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Title history

# Wrestlers Reign Date Days
held
Location Event Notes
1 Shiro Koshinaka 1 February 6, 1986 102 Tokyo, Japan Live event Koshinaka defeated The Cobra in a tournament final to become the first champion.
2 Nobuhiko Takada 1 May 19, 1986 123 Tokyo, Japan Live event
3 Shiro Koshinaka 2 September 19, 1986 317 Fukuoka, Japan Live event
Vacated August 2, 1987 NA NA Koshinaka vacated the championship due to injuring his right ankle.
4 Kuniaki Kobayashi 1 August 20, 1987 129 Tokyo, Japan Live event Kuniaki Kobayashi defeated Nobuhiko Takada to win the vacant championship.
5 Hiroshi Hase 1 December 27, 1987 152 Tokyo, Japan Live event
6 Owen Hart 1 May 27, 1988 28 Sendai, Japan Live event
7 Shiro Koshinaka 3 June 24, 1988 265 Osaka, Japan Live event
8 Hiroshi Hase 2 March 16, 1989 70 Yokohama, Japan Live event
9 Jushin Liger 1 May 25, 1989 70 Osaka, Japan Live event
10 Naoki Sano 1 August 10, 1989 174 Tokyo, Japan Live event
11 Jushin Thunder Liger 2 January 31, 1990 200 Osaka, Japan Live event
12 Pegasus Kid 1 August 19, 1990 74 Tokyo, Japan Live event
13 Jushin Thunder Liger 3 November 1, 1990 165 Tokyo, Japan Live event
Vacated April 15, 1991 NA NA Liger vacated the championship so a new champion could be decided in the Top of the Super Juniors tournament.
14 Norio Honaga 1 April 30, 1991 43 Tokyo, Japan Live event Honaga defeated Jushin Thunder Liger in the finals of the Top of the Super Juniors tournament.
15 Jushin Thunder Liger 4 June 12, 1991 58 Tokyo, Japan Live event
16 Akira Nogami 1 August 9, 1991 88 Tokyo, Japan Live event
17 Norio Honaga 2 November 5, 1991 95 Tokyo, Japan Live event
18 Jushin Thunder Liger 5 February 8, 1992 139 Sapporo, Japan Live event
19 El Samurai 1 June 26, 1992 149 Tokyo, Japan Live event
20 Último Dragón 1 November 22, 1992 43 Tokyo, Japan Live event
21 Jushin Thunder Liger 6 January 4, 1993 628 Tokyo, Japan Fantastic Story in Tokyo Dome
Vacated September 24, 1994 NA NA Liger vacated the championship due to fracturing his left ankle.
22 Norio Honaga 3 September 27, 1994 145 Osaka, Japan Live event Honaga defeated Wild Pegasus in a tournament final to win the vacant championship.
23 Koji Kanemoto 1 February 19, 1995 73 Tokyo, Japan Live event
24 Sabu 1 May 3, 1995 42 Fukuoka, Japan Wrestling Dontaku 1995
25 Koji Kanemoto 2 June 14, 1995 204 Tokyo, Japan Live event This match was also for Kanemoto's UWA World Welterweight Championship.
26 Jushin Thunder Liger 7 January 4, 1996 116 Tokyo, Japan Wrestling World 1996
27 The Great Sasuke 1 April 29, 1996 165 Tokyo, Japan Battle Formation On August 5, 1996, Sasuke won an 8-man tournament to form the J-Crown, an octuple-belt championship that includes the IWGP Junior Heavyweight title; these titles were still considered separate but were defended together.
28 Último Dragón 2 October 11, 1996 85 Osaka, Japan Live event
29 Jushin Thunder Liger 8 January 4, 1997 183 Tokyo, Japan Wrestling World 1997 Liger lost the WAR International Junior Heavyweight Championship from the J-Crown on June 6, 1997, but continued to defend the other 7 belts.
30 El Samurai 2 July 6, 1997 35 Sapporo, Japan Live event
31 Shinjiro Otani 1 August 10, 1997 181 Nagoya, Japan The Four Heaven in Nagoya Dome On November 5, 1997, Otani vacated all J-Crown belts but the IWGP Junior Heavyweight title after the WWF retook control of its Light Heavyweight title, effectively ending the J-Crown.
32 Jushin Thunder Liger 9 February 7, 1998 403 Sapporo, Japan Live event
33 Koji Kanemoto 3 March 17, 1999 164 Hiroshima, Japan Live event
34 Kendo Kashin 1 August 28, 1999 44 Tokyo, Japan Jingu Climax
35 Jushin Thunder Liger 10 October 11, 1999 49 Tokyo, Japan Final Dome
36 Juventud Guerrera 1 November 29, 1999 7 Denver, CO Nitro
37 Jushin Thunder Liger 11 December 6, 1999 227 Milwaukee, WI Nitro Psychosis replaced Guerrera in the match due to Guerrera suffering a fractured right arm.
38 Tatsuhito Takaiwa 1 July 20, 2000 101 Sapporo, Japan Summer Struggle 2000
39 Minoru Tanaka 1 October 29, 2000 264 Kobe, Japan Get a Right!!
40 Masayuki Naruse 1 July 20, 2001 80 Sapporo, Japan Dome Quake
41 Kendo Kashin 2 October 8, 2001 116 Tokyo, Japan Indicate of Next
Vacated February 1, 2002 NA NA Kashin left NJPW and returned the title to the IWGP Executive Committee.
42 Minoru Tanaka 2 February 16, 2002 153 Tokyo, Japan Fighting Spirit 2002
43 Koji Kanemoto 4 July 19, 2002 278 Sapporo, Japan Summer Fight Series 2002
44 Tiger Mask 1 April 23, 2003 153 Hiroshima, Japan Strong Energy 2003
Vacated September 23, 2003 NA NA The championship was vacated so it could be contested for in a battle royal.
45 Jado 1 October 13, 2003 62 Tokyo, Japan Ultimate Crush Jado defeated Dick Togo, El Samurai, Gedo, Heat, Jushin Thunder Liger, Katsushi Takemura, Koji Kanemoto, Masahito Kakihara, Masayuki Naruse, and Tiger Mask in a battle royal to win the vacant championship.
46 Heat 3 December 14, 2003 387 Nagoya, Japan Battle Final 2003 Previously known as Minoru Tanaka.
47 Tiger Mask 2 January 4, 2005 277 Tokyo, Japan Toukon Festival ~ Wrestling World 2005
48 Black Tiger 1 October 8, 2005 134 Tokyo, Japan Toukon Souzou New Chapter This match was also for Black Tiger's NWA World Junior Heavyweight Championship.
49 Tiger Mask 3 February 19, 2006 73 Tokyo, Japan Acceleration This match was also for Black Tiger's NWA World Junior Heavyweight Championship.
50 Koji Kanemoto 5 May 3, 2006 235 Fukuoka, Japan New Japan Cup 2006 Special
51 Minoru 4 December 24, 2006 194 Tokyo, Japan Battle Xmas! Catch the Victory Previously known as Minoru Tanaka/Heat.
52 Ryusuke Taguchi 1 July 6, 2007 155 Tokyo, Japan New Japan Soul C.T.U Farewell Tour
53 Wataru Inoue 1 December 8, 2007 191 Osaka, Japan New Japan Alive
Vacated June 16, 2008 NA NA The championship was vacated when Inoue moved to the heavyweight division.
54 Tiger Mask 4 July 8, 2008 75 Tokyo, Japan New Japan Trill Tiger Mask defeated Prince Devitt in a tournament final to win the vacant championship.
55 Low Ki 1 September 21, 2008 105 Kobe, Japan New Japan Generation
56 Tiger Mask 5 January 4, 2009 223 Tokyo, Japan Wrestle Kingdom III
57 Místico 1 August 15, 2009 85 Tokyo, Japan G1 Climax 2009: New Lords, New Laws
58 Tiger Mask 6 November 8, 2009 57 Tokyo, Japan Destruction '09
59 Naomichi Marufuji 1 January 4, 2010 166 Tokyo, Japan Wrestle Kingdom IV
60 Prince Devitt 1 June 19, 2010 364 Osaka, Japan NJPW Dominion 6.19
61 Kota Ibushi 1 June 18, 2011 85 Osaka, Japan NJPW Dominion 6.18
Vacated September 12, 2011 NA NA The championship was vacated after Ibushi was sidelined with a shoulder injury.
62 Prince Devitt 2 September 19, 2011 227 Kobe, Japan Kantaro Hoshino Memorial Show Devitt defeated Kushida to win the vacant championship.
63 Low Ki 2 May 3, 2012 87 Fukuoka, Japan Wrestling Dontaku 2012
64 Kota Ibushi 2 July 29, 2012 71 Tokyo, Japan Last Rebellion
65 Low Ki 3 October 8, 2012 34 Tokyo, Japan King of Pro-Wrestling
66 Prince Devitt 3 November 11, 2012 419 Osaka, Japan Power Struggle
67 Kota Ibushi 3 January 4, 2014 181 Tokyo, Japan Wrestle Kingdom 8
68 Kushida 1 July 4, 2014 79 Tokyo, Japan Kizuna Road 2014
69 Ryusuke Taguchi 2 September 21, 2014 105 Kobe, Japan NJPW Destruction In Kobe 2014
70 Kenny Omega 1 January 4, 2015 182 Tokyo, Japan Wrestle Kingdom IX
71 Kushida 2 July 5, 2015 80 Osaka, Japan NJPW Dominion 7.5
72 Kenny Omega 2 September 23, 2015 103 Okayama, Japan NJPW Destruction In Okayama 2015
73 Kushida 3 January 4, 2016 257 Tokyo, Japan Wrestle Kingdom X
74 Bushi 1 September 17, 2016 49 Tokyo, Japan NJPW Destruction In Tokyo 2016
75 Kushida 4 November 5, 2016 60 Osaka, Japan NJPW Power Struggle 2016
76 Hiromu Takahashi 1 January 4, 2017 158 Tokyo, Japan Wrestle Kingdom XI
77 Kushida 5 June 11, 2017 120 Osaka, Japan NJPW Dominion 6.11
78 Will Ospreay 1 October 9, 2017 27 Tokyo, Japan NJPW King Of Pro-Wrestling 2017
79 Marty Scurll 1 November 5, 2017 60 Osaka, Japan NJPW Power Struggle 2017
80 Will Ospreay 2 January 4, 2018 156 Tokyo, Japan Wrestle Kingdom 12 This was a four-way match, also involving Hiromu Takahashi and Kushida.
81 Hiromu Takahashi 2 June 9, 2018 72 Osaka, Japan NJPW Dominion 6.9
Vacated August 20, 2018 NA NA The championship was vacated after Takahashi was sidelined with a neck injury.
82 Kushida 6 October 8, 2018 88 Tokyo, Japan NJPW King Of Pro-Wrestling 2018 Kushida won the vacant title in a match against Marty Scurll.
83 Taiji Ishimori 2 January 4, 2019 92 Tokyo, Japan Wrestle Kingdom 12
84 Dragon Lee 1 April 6, 2019 64 New York, NY ROH-NJPW G1 Supercard 2019 This was a three-way match, also involving Bandido.
85 Will Ospreay 3 June 9, 2019 181+ Osaka, Japan NJPW Dominion 6.9
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