The Top League is a rugby union competition in Japan. It is the highest level of rugby competition in the country and is an industrial league, where many players are employees of their company and the teams are all owned by major companies. The competition is known for paying high salaries, however, only the world class foreign players and a small number of Japanese players play fully professional, which means most of the players still play in an amateur level. The Japan Rugby Football Union created the competition in 2003, by absorbing the Japan Company Rugby Football Championship, to drive up the overall standard and popularity of the sport and improve the results of the Japan national rugby union team. The first season in 2003–04 featured 12 teams. The league was expanded to 14 teams in 2006–07 and 16 teams in 2013–14.