The J. League decided Tuesday to appoint vice chairman Kenji Onitake to the post of chairman, taking over from Masaru Suzuki, who is stepping down from the helm of the Japanese professional soccer league at the expiration of his current tenure.

The J. League board of directors agreed on the promotion of Onitake, 66, who has been in his current post since 2004 after serving as president and chairman of first-division club Cerezo Osaka.

Motoaki Inukai, 63, president of fellow first-division club Urawa Reds, will become vice chairman.

The appointments are subject to approval at the J. League’s general assembly meeting and board meeting scheduled for July 20.

A former manager of Osaka-based club Yanmar, the forerunner of Cerezo, will be the third chairman of the J. League.

Saburo Kawabuchi, currently president of the Japan Football Association, took charge as the J. League’s first chairman in November 1991 in the lead-up to the league’s inauguration in May 1993.

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