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3 Special Feature Japanese Page

3-1 General-Use JP Domain Names and JRRS

JPNIC established the New JP Domain Name Study Task Force (dotJP-TF) in February 2000, in order to investigate possible future directions related to JP domain names. The task force exchanged views and opinions at places of Public Comment and seminars, and developed the following proposals, which have been approved by the Board of Trustees and at the General Meeting:

  • Introduction of the general-use JP domain names
  • Establishment of a domain name registration service company

Accordingly, Japan Registry Service Co., Ltd. was established in December 2000. Preliminary registration, and acceptance of applications for general-use JP domain names, started on February 22, 2001.

The following is an overview of the general-use JP domain names, and the background of the establishment of the new registration service company.

3-1-1 Introduction of the General-Use JP Domain Names: Background

JPNIC has been offering domain name registration services based on the rules set forth under the following policies:

  • First-come, first-served
  • One domain name per organization
  • Local presence (Japanese address requirement)
  • Registration requirement s per attribute type and second level classification (organizational type domain name)
  • Prohibition of domain name transfer, as a general rule

As the advent of the WWW and other platforms has made possible the Internet's permeation of our society, however, the forms in which it is used have become more and more diverse. This has given rise to such demands as a domain name per specific product or service, for example. This was never even imagined in the initial period, and as such has caused a gap between needs and domain name registration rules.

Additionally, because of registrant verification and the need to confirm application documents, the existing JP domain name registration procedure is too complicated for the growing number of general or individual users. It also has led to registration costs that are higher than necessary. Now that the use of domain names has become a common practice in society, it is necessary to simplify this procedure, and to introduce a more reasonable fee system for domain name registration and maintenance.

Introduction of JP-DRP (JP Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy) has also paved the way for reviewing the conventional idea of dispute prevention on domain names.

Against such a background, the new domain name space that is the general-use JP domain names system has been introduced.

3-1-2 What is the General-Use JP Domain Names?

General-use JP domain names system, as opposed to the existing organizational- and geographical-type domain name system, allows a registrant to register a name at the second level. In addition to this, it offers following benefits:

  • Relaxation of registration requirements
  • Abolition of the "one name per organization" rule (now allowing multiple domain name registration)
  • Availability of a Japanese domain name
  • Simplification of registration application procedures

Thus, the following examples of domain names have become possible:
examples of domain names

It is especially notable that Japanese domain names are also made available (can now be registered) under general-use JP domain names system. This will create a new way of domain name utilization. Technical specifications for multilingual domain names, including those in Japanese, are now under study at IETF, the standardization task force for Internet technical specifications. Applications today are not quite ready to support multilingual domain names, either. Standardization work is expected to be completed by the end of 2001, however, and relevant applications will be made available accordingly.

3-1-3 Introduction of Preliminary Registration and *Simultaneous* Registration Periods

The existing JP domain name system provides protective measures against disputes over domain names by rules that limit one domain name per organization and prohibit domain name transfer. Such rules have been lifted under the newly introduced general-use JP domain names system. This may lead to an increase in disputes. Therefore, prior to the start of "first-come first-served" registration of general-use JP domain names, a preliminary registration period has been set up for the following categories, with the aim of preventing cybersquatting:

  • Domain names currently registered under the existing domain name system
  • Trademarks registered under Japanese Laws; government and municipal offices; universities, etc.

In addition, at the start of general-use JP domain names registration, a "simultaneous" registration period will be introduced during which all applications are considered to have been made at the same time. This is to prevent a deluge of applications made on a "first-come, first-served" basis, which would possibly be an unexpected burden for the registration system, and to avoid interruption of approval procedures that might eventually cause confusion among applicants.

3-1-4 Establishment of JPRS, a New Domain Name Registration Service Company

Together with the introduction of general-use JP domain names system, we have reviewed ways of provisioning a domain name registration service. It has been decided that a new company should be established, with JPNIC funding, to take over JPNIC's registration services.

Domain name registration services wherein a service is offered and commissions are collected from registrants are classified as "profit-making businesses." However, organizations such as JPNIC, which are considered "associated companies," are subject to various restrictions under governmental regulations. The profit-making part of its business must not exceed a specified percentage of its total budget. The amount of its internal reserve fund is capped under account in a fiscal year. These factors hamper us not only from flexible allocation of emergency investments, but also from effectively addressing the increasing numbers of domain name registrations. In addition, as evident from the example of .com and the introduction of new TLDs, the domain name business has already become the target of market competition. Governmental guidelines indicate that such a business shall be privatized.

Therefore, JPNIC has established Japan Registry Service, Co., Ltd.(JPRS), a dedicated domain name service company, to be responsible for the following:

  • Compliance with governmental regulations, and
  • Facilitate efficient domain name service business operation

This will lead to more reliable and efficient provisioning of JP domain name registration service. Also, it is expected that this will help us optimize the business scale of the JINIC corporate judicial body, thus enabling us to achieve a healthier operation of its public services.

The company overview of Japan Registry Service, Co., Ltd (JPRS) is shown in Table 1 below. For the time being, JPRS will provide general-use JP domain names registration services on behalf of JPNIC, but will eventually be responsible for al JP domain name registration services, including existing ones.

Table 1 Japan Registry Service, Co., Ltd (JPRS) Overview
Name Japan Registry Service, Co., Ltd
Established December 26, 2000
Headquarters Fuundo Building 3F 1-2 Kanda-Ogawamachi, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo, Japan 101-0052
Capital 180 million yen
Directors Koki Higashida, President
Susumu Sano, Vice President
Tetsuo Watanabe, Executive Director
Masami Muromachi, Auditor (Part-time)
Primary Areas of Business Registration and administration service of JP domain names
JP domain name-related system development and operation
Internet-related information provisioning service
Other services incidental to the foregoing
Total stocks 3,600 Face value: 50,000 yen
Accounting term End of December
Employees 95 (July 2001 estimate)

3-1-5 References

For further information on general-use JP domain names policy, refer to the following Web site:

"Policies regarding general-use JP domain names introduction"

With regard to registration rules, refer to the following:

"Rules and other sources related to general-use JP domain names"

For details on JPRS and general-use JP domain names services, please visit the following JPRS homepage:

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