The Japanese soccer pyramid will add a third tier in 2014 as the J. League decided on Tuesday to introduce J3 next year.
The new third division is expected to be made up of around 10 clubs from the Japan Football League and the regional leagues. While the JFL for long had served as the de facto third division, it included teams not looking to professionalize, which the J. League did not want.
J3 will also soften the financial blow of relegated J2 teams, which, in a completely professional division, would take less of a hit in revenue when they go down.