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A-League, J-League combine forces

Arch-rivals on the football field, Japan and Australia are looking at how they can be more friendly off it.

The A-League and J-League have signed a co-operation agreement that Football Federation Australia hopes can grow the local game.

Exploratory talks could see clubs share high-profile players, while leading youth teams will compete more often and a referee swap between the two leagues will continue.

The countries will also combine forces to promote Asian Champions League encounters between the two, drawing on governmental, business and expatriate support.

Japan's football bosses are A-League fans, implementing a similar finals system, and of the highly competitive nature of Australian footballers.

The tie-up has the potential to be lucrative for Australia.

Japan hosts Asian football's strongest competition, with 53 professional clubs in three tiers, accounting for more than 40 per cent of the continent's television revenue.

"This deal brings two of Asia's top football nations closer in a very meaningful way that will not just build relationships, but will have an impact on football development," FFA chief executive David Gallop said.

Melbourne Victory play J-League club Gamba Osaka at AAMI Park on Tuesday night.