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In the early history of the Japanese Internet, four networks played invaluable roles. JUNET was a pioneering research network that first connected academic institutions within Japan; three academic IP networks -- WIDE, TISN and JAIN - were created soon after, and were the first to use IP technology in Japan. As a response to the expansion of the Japanese Internet, JNIC, the forerunner of JPNIC, was established in late 1991 for the purpose of registration and information services. Until then, JP domain name registration had been undertaken under ambiguous rules, but JNIC began registration services using specific, documented rules. Thus, timely registration services were made available.

Around 1992, anticipating an explosion in commercial use of the Internet in the near future, the necessity for stable registration and management services for JP domain names and IP addresses, together with a firm financial backing, became recognized. Thus, in 1993, JNIC was reorganized as JPNIC, an organization formed with Internet service providers as members.

Soon thereafter, the Internet began to attract societal attention as an infrastructure for information exchange, and rapidly began to gain in popularity. In March 1997, under these circumstances, JPNIC was given official government recognition as a non-profit organization operating in the public interest.

Popularity of the Internet continued to grow, with a dramatic increase of use in both business and our daily lives. Together with that came an increasingly diversified demand for domain names. In order to respond to such trends and to enhance the utility of JP domain names, Japan Registry Service Co., Ltd (JPRS) was founded in December 2000.
In April 2002, after a ccTLD Sponsorship Agreement was signed between JPRS and ICANN, JP domain name registration and management functions were transferred to JPRS. JPNIC currently contributes to the sound development of the Internet through management of such Internet resources as IP addresses, surveys and follow-up research, information services, and international coordination.

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