December 3, 2001
Dr. M. Stuart Lynn
Request for Redelegation of .JP Top Level Domain, and ccTLD Sponsorship Agreement
Dear Dr. Lynn:
On August 5, 1986, the .JP top level domain was delegated to Jun Murai according to procedures as specified by USC ISI (Information Sciences Institute, the University of Southern California), which then performed the IANA functions. At that time, it was standard practice for authority and responsibilities regarding top level domains to be delegated to individuals, as varying laws and regulations in different countries make it virtually impossible to verify a "corporation."
Jun Murai began at first to manage and administer the .JP top level domain from within the "junet-admin" group, which was responsible for the operation of JUNET (Japanese University Network), Japan's UUCP network. Junet-admin was selected because it had conducted domain name registration for the e-mail addresses in use by its member organizations in Japan, and Jun Murai was a member of this group.
JUNET had been using the domain name ".JUNET," but it was suggested by Jun Murai that .JP should be used in Japan, as international rules concerning top level domains had been established by that time. In April 1989, junet-admin began registration of .JP domain names. Transfer from .JUNET to .JP was completed in approximately three months, and .JUNET domain names were replaced with such domains as .AC.JP and .CO.JP.
However, due to accelerating Internet development, the capability for voluntary administration of Internet resources, such as domain name registration and IP address assignment services, began to reach the limit, and it became difficult to quickly respond to the needs of the Internet users in Japan.
Jun Murai therefore enlisted the cooperation of various Japanese academic societies, with whom this matter was repeatedly discussed. The outcome was organization of the JCRN (Japan Committee for Research Networks), which made the decision to create JNIC (Japan Network Information Center).
JNIC was established in December 1991. Upon establishment, the management and administration of the .JP top level domain was transferred to JNIC from junet-admin with Jun Murai's consent. JNIC began operations, effectively processed registrations in a timely manner, and created documentation for registration rules and procedures. In addition, as significant Internet growth was expected in the near future, preparations were made towards reorganizing itself into an organization with a firmer financial basis, in order to create an environment that would ensure stable operations.
In April 1993, with Jun Murai's consent, JNIC reorganized itself as JPNIC (JaPan Network Information Center), members of which were ISPs, research networks, and academic networks located in Japan. With this reorganization, JPNIC became financially more stable by operating with a membership fee system, providing a foundation that would allow more responsible operations.
JPNIC set forth the following objectives, and began operating to follow the objectives:
"To provide the registration and information services necessary for utilization of computer networks, domestically and globally, in order to contribute to network development, and to assist those who are involved in computer networks."
In order to ensure fairness and transparency of its decision-making processes with a view of maintaining public nature, JPNIC created a Steering Committee and working groups, and actively called for public comments based on a policy of information disclosure. Also, a system was put into place in which the consensus of the members was reflected in the development of major policies, and in which final decisions would be made at the General Meetings.
Introduction of geographical type domain name and .NE.JP domain name are examples of products of JPNIC activities at that time. JPNIC made efforts to provide a stable supply of .JP domain names, and worked toward improvement of their credibility. On March 31, 1997, JPNIC obtained a government permit to operate as a non-profit corporate association.
In order to maintain efficient use of domain name space and prevent disputes relating to domain names, JPNIC had initiated a "one domain name per organization" policy. However, as the Internet grew and use of it increased, Internet users in Japan began to demand more than one domain names per organization. Meanwhile, since around 1999, competition of domain name registration between .JP and gTLDs such as .COM, had become severe in Japan. Under these circumstances, in order to satisfy users' needs, JPNIC began to study the possibility of introducing a "general-use JP domain name" space, in which more than one domain names per organization could be registered, in addition to the existing one-domain-name-per-organization space. In the second half of 2000, enforcement of the JP-DRP (JP Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy) set forth a dispute resolution procedure and created an environment into which the general-use JP domain name could be introduced.
Upon introduction of the general-use JP domain name, it was important that registration services began as promptly as possible, so as to meet the needs of Internet users in as timely a manner as possible. Also, as it was expected that the number of registrations for the general-use JP domain name would soar, it was necessary that the registration system and service of the .JP domain in general be more stable, to be able to endure rapid and drastic change, and fluctuations in registration demand.
Additionally, since there are government guidelines that regulate public service organizations in Japan, it was not appropriate for JPNIC, as a public service organization, to store money and raise funds for timely investment. Furthermore, if the business of a public service organization has become, or may become, in competition with that of commercial companies due to changes in the social or economic situation, the public service organization must take action to correct its position as appropriate; if it cannot take action, the business should be converted into a commercial company.
As a result of intensive discussions and consultations with its members and the Internet community, JPNIC judged that it would be appropriate to establish a new company, to which management and administration of the .JP top level domain would be transferred. At the JPNIC 11th General Meeting held on December 22, 2000, two proposals were submitted and approved by a majority of its members: "Establishment of a new company, for management and administration of the general-use JP domain name;" and "Changes in JPNIC's membership system and fee schedule, and transfer of management and administration of organizational type/geographical type JP domain name to the new company." JPNIC's intention to transfer its status of JP ccTLD registry to the new company was initiated formally.
Based on the resolutions of the December 22 General Meeting, JPRS (Japan Registry Service Co., Ltd.) was established on December 26, 2000.
Since then, JPNIC, JPRS and the Internet community have discussed the applicable policy for the management and administration of .JP top level domain to be smoothly transferred from a public service organization to a private company. This policy also aims for the management and administration of the .JP top level domain to be more efficient and competitive, ensuring that it is acting in the public interest, while at the same time providing convenience for users.
After much study and discussion about how to best effect the transfer, an outline of the transfer was agreed upon by JPNIC and JPRS, and on November 9, 2001, the Memorandum for the Transfer of Management and Administration of the .JP Top Level Domain was executed.
Now that the Memorandum has been executed, it is the intention of JPRS to consult with ICANN regarding the ccTLD Sponsorship Agreement, and JPNIC will prepare to proceed with the transfer.
We hereby attach the English translation of the Memorandum for your reference and request that ICANN redelegate the .JP top level domain to JPRS, and begin procedures for executing a ccTLD Sponsorship Agreement with JPRS.
On November 12, 2001, we informed the Japanese governmental authority, in writing, of the execution of this Memorandum. For your reference, we have attached the translation of that correspondence.
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