The J-League first division will feature 20 teams from the 2024 season, an increase from the current 18, as part of a plan to enhance its level and competitiveness, a source familiar with the matter said Wednesday.

The league is moving to reward clubs who finish high in the standings with greater prize money that will give them more financial muscle and appeal, and wants more teams competing in the division to raise its profile, the source said.

Yokohama F Marinos players celebrate after winning their fifth J-League first-division football title following a 3-1 win away to Vissel Kobe on the final day of the season at Noevir Stadium in Kobe on Nov. 5, 2022. (Kyodo) ==Kyodo

J2 and J3 will also be reformed into leagues of 20 teams.

One club from J1 will be relegated following the 2023 season when the top three sides from J2, currently featuring 22 teams, win promotion to the top tier.

J3 will feature 20 teams from next season after two clubs join from the fourth-tier Japan Football League.

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