JFA Introduces 'WE League' - First-ever Women’s Professional Football League In Japan

The Japanese Football Federation has unveiled a new top-tier domestic football league for women, called 'Women Empowerment League' or 'WE League' in short.


The new WE League will be an important steps towards the future for women football in Japan. It will offer “Professional Female Footballer” as a new profession in Japanese society.

Women football in Japan was never considered a proper profession. Even at the height success when the Japanese women team shook the world by winning the 2011 World Cup, their players were essentially amateurs who trained after working their part-time jobs.

WE League is created to make women footballers a proper career. It also aims to bring coaches, referees, club management and league administration together for the development of the sports. Hence, the league logo features the large 'WE'.

At the time of the announcement, a total of 11 teams have been confirmed to compete in the new competition. Despite being the top-tier division, there will be no relegation from WE League down to the former first division Nadeshiko League.

However, teams playing in the latter will be able to gain promotion to WE League in the first few seasons in order for the new league to reach the desired number of teams.

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.”

WE League will start on September 12, 2021, ranking will be decided with a round robin – home & away format.

What do you think of the new WE League for women football in Japan? Comment below