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|Japanese League (1st tier)|
|Japan Soccer League (1965–1971)
Japan Soccer League Division 1 (1972–1992)
J. League (1993–1998)
J. League Division 1 (1999–present)
|Number of Teams|
|18 (2013 season)|
|Sanfrecce Hiroshima (2012)|
|Most successful club|
|Tokyo Verdy and Kashima Antlers
(7 championships each)
Sanfrecce Hiroshima and Tokyo Verdy are the only teams that have won the title four times in a row (in 1965–1968 as Toyo Industries and in 1991–1994 as Yomiuri S.C./Verdy Kawasaki respectively). Notice that from 1985 to 1992 Japanese football adjusted to the "fall-spring" season schedule (common in most of Europe) but after establishment of J. League switched back to "spring-fall" scheme (common in North America, East Asia, and Nordic European latitudes).
Teams in bold have completed the double of the title and the Emperor's Cup in the same season. In 1985 no double was possible due to the season's timeframe change; thus, the doubles completed between then and 1992 are won in the middle of the season.
Japan Soccer League (1965–1971) 
Numbers in parentheses indicate number of wins at the date. Leading goalscorer's nationality is at the time of award and does not necessarily indicate the national team played for.
(number of titles)
|Runners-up||Third place||Leading goalscorer||Goals|
||Toyo Industries||Yawata Steel||Furukawa Electric||Mutsuhiko Nomura (Hitachi)||15|
||Toyo Industries (2)||Yawata Steel||Furukawa Electric||Aritatsu Ogi (Toyo Industries)||14|
||Toyo Industries (3)||Furukawa Electric||Mitsubishi Motors||Takeo Kimura (Furukawa Electric)||15|
||Toyo Industries (4)||Yanmar Diesel||Mitsubishi Motors||Kunishige Kamamoto (Yanmar Diesel)||14|
||Mitsubishi Motors||Toyo Industries||Yawata Steel||Hiroshi Ochiai (Mitsubishi Motors)||12|
||Toyo Industries (5)||Mitsubishi Motors||Hitachi||Kunishige Kamamoto (Yanmar Diesel)||16|
||Yanmar Diesel||Mitsubishi Motors||Nippon Steel||Kunishige Kamamoto (Yanmar Diesel)||11|
Japan Soccer League Division 1 (1972–1992) 
J. League (1993–1998) 
In 1992, professional J. League was established. All teams elected to it strip themselves of corporate identities and adopt their own names. From 1993 to 2005 (except for 1996 season) the league was contested in an Apertura and Clausura manner, thus the "runners-up" for these seasons are actually the winners of one of these tournaments which lost to the winners of the playoff. The "third places" are the highest-scoring teams in the aggregate table which were not involved in the playoff. If there was no playoff due to the champions winning both stages, the third place is the second-best points earning team who are not the champions.
(number of titles)
|Runners-up||Third place||Leading goalscorer||Goals|
||Transition period; top flight clubs only play the J. League Cup, but Japan Football League plays inaugural season|
||Verdy Kawasaki (6)||Kashima Antlers||Shimizu S-Pulse||Ramón Díaz (Yokohama Marinos)||28|
||Verdy Kawasaki (7)||Sanfrecce Hiroshima||Kashima Antlers||Frank Ordenewitz (JEF United Ichihara)||30|
||Yokohama Marinos (3)||Verdy Kawasaki||Nagoya Grampus Eight||Masahiro Fukuda (Urawa Red Diamonds)||32|
||Kashima Antlers||Nagoya Grampus Eight||Yokohama Flügels||Kazuyoshi Miura (Verdy Kawasaki)||23|
||Júbilo Iwata (2)||Kashima Antlers||Yokohama Marinos||Patrick Mboma (Gamba Osaka)||25|
||Kashima Antlers (2)||Júbilo Iwata||Shimizu S-Pulse||Masashi Nakayama (Júbilo Iwata)||36|
J. League Division 1 (1999–present) 
Top flight becomes J. League Division 1 in 1999.
Total wins 
Twelve clubs have been champions, though only nine have won the title since the establishment of J. League. Of these nine, Kashima Antlers, Gamba Osaka, and Nagoya Grampus have never been Japan Soccer League champions.
All Japanese champion clubs still exist and are competing in the J. League; however, some may have moved from their Japan Soccer League locations they won the title at, or may have cut off ties with their original parent company.
Years in italic indicate Japan Soccer League seasons. Clubs in bold compete in Division 1 as of the 2013 season; clubs in italic no longer exist.
|Club||Winners||Runners-Up||Winning Seasons||Runners-Up Seasons|
|Tokyo Verdy||7||4||1983, 1984, 1986–87, 1990–91, 1991–92, 1993, 1994||1979, 1981, 1989–90, 1995|
|Kashima Antlers||7||2||1996, 1998, 2000, 2001, 2007, 2008, 2009||1993, 1997|
|Sanfrecce Hiroshima||6||2||1965, 1966, 1967, 1968, 1970, 2012||1969, 1994|
|Urawa Red Diamonds||5||9||1969, 1973, 1978, 1982, 2006||1970, 1971, 1974, 1975, 1976, 1977, 2004, 2005, 2007|
|Yokohama F. Marinos||5||6||1988–89, 1989–90, 1995, 2003, 2004||1983, 1984, 1990–91, 1991–92, 2000, 2002|
|Cerezo Osaka||4||4||1971, 1974, 1975, 1980||1968, 1972, 1978, 1982|
|Júbilo Iwata||4||3||1987–88, 1997, 1999, 2002||1998, 2001, 2003|
|Shonan Bellmare||3||1||1977, 1979, 1981||1980|
|JEF United Chiba||2||1||1976, 1985||1967|
|Kashiwa Reysol||2||1||1972, 2011||1973|
|Nagoya Grampus||1||2||2010||1996, 2011|
|NKK S.C.||0||3||1985, 1986–87, 1987–88|
|Kawasaki Frontale||0||3||2006, 2008, 2009|
|Nippon Steel Yawata||0||2||1965, 1966|
Wins by region 
This is a breakdown by Japanese region, as clubs have moved cities before and even during the J. League period. Sanfrecce Hiroshima, Júbilo Iwata, Yokohama F. Marinos, Cerezo Osaka and Nagoya Grampus are the only champion clubs who have always been based in their respective cities.
|Region||Number of titles||Clubs|
|Kantō||31||Tokyo Verdy (7), Kashima Antlers (7), Urawa Red Diamonds (5), Yokohama F. Marinos (5), Shonan Bellmare (3), JEF United Chiba (2), Kashiwa Reysol (2)|
|Chūgoku||6||Sanfrecce Hiroshima (6)|
|Kansai||5||Cerezo Osaka (4), Gamba Osaka (1)|
|Tōkai||5||Júbilo Iwata (4), Nagoya Grampus (1)|
See also 
- J. League Division 1
- Japan Soccer League
- Japanese Super Cup
- List of winners of J. League Division 2 and predecessors
- List of winners of Japanese third-tier football leagues
- Football in Japan
- Japanese football league system
- L. League (women's title)