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Japan’s first ever Women’s Professional Football League, [WE League] to kick off in autumn 2021

03 June 2020

Japan’s first ever Women’s Professional Football League, [WE League] to kick off in autumn 2021

Japan Football Association revealed on 3 June 2020 that the first ever women’s professional football league will be named the “WE League – Women Empowerment League” and will officially kick off in autumn 2021. Additionally, the Official logo, the league philosophy, vision and the competition format were also shared to the football family. 

The name of the new league is “WE League -Women Empowerment League”.  “Each individual to live in a world full of dreams and diversity to enhance and brighten the society through women’s football and sports” is the philosophy behind the WE league structure. The WE League will offer “Professional Female Footballer” as a new profession in Japanese society. Furthermore, coaches, referees, club management and league administration will also be given chances to thrive in a broader world, so “WE” can all participate and succeed in the WE League.

Following this historic milestone, TASHIMA Kohzo, President of Japan Football Association said:

“The purpose of the launch of the new league is not just the development of women's football in Japan. Our aim is to contribute to build a sustainable society through promoting female social participation and enhancing diversities and choices. How we contribute to the society through sports is an important mission for all of us in the sports world. We will work on to establish the career of women's professional footballer, which is the dream of many girls, and further promote women's empowerment and solve social issues.”

The WE League will position at the highest ranking league, on top of the current Nadeshiko League which has led the women’s football scene for over 30 years. The new league will consist of 6 to 10 professional teams and plans to reveal the participants in autumn 2020. The historic beginning of the league is planned for autumn 2021, and the ranking of the league will be decided with a round robin –Home & Away format.

Clubs, players, fans, partners, all united as one, WE will create the WE League.

Name of the League

WE LEAGUE (Women Empowerment League)

Duration of the first season

Kickoff in autumn of 2021 and end around May 2022


Round-robin (home and away)


6 to 10 teams (No relegation but promotion planned for several years)

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