiwa Reysol 1995 (J) 2 Kashiwa , Chiba 1987/88 8 2010 J1

Red Diamonds ! Urawa Red Diamonds ! Urawa Red Diamonds 1993 (J) 1 Saitama , Saitama 1989/90 2 2000 J1

S-Pulse ! Shimizu S-Pulse
Shimizu S-Pulse
! Shimizu S-Pulse
Shimizu S-Pulse
1993 (J) 1 Shizuoka , Shizuoka 2016 1 2016 J1

Sagan Tosu ! Sagan Tosu 1999 13 Tosu , Saga 1997 15 1997–2011 J1

Sanfrecce Hiroshima ! Sanfrecce Hiroshima 1993 (J) 2 Hiroshima
Hiroshima
, Hiroshima
Hiroshima
1984 7 2008 J1

Tokyo
Tokyo
!FC Tokyo
Tokyo
!FC Tokyo
Tokyo
1999 2 Tokyo
Tokyo
1991/92 10 2011 J1

Tochigi SC ! Tochigi SC 2009 7 Utsunomiya , Tochigi 2009 7 2009–2015 J3

Vegalta Sendai ! Vegalta Sendai 1999 9 Sendai
Sendai
, Miyagi 1995 13 2004–2009 J1

Ventforet Kofu ! Ventforet Kofu 1999 11 All cities/towns in Yamanashi 1972 36 2012 J1

Vissel Kobe ! Vissel Kobe 1997 (J) 2 Kobe
Kobe
, Hyōgo 1986/87 11 2013 J1

* Pink background denotes clubs that were most recently promoted to J1 League . * Gray background denotes club that was most recently relegated to J3 League . * "Year joined" is the year the club joined the J.League
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
Japan
Football League

CHAMPIONSHIP AND PROMOTION HISTORY

Main article: List of winners of J2 League and predecessors

The top two clubs receive promotion. From the 2004 season to the 2008 season, the 3rd place club played the Promotion/Relegation Series against the 16th-place club in J1. From the 2009 season to the 2011 season, the 3rd place club was promoted by default. Beginning in the 2012 season, the third promotion place is determined by a playoff between the 3rd to 6th actual places.

YEAR CHAMPION RUNNER-UP 3RD PLACE PLAYOFF WINNER

1999 KAWASAKI FRONTALE !KAWASAKI FRONTALE FC TOKYO !FC TOKYO Oita Trinita ! Oita Trinita N/A

2000 CONSADOLE SAPPORO !CONSADOLE SAPPORO URAWA RED DIAMONDS !URAWA RED DIAMONDS Oita Trinita ! Oita Trinita

2001 KYOTO PURPLE SANGA !KYOTO PURPLE SANGA VEGALTA SENDAI !VEGALTA SENDAI Montedio Yamagata ! Montedio Yamagata

2002 OITA TRINITA !OITA TRINITA CEREZO OSAKA !CEREZO OSAKA Albirex Niigata ! Albirex Niigata

2003 ALBIREX NIIGATA !ALBIREX NIIGATA SANFRECCE HIROSHIMA !SANFRECCE HIROSHIMA Kawasaki Frontale ! Kawasaki Frontale

2004 KAWASAKI FRONTALE !KAWASAKI FRONTALE OMIYA ARDIJA !OMIYA ARDIJA Avispa Fukuoka ! Avispa Fukuoka

2005 KYOTO PURPLE SANGA !KYOTO PURPLE SANGA AVISPA FUKUOKA !AVISPA FUKUOKA VENTFORET KOFU !VENTFORET KOFU ‡

2006 YOKOHAMA FC !YOKOHAMA FC KASHIWA REYSOL !KASHIWA REYSOL VISSEL KOBE !VISSEL KOBE ‡

2007 CONSADOLE SAPPORO !CONSADOLE SAPPORO TOKYO VERDY 1969 !TOKYO VERDY 1969 KYOTO SANGA !KYOTO SANGA ‡

2008 SANFRECCE HIROSHIMA !SANFRECCE HIROSHIMA MONTEDIO YAMAGATA !MONTEDIO YAMAGATA Vegalta Sendai ! Vegalta Sendai

2009 VEGALTA SENDAI !VEGALTA SENDAI CEREZO OSAKA !CEREZO OSAKA SHONAN BELLMARE !SHONAN BELLMARE

2010 KASHIWA REYSOL !KASHIWA REYSOL VENTFORET KOFU !VENTFORET KOFU AVISPA FUKUOKA !AVISPA FUKUOKA

2011 FC TOKYO !FC TOKYO SAGAN TOSU !SAGAN TOSU CONSADOLE SAPPORO !CONSADOLE SAPPORO

2012 VENTFORET KOFU !VENTFORET KOFU SHONAN BELLMARE !SHONAN BELLMARE Kyoto Sanga ! Kyoto Sanga OITA TRINITA !OITA TRINITA (6th)

2013 GAMBA OSAKA !GAMBA OSAKA VISSEL KOBE !VISSEL KOBE Kyoto Sanga ! Kyoto Sanga TOKUSHIMA VORTIS !TOKUSHIMA VORTIS (4th)

2014 SHONAN BELLMARE !SHONAN BELLMARE MATSUMOTO YAMAGA !MATSUMOTO YAMAGA JEF United Chiba
JEF United Chiba
! JEF United Chiba
JEF United Chiba
MONTEDIO YAMAGATA !MONTEDIO YAMAGATA (6th)

2015 OMIYA ARDIJA !OMIYA ARDIJA JúBILO IWATA !JúBILO IWATA AVISPA FUKUOKA !AVISPA FUKUOKA (3rd)‡

2016 CONSADOLE SAPPORO !CONSADOLE SAPPORO SHIMIZU S-PULSE !SHIMIZU S-PULSE CEREZO OSAKA !CEREZO OSAKA (4th)‡

* BOLD designates the promoted club † Lost the Promotion/Relegation Series ‡ Won the Promotion/Relegation Series and got promoted

MOST SUCCESSFUL CLUBS

Clubs in BOLD compete in J2 as of the 2017 season .

CLUB WINNERS RUNNERS-UP PROMOTIONS WINNING SEASONS RUNNERS-UP SEASONS PROMOTION SEASONS

Consadole Sapporo
Consadole Sapporo
! Consadole Sapporo
Consadole Sapporo
3 0 4 2000, 2007, 2016

2000, 2007, 2011, 2016

KYOTO SANGA !KYOTO SANGA 2 0 3 2001, 2005

2001, 2005, 2007

Kawasaki Frontale ! Kawasaki Frontale 2 0 2 1999, 2004

1999, 2004

Ventforet Kofu ! Ventforet Kofu 1 1 3 2012 2010 2005, 2010, 2012

SHONAN BELLMARE !SHONAN BELLMARE 1 1 3 2014 2012 2009, 2012, 2014

Sanfrecce Hiroshima ! Sanfrecce Hiroshima 1 1 2 2008 2003 2003, 2008

Vegalta Sendai ! Vegalta Sendai 1 1 2 2009 2001 2001, 2009

Kashiwa Reysol ! Kashiwa Reysol 1 1 2 2010 2006 2006, 2010

FC Tokyo
Tokyo
!FC Tokyo
Tokyo
1 1 2 2011 1999 1999, 2011

Omiya Ardija ! Omiya Ardija 1 1 2 2015 2004 2004, 2015

OITA TRINITA !OITA TRINITA 1 0 2 2002

2002, 2012

Albirex Niigata ! Albirex Niigata 1 0 1 2003

2003

YOKOHAMA FC !YOKOHAMA FC 1 0 1 2006

2006

Gamba Osaka
Osaka
!Gamba Osaka
Osaka
1 0 1 2013

2013

Cerezo Osaka ! Cerezo Osaka 0 2 3

2002, 2009 2002, 2009, 2016

AVISPA FUKUOKA !AVISPA FUKUOKA 0 1 3

2005 2005, 2010, 2015

Vissel Kobe ! Vissel Kobe 0 1 2

2013 2006, 2013

MONTEDIO YAMAGATA !MONTEDIO YAMAGATA 0 1 2

2008 2008, 2014

Urawa Red Diamonds ! Urawa Red Diamonds 0 1 1

2000 2000

TOKYO VERDY !TOKYO VERDY 0 1 1

2007 2007

Sagan Tosu ! Sagan Tosu 0 1 1

2011 2011

MATSUMOTO YAMAGA !MATSUMOTO YAMAGA 0 1 1

2014 2014

Júbilo Iwata ! Júbilo Iwata 0 1 1

2015 2015

Shimizu S-Pulse
Shimizu S-Pulse
! Shimizu S-Pulse
Shimizu S-Pulse
0 1 1

2016 2016

TOKUSHIMA VORTIS !TOKUSHIMA VORTIS 0 0 1

2013

PROMOTION PLAYOFF RESULTS

SEASON FIRST SEMI-FINAL (3RD VS 6TH) SECOND SEMI-FINAL (4TH VS 5TH) FINAL

2012 Kyoto Sanga ! Kyoto Sanga 0–4 OITA TRINITA !OITA TRINITA Yokohama FC ! Yokohama FC 0–4 JEF UNITED CHIBA !JEF UNITED CHIBA OITA TRINITA !OITA TRINITA 1–0 JEF United Chiba
JEF United Chiba
!JEF United Chiba

2013 KYOTO SANGA !KYOTO SANGA 0–0 V-Varen Nagasaki ! V-Varen Nagasaki TOKUSHIMA VORTIS !TOKUSHIMA VORTIS 1–1 JEF United Chiba
JEF United Chiba
!JEF United Chiba Kyoto Sanga ! Kyoto Sanga 0–2 TOKUSHIMA VORTIS !TOKUSHIMA VORTIS

2014 Not held Júbilo Iwata ! Júbilo Iwata 1–2 MONTEDIO YAMAGATA !MONTEDIO YAMAGATA JEF United Chiba
JEF United Chiba
! JEF United Chiba
JEF United Chiba
0–1 MONTEDIO YAMAGATA !MONTEDIO YAMAGATA

2015 AVISPA FUKUOKA !AVISPA FUKUOKA 1–0 V-Varen Nagasaki !V-Varen Nagasaki CEREZO OSAKA !CEREZO OSAKA 0–0 Ehime FC ! Ehime FC AVISPA FUKUOKA !AVISPA FUKUOKA 1–1 Cerezo Osaka ! Cerezo Osaka

2016 Matsumoto Yamaga !Matsumoto Yamaga 1–2 FAGIANO OKAYAMA !FAGIANO OKAYAMA CEREZO OSAKA !CEREZO OSAKA 1–1 Kyoto Sanga ! Kyoto Sanga CEREZO OSAKA !CEREZO OSAKA 1–0 Fagiano Okayama ! Fagiano Okayama

Results

CLUB PARTICIPATED WINNERS RUNNERS-UP Seasons participated WINNING SEASONS RUNNER-UP SEASONS

Cerezo Osaka ! Cerezo Osaka 2 1 1 2015, 2016 2016 2015

Oita Trinita ! Oita Trinita 1 1 0 2012 2012

Tokushima Vortis ! Tokushima Vortis 1 1 0 2013 2013

Montedio Yamagata ! Montedio Yamagata 1 1 0 2014 2014

Avispa Fukuoka ! Avispa Fukuoka 1 1 0 2015 2015

JEF United Chiba
JEF United Chiba
! JEF United Chiba
JEF United Chiba
3 0 2 2012, 2013, 2014

2012, 2014

Kyoto Sanga ! Kyoto Sanga 2 0 1 2012, 2013

2013

Yokohama FC ! Yokohama FC 1 0 0 2012

V-Varen Nagasaki ! V-Varen Nagasaki 1 0 0 2013

Júbilo Iwata ! Júbilo Iwata 1 0 0 2014

Ehime FC ! Ehime FC 1 0 0 2015

RELEGATION HISTORY

Upon the formation of the second division, the league had not implemented any relegation mechanism between J2 and the (formerly) third-tier Japan Football League
Japan Football League
, and the exchange between divisions worked one-way only. After years of gradual expansion the division has reached its planned capacity of 22 teams, therefore allowing J.League to start relegating bottom-place teams to JFL. Machida Zelvia !Machida Zelvia set the unhappy milestone in 2012, becoming the very first team to be relegated from J2 (and the only team ever to be relegated to JFL). Next year the professional J3 League was formed, making relegation between second and third tiers a permanent establishment.

The rules for exchange between J2 and J3 are the following since 2017: the 21st and 22nd-place J2 teams are relegated immediately and are replaced by the J3 champion and runner-up. If one or both J3 contenders do not possess J2 licenses, they are not allowed to be promoted, and the relegation spots for J2 sides are reduced accordingly.

YEAR 21ST PLACE 22ND PLACE

2012 FC Gifu ! FC Gifu MACHIDA ZELVIA !MACHIDA ZELVIA

2013 FC Gifu ! FC Gifu GAINARE TOTTORI !GAINARE TOTTORI ‡

2014 Kamatamare Sanuki ! Kamatamare Sanuki † KATALLER TOYAMA !KATALLER TOYAMA

2015 OITA TRINITA !OITA TRINITA ‡ TOCHIGI SC !TOCHIGI SC

2016 Zweigen Kanazawa ! Zweigen Kanazawa GIRAVANZ KITAKYUSHU !GIRAVANZ KITAKYUSHU

* BOLD designates relegated clubs † Won the playoff against JFL or J3 team ‡ Lost the playoff series to JFL or J3 team and was relegated

OTHER TOURNAMENTS

Domestic tournaments

* Emperor\'s Cup (1921–) * XEROX Super Cup (1994–)

Defunct tournament

* Promotion/Relegation Series (2004–2008, 2014–)

PLAYERS AND MANAGERS

MANAGERS

* List of J.League managers

TOP SCORERS

YEAR PLAYER NATIONALITY SQUAD GOALS

1999 Takuya Jinno Japan
Japan
Oita Trinita 19

2000 Emerson Sheik Brazil
Brazil
Consadole Sapporo
Consadole Sapporo
31

2001 Marcos Vegalta Sendai 34

2002 Marx Albirex Niigata 19

2003 32

2004 Juninho Kawasaki Frontale 37

2005 Paulinho Kyoto Purple Sanga 22

2006 Borges Vegalta Sendai 26

2007 Hulk Tokyo Verdy 37

2008 Hisato Sato Japan
Japan
Sanfrecce Hiroshima 28

2009 Shinji Kagawa
Shinji Kagawa
Cerezo Osaka 27

2010 Mike Havenaar Ventforet Kofu 20

2011 Yohei Toyoda Sagan Tosu 23

2012 Davi Brazil
Brazil
Ventforet Kofu 32

2013 Kempes JEF United Chiba
JEF United Chiba
22

2014 Masashi Oguro Japan
Japan
Kyoto Sanga 26

2015 Jay Bothroyd England
England
Júbilo Iwata 20

2016