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ニュースレターNo.10/1997年12月発行

8. English Page

8.2 Overview of JPNIC

1. History and organization.

Japan Network Information Center, hereafter abbreviated as JPNIC, was founded as a Union of Internet service providers in Japan in April of 1993. On March 31, 1997, it was given permission by the government to register as a probono association. Until that time, although it had been operating as a "quasi-association", it had actually been doing activities similar to that of a registered association. Since then, the officially acknowledged successor has taken over all the rights, responsibilities, and undertakings of its predecessor, including JP domain name assignment and IP address assignment in Japan. In addition, it has added some new activities concerning education and census on the Japanese Internet. As a whole, the registration is one of the memorable pages in JPNIC's history, and will ensure the continuous evolution of the association.

JPNIC is made up of a general assembly, a board of trustees, a steering committee, and a secretariat. The general assembly decides budgets, authorizes audit reports, elects the trustees, and makes other important decisions. Members of the steering committee are appointed by the board. While the number of trustees was 7 when it existed as a quasi-association, the number of trustees has since reached 15. The secretariat currently consists of 14 employees.

The budget for the fiscal year 1997 is about 4.7 million U.S. dollars; 41% of which is from membership fees, 23% from assignment charges, and the remaining part being the balance carried over from the previous fiscal year.

2. JP domains

JP domain names are categorized into two groups: one being functional type domains, and the other, geographical domains. Currently, we have 7 functional types, each of which is identified by a 2-letter code second level domain name. For example, NIC.AD.JP is assigned to JPNIC itself, which is working on network administration, so that the domain name has "AD" as its second level domain name. The seven second levels are AD, CO, AC, GO, OR, NE and GR.

Geographical domains have suitable codes indicating the location of the organization, as the second level.

JPNIC's assigning policy is roughly summarized as follows:
2.1. first come, first served,
2.2. one domain name per organization,
2.3. non-transferable,
2.4. local presence in Japan.

For the principles 2.2 and 2.3, analogous policy may not be found in the InterNIC's com domains. JPNIC thinks these principles play important roles in reducing possible conflicts of domain names, and prevent trading of domain names, of which JPNIC thinks adds little to the development of the Internet.

To speak about the roles of each functional type, "NE" is probably somewhat special for JPNIC. Domain names with this second level are assigned to services on the Internet which will issue IDs to individual clients. One such example of this is the famous commercial service "Compuserve" in the US. However, if JPNIC assigns a CO.JP domain name to such a service, then there will be no way to distinguish the e-mail addresses of the employees of the service company and the e-mail addresses of the clients. Therefore, JPNIC introduced "NE" second level in order to make a distinction between these two.

3. IP addresses

JPNIC allocates blocks of IP addresses to member ISPs, and they assign the necessary amount of addresses to users. This procedure is now based on an Internet draft RFC 2050. As is well known, shortage of IP addresses is an essential problem on the Internet recently, therefore JPNIC is doing its best to attain maximum usage rate.

4. Recent topics

Here is a summary of recent topics in JPNIC activities.
4.1 Introducing new functional type "GR" (Dec. 1,1997),
4.2 Sponsored a gTLD-MoU information session "New Developments in the Domain Name System" (Nov. 7, 1997),
4.3 Change membership fee and assignment charge (Apr. 1, 1997),
4.4 Incorporation of JPNIC as a government authorized probono association (Mar. 31, 1997),
4.5 Revising documents for IP address assignment to reflect RFC2050,
4.6 Discussion on trademark and domain names.

The new second level "GR" is for "GROUP". This second level was introduced for groups of persons and organizations which are not legally registered.

The main theme of the gTLD-MoU information session was the development of Internet Top Level Domain Names which had been discussed internationally since last year. Mr. David W. Maher, chairman of the interim Policy Oversight Committee (iPOC) which had taken a role of leadership for this issue, and five other members attended the session and reported the recent status of the subject and answered questions.

4.5 is to follow new international guidelines. Concerning 4.6, the steering committee has been discussing the problem in house for more than 1 year and, also, with some associations which are in charge of intellectual properties and trademarks.

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