|Founded||3 June 2020|
|Number of teams||11|
|Level on pyramid||1|
|Domestic cup(s)||Empress's Cup|
|International cup(s)||AFC Club Championship|
|Current: 2021–22 WE League season|
The Women Empowerment League (日本女子サッカーリーグ), or simply WE League (WEリーグ［うぃーりーぐ］), will be the top flight of women's association football in Japan, starting from the 2021–22 season. It will be the first fully-professional women's football league in Japan.
On 3 June 2020, the Japan Football Association announced the formation of the WE League to become Japan's new top-flight, professional women's football league.The semi-professional Nadeshiko League will become the second level on the women's football pyramid in Japan once the WE League begins play in the autumn of 2021. Each team in the WE League must have at least five players signed to fully professional contracts that are not subject to a salary cap.
17 clubs applied to join the WE League; eight to ten of them would be admitted and the results to be announced in October 2020.On 15 October 2020, 11 clubs were announced as founding members of the WE League, including seven with J. League affiliations.
The WE League's inaugural season in 2021–22 will feature 11 teams, playing a double round-robin, home-and-away competition. Unlike the Nadeshiko League, the WE League will play a winter season that conforms with most European leagues.
Similar to the American National Women's Soccer League, there will be no relegation from the WE League to the Nadeshiko League, but teams may be promoted from the latter in the first several seasons for the WE League to reach a desired number of teams.
The following 11 clubs will compete in the WE League during its inaugural, 2021–22 season.
|First season in|
|First season in|
|First season of|
current spell in
|Mynavi Sendai||7th, N1||2013||2021–22||2013||0||–|
|Urawa Reds||1st, N1||1999||2021–22||1999||4||2020|
|Omiya Ardija Ventus||8th, N2||2021–22||2021–22||2021–22||0||–|
|Elfen Saitama||2nd, N2||2002||2021–22||2021–22||0||–|
|JEF United Chiba||6th, N1||2000||2021–22||2009||0||–|
|NTV Tokyo Verdy Beleza||3rd, N1||1989||2021–22||1989||17||2019|
|Nojima Stella Kanagawa Sagamihara||8th, N1||2017||2021–22||2017||0||–|
|AC Nagano Parceiro||5th, N2||2003||2021–22||2021–22||0||–|
|Albirex Niigata||5th, N1||2007||2021–22||2007||0||–|
|INAC Kobe Leonessa||2nd, N1||2006||2021–22||2006||3||2013|
|Sanfrecce Hiroshima Regina||–||2021–22||2021–22||2021–22||–||–|
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The Japan Women's Football League, commonly known as the Nadeshiko League, is a women's association football league in Japan.
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The Japan women's national football team, or nicknamed Nadeshiko Japan (なでしこジャパン), represents Japan in women's association football and is run by the Japan Football Association (JFA). It is the most successful women's national team from the Asian Football Confederation. Its highest ranking in the FIFA Women's World Rankings is 3rd, achieved in December 2011.
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The Empress's Cup All-Japan Women's Soccer Championship Tournament, or The Empress's Cup, is a Japanese Women's football competition. As an elimination tournament, it can be considered the female counterpart to the men's Emperor's Cup. The name "Empress's Cup" has been used since the 2012 season as the Empress's Cup trophy was founded in that year.
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