Kashima down Universidad on penalties
Kashima took a 2-0 lead through goals by defender Daiki Iwamasa and Brazilian midfielder Renato.
But Universidad bounced back and the game finished 2-2. They were helped by a Kashima own goal in the 40th minute which was followed by an equaliser from Charles Aranguiz in the 73rd minute.
In the shoot-out, Kashima goalkeeper Hitoshi Sogahata stopped the seventh shot to seal his team's victory.
"It was a great victory for the team to win this title," said striker Shinzo Koroki, who scored the team's second goal in the shoot-out.
"I'm really happy about it," said Kashima's Brazilian coach Jorginho, who added his side were successful as they learned their opponents' "tactics in a short period and created a counter-attack against them".
The result continued a winning streak for Japanese sides in the competition, which pits the holders of the J.League Cup against the winners of the Copa Sudamericana.