The J. League decided Tuesday to increase the number of teams in the first division from 16 to 18 starting with the 2005 season by way of a promotion playoff system.

Under the system, the top two teams from the second division would automatically be promoted to J-1 with the third-place team in J-2 earning a chance to play in the top flight by way of a two-leg playoff with the bottom club in the 16-team first division.

The current format sees the bottom two teams in the first division automatically relegated with the top two from the second promoted.

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