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Agreement for .jp ccTLD Completed

Marina del Rey, California, USA (28 February 2002) -- The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) today announced that it has entered into an agreement with the Japan Registry Service Corporation (JPRS), which will become the new operator of the .jp "country code top level domain", or ccTLD. This agreement is the second agreement ICANN has signed with a ccTLD operator. Last October, ICANN signed an agreement with auDA, the operator of the ccTLD for Australia, .au.

"This agreement underscores JPRS's and ICANN's joint commitment to promote a stable Internet, both worldwide and locally in Japan," noted ICANN President and CEO M. Stuart Lynn. "It continues the Japanese Internet community's traditions of leadership in the global Internet, and their interest in participating fully in the ICANN process."

This agreement formally recognizes the Japanese community's responsibility for establishing local policies for the .jp ccTLD and ensuring that JPRS operates in the interest of the Japanese community. It also recognizes ICANN's continuing responsibility for global Internet policy to promote stability and global interoperability.

The .jp ccTLD was originally delegated to Dr. Jun Murai, an Internet leader and member of the ICANN Board of Directors, through the operation of the Japanese Network Information Center, JPNIC. The agreement heralds the shift of responsibility from JPNIC to JPRS.

Mr. Koki Higashida, President and CEO of JPRS stated that "JPRS, in managing .jp, will cherish the history and achievements of its predecessors of which the world can be proud, and look forward to further enhancing its function."

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Internationalized Domain Name ,IDN,"IDNs are domain names that include characters used in the local representation of languages that are not written with the twenty-six letters of the basic Latin alphabet ""a-z"". An IDN can contain Latin letters with diacritical marks, as required by many European languages, or may consist of characters from non-Latin scripts such as Arabic or Chinese. Many languages also use other types of digits than the European ""0-9"". The basic Latin alphabet together with the European-Arabic digits are, for the purpose of domain names, termed ""ASCII characters"" (ASCII = American Standard Code for Information Interchange). These are also included in the broader range of ""Unicode characters"" that provides the basis for IDNs. The ""hostname rule"" requires that all domain names of the type under consideration here are stored in the DNS using only the ASCII characters listed above, with the one further addition of the hyphen ""-"". The Unicode form of an IDN therefore requires special encoding before it is entered into the DNS. The following terminology is used when distinguishing between these forms: A domain name consists of a series of ""labels"" (separated by ""dots""). The ASCII form of an IDN label is termed an ""A-label"". All operations defined in the DNS protocol use A-labels exclusively. The Unicode form, which a user expects to be displayed, is termed a ""U-label"". The difference may be illustrated with the Hindi word for ""test"" — परीका — appearing here as a U-label would (in the Devanagari script). A special form of ""ASCII compatible encoding"" (abbreviated ACE) is applied to this to produce the corresponding A-label: xn--11b5bs1di. A domain name that only includes ASCII letters, digits, and hyphens is termed an ""LDH label"". Although the definitions of A-labels and LDH-labels overlap, a name consisting exclusively of LDH labels, such as"""" is not an IDN."