Currently, there are three unions: East Japan/Kanto, Kansai, and West Japan.
Each has semi-professional division 1-4 league teams. The only time they
play each other in meaningful competition is when the top 16 (usually
division 1) teams meet in the All-Japan professional tournament in
December&January. This might change with a new All-Japan top league. I think
it's a great idea but the fight to get in should be interesting, whether
it's purely by on-field merit, a decision at the corporate level or a
combination of both.
My guess is that...
...are certain to get in. I'll be interested to see who joins them.
Japan may have new rugby league
FUKUOKA (Kyodo) The Japan Rugby Football Union (JRFU) has launched a project
to create a nationwide top league by regrouping the country's three major
regional leagues for corporate clubs, JRFU officials said Tuesday.
The JRFU envisions that the new league will be inaugurated for the 2003-2004
season with the participation of 10 to 12 teams playing in the eastern
Japan, Kansai and western Japan leagues.
"We've come up with this idea in an attempt to increase the number of close
matches and enhance the competitiveness of Japanese rugby," JRFU executive
Noboru Mashimo said at a press conference in Fukuoka.
The Japan Times: April 11, 2002