As the pioneer of the Internationalized Domain Name System (i-DNS), and the leading global provider of multilingual Internet solutions, i-DNS.net's technology is currently able to support registration of domain names and email addresses in 55 major non-English languages - including Japanese, Korean, Chinese, Spanish, German, French, Arabic, Thai, Tamil, Hebrew, Yiddish - and is fully compatible with commonly used Internet browsers and inter-operable with the current Domain Name System (DNS). i-DNS technology is already in use in countries like India, Singapore, Thailand, Taiwan, Hong Kong, and China.
With i-DNS, non-native English users will be able to register and use Web addresses in their native language. In Japan, companies and organizations will now be able to register addresses of company names and trademarks using Japanese, including hiragana, katakana, kanji, and full-width alphabet characters and numbers. For example, in addition to having English-only URLs such as "www.maiasa-shinbun.com" or "www.kigoservice.com," one could register and use or instead.
Japan currently has over 20 million Internet users. Potential users such as young children and senior citizens, who up until now have not been able to access the Internet due to a lack of proficiency in English, will finally be able to access Web pages using everyday Japanese. The utilization of native script on the Internet will help preserve the cultural identity of each language and reinforce the image of the world as a global village.
There are numerous benefits of using i-DNS technology to register web addresses in Japanese:
1. Development of web sites with addresses that directly correlate to company names, products, and services
As companies and organizations register their corporate names and trademarks in Japanese, we can expect more accurate 'hits' when searching for Web addresses that relate directly to company names, products, and services. By registering a separate Web address for different products and services and then creating a Web site for each of these addresses, a user can intuitively enter the name of a product or service without knowing the company name to access a corresponding Web site.
2. Direct input of addresses in Japanese
i-DNS.net's new service will begin registration of addresses written in Japanese with suffixes corresponding to ".com", ".net", and ".org", which will be ".kaisha (company in Japanese)", ".netto (net in Japanese)", and ".soshiki (organization in Japanese)", respectively. In place of the half-width English dot "." used to delineate each level of a Web address, the Japanese "?", full-width "·", and half width "." can all be used, thus eliminating the need for users to switch between English and Japanese to input addresses.
3. Enhanced scale of web addresses registration
The current English domain namespace is saturated. i-DNS technology will help to dramatically increase the number of domain names available. Because the multiple alphabets (hiragana, katakana, kanji, English alphabet) that are characteristic of the Japanese language can all be used in the registration of multilingual domain names, this technology will be particularly advantageous for Japanese.
4. Registration of web address using a mixture of Japanese characters
Registration of Web addresses by hiragana, katakana, kanji, and the English alphabet will each be considered separate domain names. Multiple addresses with the same pronunciation but using different character sets can also be registered.
5. Future Possibilities
Based on the core i-DNS technology, i-DNS.net has also developed related products and services, including multilingual email addressing and multilingual Internet keyword search. The company will introduce these services through local partners in the third quarter of this year.
i-DNS.net has a goal of obtaining 100,000 new Japanese domain name registrations by the end of this year. For its service in Japan, i-DNS.net will work together with ASCII Corporation, Crayfish Corporation and InterQ Corporation. All 3 local companies will begin Japanese Web address registration services in mid-May this year. To provide superior service to customers in this all-important Japanese market, i-DNS.net is also planning to establish a Japanese corporation with a strategic partner in June, 2000.
Michael Ng, CEO of i-DNS.net says: "The Internet has helped to establish a more flexible and free means of communications, eliminating geographical, cultural, and time restraints to businesses. By being able to use the Internet in languages other than English with our multi-language technology, an even greater number of people will access the Internet more frequently. This will lead to dramatic growth in the Internet market, including e-commerce."
i-DNS.net has always had a close cooperative relationship with Internet-related academic organizations and government institutions, and we will continue to work in building the number of Internet users. I firmly believe that our agreement with ASCII, InterQ, and Crayfish, all influential players in the Japanese Internet industry, will help to quickly deploy our service."
Mr Kosei Takahira, ASCII Internet Media division manager, says: "Through our cooperation with i-DNS.net, we are able to offer the first Japanese language domain name registration service in Japan. After conducting research on the various technologies enabling non-English domain name registration in the current market, ASCII determined that i-DNS technology was the most superior, and this led to our current agreement. As part of this agreement, ASCII will be distributing i-DNS software on CD-ROMs through magazines published by ASCII, as well as through the ASCII Web site with the intent of increasing domain name usage in various languages. Internet users are now being given a freedom of language choice previously unavailable, enabling easy use of the Internet for everybody. i-DNS.net has already begun domain name registration service in Taiwan, Hong Kong, Thailand, India and Singapore, all of which has been well received. For gTLD domain name registration, such as .com, .net, and .org, ASCII and ASCII EC, and CSK Network Systems, jointly manage a domain name registration site "WORLDNIC-JP" being affiliation with US-based Network Solutions. By adding multilingual Internet solutions to our existing services, we can provide broader domain registration services to our customers."
Richard A. S. Lindsay, InterQ executive director and system headquarters director, says: "Through our partnership with i-DNS.net, we will be able to provide new domain name spaces to all businesses and organizations active in Japan. In addition to InterQ's current "onamae.com" service of providing domain name registration in English, InterQ will provide domain name registration in Japanese for the Japanese market. As this service becomes established, the number of Internet users will grow. In other words we will be able to provide services consistent with InterQ's corporate goal of the 'Internet for everybody'."
Isao Matsushima, Crayfish President, says: "Until now, Crayfish has consistently provided added value for users of our current Web page hosting service. In the past, we concentrated on Web address registration in English. Through our partnership with i-DNS.net, we will be able to provide Web addresses directly related to company names, product names, and service names for businesses on the Internet or those planning to do business on the Internet in the future. We at Crayfish plan to aggressively develop our Japanese language Web address registration business and plan to also launch our own original marketing campaign."
Mr Toru Takahashi, a special advisor to i-DNS.net and chairman of the Internet Association of Japan and chairman of Internet Strategic Research Center Corporation, commented on the effect of language diversification in address registration: "At the end of the last fiscal year, the number of domain names with the ".jp" suffix exceeded 100,000. Domain names have continued to increase by 200% annually over the last few years, with the number of Japanese companies registering domain names ending in ".com", ".net", and ".org" also increasing dramatically in the last few years. With i-DNS.net's latest technology, I look forward to an even richer Internet environment. "
Mr Masaru Murai, special advisor for General Atlantic Partners, one of the major investors in i-DNS.net, says: "To our company, which invests in software and in particular in Internet-related companies, i-DNS.net is an extremely important investment. We see great value in the pioneering development of key enabling technologies that will pave the way for the Multilingual Internet of the future. We plan to continue working closely with i-DNS.net not only in terms of financing but also in business planning."
About ASCII Corporation
ASCII Corp., founded on May 24th, 1977, has three major business departments: publishing, education, and game development. The first is responsible for producing a variety of PC-related magazines, including Monthly ASCII and Weekly ASCII, books and specialized publications, as well as online publishing. In terms of Internet content, the company has developed ascii 24, an online news service covering IT-related issues. Through its broad range of publications, ASCII has earned a solid reputation in the market as a publisher specializing in all manner of material and content related to computer technology. ASCII's Education division consists of two business sections-the hand-held computer section which offers develop- and build-to-order services for personalized software training equipment, such as Pocket Study, and the Net media business section, which develops and markets multimedia tools and filtering software. The Game development division develops and sells a variety of game software, as well as computer software, hardware and peripherals. In addition, the company founded Enter Brain KK in April to publish a video game magazine, a how-to manual for scoring well on video games and comics, as well as entertainment magazines and books. ASCII also plans to develop video game arcades, provide related technical support services and establish computer graphics and animation enterprises.
For more information, visit www.ascii.co.jp
About Crayfish Corporation
Crayfish Corporation, founded on October 16, 1995, is an e-mail service provider for mid- and small-sized companies. One of their major businesses, Hit Mail is one of the largest hosting services, getting over 40,000 registrations among corporations in Japan as of January 31, 2000. (Number of domain name registration, according to Nikkei Market Access, September, 1999 issue) The company has been expanding its services that create business opportunities in internet world by using e-mail service as infrastructure.
For more information, visit crayfish.co.jp
About InterQ Corporation
Since beginning service as an Internet service provider in 1995, InterQ has developed three main services with their non-member program "interQ ORIGINAL", member program "interQ MEMBERS", and corporate program "interQ OFFICE". In 1999, InterQ became the first independent ISP to have publicly traded over-the-counter stock. While becoming the first official registrar in Asia to register domain names with the "onamae.com" service, InterQ also concentrated on the potential of email advertising by establishing three advertisement distribution companies: magclick for mail magazines, clickmail for mail between individuals, and FreeML.com for mailing lists. InterQ is developing into a business specializing in providing service for the Internet with the aim of becoming an Internet media group.
For more information, visit www.interq.ad.jp