Michael Ng, chief executive of i-DNS.net, said his company is cooperating with Japanese Internet firms Ascii Corp., Crayfish Co. and interQ Inc. The California-based company expects to register 100,000 Japanese-language domain names in the next 12 months, Mr Ng said.
Until recently, domain names in Japan were registered only in English-language characters, because the domain name system is based on a computer code that doesn't support characters of Asian languages like Japanese and Chinese. Mr. Ng said i-DNS.net has developed a technology that allows non-English language characters, including Japanese, Korean and Chinese, to be recognized by the system that reads domain names.
"We are looking at bringing down a barrier," Ng said. The new service would enable consumers who aren't comforatble using English, such as senior citizens and children, to more easily access the Internet, he said. Mr. Ng added that he expects many Japanese companies would be interested in registering their domain names in Japanese, to strengthen their brand image.
During the past few months, i-DNS.net has launched its services in Thailand, Hong Kong and Singapore, and has plans to offer services in Beijing and Israel. The company is now preparing for an initial public offering on the Nasdaq stock market, perhaps in the third quarter, Mr. Ng said.