|Japanese League (3rd tier)|
| (former) Japan Football League Division 2 (1992–1993)|
Japan Football League (1999–2013)
J3 League (2014–present)
|Number of Teams|
|16 (2016 season)|
|Blaublitz Akita (2020)|
|Most successful club|
| Honda FC |
A national third tier of Japanese league football was first established in 1992, as the second division of former Japan Football League, though it only lasted for two seasons. In 1999, following the establishment of J.League Division 2, a new Japan Football League was created, fulfilling the third tier until a fully professional J3 League was launched in 2014.
The old Japan Football League was established simultaneously with creation of J.League and was initially a two-level tournament but that lasted only for two inaugural seasons.
|Chuo Bohan||Kyoto Shiko|
|Honda Motors||PJM Futures|
With the establishment of J.League Division 2, the new Japan Football League was automatically moved a tier down the pyramid comparing to its discontinued namesake.
|Yokohama FC †||Honda Motors †||Mito HollyHock|
|Yokohama FC (2)||Honda Motors †|
|Honda Motors (2)†||Otsuka Pharmaceutical †|
|Honda Motors (3)†||Sagawa Express †|
|Otsuka Pharmaceutical †||Honda FC †|
|Otsuka Pharmaceutical (2)||Honda FC †||Thespa Kusatsu|
|Ehime FC||YKK AP †|
|Honda FC (4)†||Sagawa Express Tokyo †|
|Sagawa Express †||Rosso Kumamoto||FC Gifu|
|Honda FC (5)†||Tochigi SC||Kataller Toyama, Fagiano Okayama|
|Sagawa Shiga (2)†||Yokogawa Musashino †||New Wave Kitakyushu|
|Gainare Tottori||Sagawa Shiga †|
|Sagawa Shiga (3)†||Nagano Parceiro †||Machida Zelvia, Matsumoto Yamaga|
|V-Varen Nagasaki||Nagano Parceiro †|
|Nagano Parceiro †||Kamatamare Sanuki|
†Not promoted to J2
In 2014, J. League launched a fully professional third division.
|Zweigen Kanazawa||Nagano Parceiro ‡|
|Renofa Yamaguchi||Machida Zelvia|
|Oita Trinita||Tochigi SC ‡|
|Blaublitz Akita †||Tochigi SC|
|FC Ryukyu||Kagoshima United|
|Giravanz Kitakyushu||Thespakusatsu Gunma|
|Blaublitz Akita (2)||SC Sagamihara|
† Not promoted to J2.
‡ Not promoted to J2 due to a loss in the play-off series.
Clubs in bold compete in J3 as of 2021 season. Clubs in italic no longer exist.
Years in italic indicate seasons of amateur football (former and new Japan Football League).
|Club||Winners||Runners-up||Winning seasons||Runners-up seasons|
|Honda FC||1993, 2001, 2002, 2006, 2008||1999, 2000, 2003, 2004|
|Sagawa Shiga||2007, 2009, 2011||2010|
|Tokushima Vortis||2003, 2004||2001|
|Yokohama FC||1999, 2000|
|Blaublitz Akita||2017, 2020|
|Nagano Parceiro||2013||2011, 2012, 2014|
|Tochigi SC||0||3||2008, 2016, 2017|
|Sagawa Express Tokyo||2002, 2006|
|Tokyo Musashino United||2009|
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