J.League chairman Mitsuru Murai visited Malaysia in June to promote the ongoing partnership with the Football Association of Malaysia (FAM) and Malaysian Super League (MSL).
At a June 18 press conference in Kuala Lumpur, Chairman Murai recalled the two country’s shared footballing history, including Malaysia’s role as host of the November 16, 1997 match against Iran in which Japan clinched their first-ever World Cup appearance.
“Johor Bahru is a memorable place for us,” Murai told an audience of dignitaries and journalists. “We appreciate, from the bottom of our heart, your support in letting us play the game there.”
The J.League’s partnership with the MSL, signed on February 2 of this year, is one of many similar agreements in place between the J.League and other Asian countries to promote the development of football across the continent.
Amongst other things, the Memorandum of Understanding calls for the two organisations to hold joint seminars on league and club management.
Friendly matches between clubs from the two countries, Corporate Social Responsibility activities and support regarding the expansion of J.League broadcasts within Malaysia are also arranged.
“Over two decades, the J.League has developed into one of the best leagues in Asia,” Murai said.
“We have lots of knowledge, experience and human resources in the area of league and club management, marketing, and youth development.
“Our aim is to share these assets and contribute to the development of football in Asia.
“Through this partnership, we are looking forward to accelerating the development of the Malaysian Super League and J.League, which will lead to the development of our national teams.”