• Kyodo News

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Soccer clubs in Tochigi, Toyama and Okayama prefectures obtained memberships of the J. League on Monday as Japan’s professional league expanded to 36 teams.

The J. League board of directors approved the promotion of Tochigi SC, Kataller Toyama and Fagiano Okayama from the predominantly amateur Japan Football League after they met the requirements to join the J. League, including their season results and the capacity of their home stadiums.

Tochigi, Toyama and Okayama finished second, third and fourth, respectively, in the 2008 JFL season behind Honda FC, which has no aspiration to become a J. League club. J. League aspirants are required to finish in the top four under the league’s membership requirements.

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