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(Japanese Site)

  • MPT Publishes Vision of Internet Domain Name Administration
  • July 13, 1998 (TOKYO) -- Japan's Ministry of Posts and Telecommunications (MPT) released a report entitled "Toward a new era of domain name administration for the 21st century," which focuses on the administration of Internet domain names.
    The report, released July 7, is a summary of discussions on Internet domain names by a working group that has met five times since March.

    Although it is not a formal statement of government policy, the report expresses views on an international system of domain name administration. It says that cooperation between the government sector and private organizations is essential for maintaining a stable domain-name registration system.

    The system for registering and administering domain names -- the character strings that identify destinations in communications over the Internet -- is due for some changes.

    The U.S. Department of Commerce issued a plan (called the "White Paper") in June for privatizing domain name registration and administration. The White Paper calls for the setting up of a new organization, led by the private sector, to administer domain names .

    The MPT report indicates a broad agreement with the White Paper, and it applauds the process of seeking submissions from a wide spectrum of interested international parties.

    The ministry has three principal aims in publishing its report.

    The first is to promote basic understanding of the domain administration system.

    The second aim is to express, as an organization representing the Japanese government, a vision of a global system for administering generic top-level domains (gTLDs) that can be used irrespective of the country of origin (for example, .com, .net, and .org).

    The third aim is to point out the need for an administration system for country code top-level domains (ccTLDs) allocated to nations (for example, .jp and .uk), and to call for coordination among nations in implementing such a system.

    A distinctive feature of the MPT report is its submissions on the need for a proper ccTLD registration system. The U.S. government's White Paper touches only briefly on this issue.

    Also, the report argues that the domain name administration organizations in each country, such as the Japan Network Information Center (JPNIC), should join forces to hammer out systematized domain-name allocation policies and that government representatives should participate as observers.

    As the report points out, some ccTLDs have been allocated regardless of the user's nationality, and the differences between allocation policies in various countries could create confusion among Internet users.

    The ministry is preparing to solicit broad-based public comments by publishing the report on its Web site as well as selling a printed version.

    (Nikkei Communications)

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    Updated: Sat Jul 11 21:17:42 1998