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