• Kyodo


J. League champions Sanfrecce Hiroshima will kick off the 2016 first stage at home to Kawasaki Frontale as the league on Wednesday released the opening day fixtures for the upcoming season.

Eight games will take place on Feb. 27, with Kashiwa Reysol to face Urawa Reds, FC Tokyo taking on J1 returnees Omiya Ardija, Yokohama F. Marinos entertaining Vegalta Sendai, Shonan Bellmare to play Albirex Niigata and promoted Jubilo Iwata hosting Nagoya Grampus.

Vissel Kobe are at home to Ventforet Kofu and Sagan Tosu play promotion playoff winners Avispa Fukuoka. Emperor’s Cup winners Gamba Osaka will play Nabisco Cup champions Kashima Antlers at their new stadium on Feb. 28.

The second stage will be held from July 2 through Nov. 3. The two-leg championship final will take place on Nov. 29 and Dec. 3.

The Nabisco Cup final will be held on Oct. 15

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