The J.League recently published a study showing the development of homegrown footballers in the country, revealing there are 1372 players representing all 47 prefectures of Japan.
Tokyo and Kanagawa – Japan’s first and second-most populated prefectures – have produced the most current J.League players, with 160 and 133 respectively.
Saitama, the fifth-most populated prefecture, came in third with 108 players.
Less-populated prefectures such as Kumamoto (35 players), Kagoshima (28) and Shiga (23) were also found to have contributed more than their expected share.
Amongst the 53 teams in the J.League’s three divisions, MEIJI YASUDA J2 League side Omiya Ardija boast the most locals, with 16 registered to the club.
Shimizu S-Pulse top the MEIJI YASUDA J1 League with 15 local players, while YSCC Yokohama are by far and away the most supportive of local talent in the third tier with the same number.
The data was used as a testament to football’s growth across Japan over the last two decades, allowing fans to look forward to more local players joining the league’s ranks in seasons to come.