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3. Special Issues Japanese Page

3-1 What is the General-Use JP Domain Name?

(JPNIC Secretariat)


As you may know from newspapers or other sources, JPNIC is planning to introduce a general-use JP domain name, in addition to the existing functional and geographic domain names. Consideration of this issue began in February 2000, and was followed by modififications as dictated by a wide range of public comments.

Features of the general-use JP domain name are listed below.

  1. Abolish the "One Domain Name per Organization" Rule
  2. Relax Registration Requirements
  3. Simplify Registration Application and Other Procedures
  4. Change in Enforcement of "First Come, First Served" Principle
  5. Establishing a Domain Name Registration Period.
  6. Domain Names Using Japanese Characters

In the following sections, each item will be briefly described in the order listed above.

Please refer to the "General-use JP Domain Name" pages of the JPNIC Web site for information updates.


Abolishing the "One Domain Name per Organization" Rule

The existing domain name system adopted the "one domain name per organization" principle, with a view to fair distribution of domain name resources, hoping to prevent cybersquatting among other reasons. We can proudly say that many problems have been prevented by this principle. However, because of societal acceptance of the Internet, many voices were heard demanding registration of multiple domains and a simplification of procedures. In addition, a "JP Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy" has been drafted and enforced to reconcile conflicts between domain name holders and the holders of trademarks and other intellectual properties. These changes will lead to a different environment for the "one domain name per organization" principle. Thus, we feel that it is appropriate to abolish the "one domain name per organization" principle in the general-use JP domain name system.

Relaxation of Registration Requirements

In the existing domain name system, second level domain names contain an attribute such as organizational and geographic type. For example, a joint stock corporation would have to register a name such as EXAMPLE.CO.JP, and an incorporated association would have a name such as EXAMPLE.OR.JP. The advantage of this is that one can immediately identify the type of organization, but this also requires that JPNIC investigates and confirms it. This has resulted in requesting many documents and longer processing times.

In the new general-use JP domain name system, the need to register the type of organization has been abolished, in response to the demands for registering multiple domain names and for simpler administrative procedures. At the same time, individuals, corporations, or other organizations can register without distinction of the type of organization. In the general-use JP domain name system, we have established what we call a "local presence" prerequisite, which asks for a connection or relationship with Japan.

Simplification of Registration Application and Other Procedures

Due to the relaxation of registration requirements and other factors in the general-use JP domain name system, we hope to simplify and quicken registration procedures by carrying out automated checks by computer. Specifically, in the case of direct application to JPNIC, registration application can be made from the application page of the Web site. This information is automatically checked by a computer, followed by confirmation by the applicant of intention to complete registration.

One can also apply for registration of a general-use JP domain name through agencies so certified by JPNIC, in the same way as the existing domain name system. Detailed information will be announced at a later time. Refer to the JPNIC Web page indicated above.

Introducing On-Line Authentication

By applications via the Web, we are aiming to reduce applicants' troublesome clerical work by utilizing on-line applications as much as possible. To achieve this, we use on-line authentication.

In this system, the registration number and authentication method become very important. The registrants and registration applicants should handle these with great care.

Changing the "First Come, First Served" Principle

"First come, first served" principle will continue to be adopted in the general-use JP domain name system. However, the implementation method differs from the existing domain name system.

In the existing domain name system, JPNIC examines applications in the order received. If the first applicant is denied, the next applicant in the order will be examined. However, in the general-use JP domain name system, because applications are accepted through the Web, applications for the same domain name under examination will not be accepted. Thus, the concept "The next one up in the order list" will disappear. We would like to call attention to the fact that there will be the same method used when re-applying for a cancelled domain name.

Establishment of a Domain Name Registration Period

In the general-use JP domain name system, a domain name will be valid for one year and the registration should be updated yearly. Accordingly, a "registration fee" and "maintenance fee" will be charged at the time of registration and update, respectively.

Domain Names Using Japanese Characters

In the-general use JP domain name system, Japanese characters can be used for a domain name. This means that Chinese characters used in Japanese Language, Kana (Japanese alphabet, both Hiragana and Katakana), and some symbols can be used, in addition to traditional name consisting of the ASCII alphabet, numbers and hyphens.

Please note that, in the current system, no distinction is made between upper and lower case letters, or between double-byte and single-byte characters. Technical details may change according to changes made by IETF.

Please refer to the technical detail rules for more details on this issue.


Furthermore, although we can accept registration of Japanese domain names, it does not mean they can be used immediately at this stage. This is because each application must be revised to support Japanese domain names. Japanese domain names are unable to use before the multilingual domain name system is established as a RFC, and is adopted in actual softwares. Please refer to "3-2 Implementation of the Japanese Domain Name" for further information.

Reserved Domain Names

As in the existing domain name system, there are some domain names that are not allowed to be registered due to foreseen operational problems, event though there may not be technical problems. We call these reserved domain names. Please refer to the Web pages about technical explanations on general-use JP domain names and multilingual domain names.



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