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On July 23, former Kashima Antlers president Masaru Suzuki succeeded Saburo Kawabuchi as J. League chairman after Kawabuchi retired from the post and moved on to take office as president of the Japan Football Association.

While Kawabuchi has a soccer background with experience as a player for Japan’s bronze medal-winning 1968 Mexico Olympic squad and also as Japan manager, Suzuki’s soccer background doesn’t quite match up. He is a business-oriented person and this is the third time that Suzuki has assumed the presidency of “a corporation,” following his spells at a Sumitomo Metal Group company in 1990-94 and the Kashima Antlers in 1994-2000.

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