Following a meeting of the J.League’s board of directors, Mitsuru Murai has been tentatively re-appointed as J.League chairman for the 2016 season.
In his first two-year term, Murai oversaw the introduction of the two-stage and championship system in the MEIJI YASUDA J1 League as well as the first two seasons of the MEIJI YASUDA J3 League.
“In the last two years I have met with many people in and outside Japan, and along with their advice I have charted out five specific areas of importance: attractive football, stadium construction, digital strategy, international strategy, and executive training,” Murai said in a statement.
“We are resolute in maintaining our progress in these realms, but first and foremost must be the strengthening of financial capital for both the league and its clubs as well as building a stronger academy system.
“As representatives of Japan’s professional sports world, we must strive toward strengthening our administration and improving our social value.
“Additionally, the recent victory of Japan’s U-23 national team at the AFC U-23 Championships shows that giving our younger players a chance to succeed on the international stage is vital to the continued growth of the J.League. “Development” is the key to our football’s future and we must preserve this cycle.
“Investment in these areas is absolutely necessary in order to foster the mid-term growth of the J.League, and in 2016 we will act with these strategies in mind.”
Murai’s appointment will be formally confirmed at a March 9 meeting of club directors.