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February 28, 2002

Press Release

Japan Network Information Center

A New Phase for JP Domain Name Registration and Administration
JPRS and ICANN Conclude .JP ccTLD Sponsorship Agreement

Management and Administration of the JP Domain Name to be Transferred to JPRS From JPNIC as of April 1

On February 27, 2002 (Pacific Standard Time), Japan Registry Service Co., Ltd. (Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo, hereinafter, JPRS) and ICANN (The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers; Stuart Lynn, President and CEO) entered into ".JP ccTLD Sponsorship Agreement" (*1) which stipulates the management and administration of the .JP top-level domain. ICANN is a non-profit corporation formed in 1998 to provide the global coordination function as a private sector for the administration of Internet fundamental resources such as domain name, IP address, protocol parameter, and root server system.

The .JP top-level domain has so far been delegated to Dr. Jun Murai, President of Japan Network Information Center (Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo, hereinafter JPNIC) by IANA (Internet Assigned Numbers Authority), the function of which was integrated into ICANN thereafter. This ccTLD Sponsorship Agreement heralds the redelegation of .JP top-level domain to JPRS, formally recognizing it as the .JP Sponsoring Organization.

Concurrently, JPNIC and JPRS entered into the "JP Domain Name Management and Administration Transfer Agreement" (*2) on January 31, 2002. With the conclusion of these two agreements, management and administration of the JP domain names shall, on April 1, 2002, be transfered to JPRS from JPNIC. From that date, JPRS will undertake the registration, maintenance and management services of the JP domain name.

JPNIC will continuously play a vital role in the JP domain name administration structure. Under the ccTLD Sponsorship Agreement, JPNIC and the Government of Japan will assume a responsibility for overseeing that the JP domain name is administered in the public interest. JPNIC also maintains a responsibility for the development of JP Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy and related services.


This series of events was put into practice following discussions on how to make the JP domain name more convenient for users, along with studying the possibility of introducing the General-use JP domain name, of which the registration began in February 2001. Followings are the procedural background to date.

Realizing User-friendlier JP Domain Names

Since their introduction in 1989, JP domain names have been registered and managed under such rules as "one domain name per organization" and "prohibition of domain name transfer." However, with the rapid growth of the Internet, users' needs became varied, and voices were heard requesting improvement of the convenience of the JP domain name.

To meet these requests, JPNIC abolished the "prohibition of domain name transfer" rule when the JP Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy (JP-DRP) was implemented in October 2000, because an outline against cybersquatting was prepared to replace the "prohibition of transfer" rule. Not long after study for implementation of the General-use JP domain name began, in which there is no "one domain name per organization" rule, and an individual can easily register. It was also anticipated that the introduction of General-use JP domain name would significantly increase the number of registrations, and that a government authorized non-profit association would be limited in its ability to quickly respond to users' needs in the future.

With this background, JPNIC resolved at its 11th General Meeting in December 2000 to establish a new company to undertake the registration and administration of the General-use JP domain name (*3). JPRS was established that same month.

Efforts Made in the Past Year Towards the Transfer

In February 2001, JPNIC introduced the General-use JP domain name. Since the commencement of registration, JPRS has been surrogating its registration service. JPNIC also consigned most part of registration services for organizational type/geographical type JP domain names to JPRS in April 2001, with the objective of transferring all the services in the future. Over the past year, JPRS has made a solid performance in operations and technical administration, which indicates the stable management and administration of JP domain names in the future.

On November 9th 2001, JPNIC and JPRS executed the "Memorandum for the Transfer of Management and Administration of the .JP Top Level Domain" (*4), in which both parties agreed to the basic matters necessary to conclude a formal contract for the transfer. The contents of this Memorandum were to be reflected in the "ccTLD Sponsorship Agreement" and the "JP Domain Name Management and Administration Transfer Agreement."

Upon issue of the Memorandum, JPNIC called for two weeks of public comment regarding the transfer of JP domain name management and administration, and the planned contract with ICANN. JPNIC welcomed these responses from the Internet community, and posted the organization's view in reply, while using the responses for its policy development. At the 15th General Meeting in December 2001, the transfer plan was approved. Then, on January 31, 2002, JPNIC and JPRS executed the "JP Domain Name Management and Administration Transfer Agreement", which clearly stipulated that management and administration of the JP domain name should be transferred from JPNIC to JPRS on April 1, 2002, and defined various conditions for the transfer.

During the same period of time, JPRS submitted to ICANN/IANA a request for redelegation of the .JP top-level domain, and for initiation of procedures for the ccTLD Sponsorship Agreement. Upon receiving the request, ICANN consulted with the Japanese Government and with the current administrator (Dr. Jun Murai) regarding their views on the appropriateness of redelegation. In January 2002, both parties sent endorsement letters to ICANN, in which JPRS was approved as the ccTLD Sponsoring Organization.

On February 8th, IANA issued a report regarding redelegation of the .JP top-level domain (*5), which concluded that redelegation of .JP top-level domain to JPRS was appropriate. In accordance with this report, the ICANN Board on February 12 approved the ccTLD Sponsorship Agreement between JPRS and ICANN (*6), which hereby is completed and signed by the both parties.

The .JP ccTLD Sponsorship Agreement

ccTLD sponsoring organizations have been assuming the responsibility for registration and administration of the relevant ccTLD and DNS operations based on the delegation from IANA. ICANN is now moving forward with agreements with each organization to formalize relationships and clearly specify the responsibilities and authority of each.

In September 2001, ICANN posted a model agreement named "Model ccTLD Sponsorship Agreement - Triangular Situation." It basically follows the "Principles for Delegation and Administration of ccTLDs Presented by the Governmental Advisory Committee," a document issued by the ICANN Governmental Advisory Committee (GAC) in February 2000. The Principles stipulate that the governments of each country as well as ICANN and the ccTLD Sponsoring Organizations should take a specific role regarding administration of a ccTLD.

In October 2001, as the first of its kind, the Australian ccTLD (.AU) sponsoring organization entered into a ccTLD Sponsorship Agreement with ICANN. The ".JP ccTLD Sponsorship Agreement" between JPRS and ICANN is the second in the world, closely following that of Australia.

The main characteristic of the ".JP ccTLD Sponsorship Agreement" is the reflection of unique circumstances in Japan based on the model agreement. Specifically, JPNIC, together with the Government of Japan, will continue to take responsibility for maintaining the public nature of the JP domain name, and for overseeing whether or not the JP domain name is operated in accordance with the interest of the Japanese Internet community.

JPRS and JPNIC in the Future

After April 1, 2002, JPRS will take over the management and administration of the JP domain name with over 470,000 registrations (as of January 31) from JPNIC, and set out to enhance the convenience in its services.

JPNIC will continue its endeavor for the domain name service which is one of its three core fields: domain name, IP address, and the Internet infrastructure developing. Specifically, JPNIC will play a vital role in the JP domain name administration structure assuming a responsibility for overseeing that the JP domain name is administered in the public interest. JPNIC will also undertake such responsibilities as the development of JP Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy and related services; services regarding the data escrow for the JP domain name registry data; information center function for domain name in general; participation in the ICANN process towards the establishment of policies on domain names; and researches and studies regarding domain names and DNS.


Related documents

(*1) ".JP ccTLD Sponsorship Agreement"
Japanese translation:
(*2) "JP Domain Name Management and Administration Transfer Agreement"(Japanese only)
(*3) Materials and minutes of the JPNIC 11th General Meeting (Japanese only)
(*4) "Memorandum for the Transfer of Management and Administration of the .JP Top Level Domain" (Japanese only)
(*5) "IANA Report on Request for Redelegation of the .JP Top-Level Domain"
Japanese translation:
(*6) ICANN Board Special Meeting Preliminary Report (February 12, 2002)
Japanese translation of the ICANN Board resolution regarding approval of the .JP ccTLD Sponsorship Agreement (JPNIC announcement, February 18, 2002)

Contact address

Japan Network Information Center (JPNIC)
Kokusai-Kougyou-Kanda Bldg. 6F, 2-3-4 Uchi-kanda, Chiyoda-ku,
Tokyo 101-0047, Japan
Tel: +81-3-5297-2311
E-mail: press@nic.ad.jp 
URL: http://www.nic.ad.jp/

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