Japan football players to form union

Japanese football players are to form a union to demand better working conditions, including bigger rewards for international duty, their association said Wednesday.

The Japan Pro-Footballers Association (JPFA), currently representing some 960 players at home and abroad as a fraternal body, said it had decided to register itself as a labour union with the right to collective bargaining and strikes.

The decision was made by a majority vote at a special JPFA general meeting on February 28, the JPFA said in a press release.

“It is aimed at having serious discussions about the Japanese football world in the future,” the statement said, adding that the association is following the example of major footballing nations where players are unionised.

The International Federation of Professional Footballers (FIFPro) has advised the 15-year-old JPFA to launch “union activities as soon as possible,” the Nikkan Sports daily said.