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Understanding the .JP Top Level Domain


A TLD or top-level domain serves as a distinct identifier for an associated website, denoting certain attributes like its purpose (business, government, education), the entity that owns it, or the geographical region it represents.


Japan's TLD Domains

Japan also has its own TLD domains. The country code top-level domain (ccTLD) for Japan is .jp. This domain extension is used for websites associated with Japan, further enhancing the country's online presence and identity. Let's peel back the layers of .jp TLDs domain!


Timeline of key developments of the .JP TLD

In the last two decades, the Internet's importance in global communication has surged in Japan. JPNIC has been pivotal, evolving into a formal association and pioneering .jp domain services. The .jp domain history reflects technological progress and the digital age's innovation.

Let's look at the key events that influenced the development of the .jp top-level domain.

  • Year: 2000

    • December 22: JPNIC's 11th General Meeting resolves to establish a new company to manage .jp domain name registration services.

  • Year: 2001

    • February 5: JPRS signs a contract with JPNIC for handling the registration of generic .jp domain names.

    • November 9: Memorandum regarding the transfer of .jp domain name registration management is signed between JPNIC and JPRS.

  • Year: 2002

    • January 30: The Japanese government endorses JPRS for the re-delegation of .jp domain name registration management to ICANN.

    • April 1: .jp domain name registration management is transferred from JPNIC.

  • Year: 2003

    • June 30: JPRS receives approval documents from ICANN for internationalized domain name services.

  • Year: 2007

    • December 4: JPRS introduces IP Anycast technology to .jp DNS.

  • Year: 2008

    • March 1: .jp domain name registrations surpass 1 million.

  • Year: 2009

    • July 9: JPRS announces plans to implement DNSSEC for .jp domain name services.

  • Year: 2011

    • January 16: DNSSEC is introduced to .jp domain name services.

    • September 26: The establishment of "Prefecture-type .jp Domain Names" is decided (to start in 2012).

  • Year: 2012

    • November 18: Prefecture-type .jp Domain Names are introduced.

  • Year: 2014

    • November 3: Japanese language is introduced to prefecture labels for Prefecture-type .jp Domain Names.

  • Year: 2015

    • October 1: .jp domain name registrations exceed 1.4 million.

  • Year: 2017

    • September 1: Generic .jp domain names' registration exceeds 1 million.

  • Year: 2018

    • February 1: .jp domain name registrations exceed 1.5 million.

  • Year: 2020

    • October 1: .jp domain name registrations exceed 1.6 million.

  • Year: 2022

    • June 1: .jp domain name registrations exceed 1.7 million.


What Extensions can be Registered in Japan and What are the Requirements?

The .jp extension represents specific identifiers and purposes. They can be categorized into three main groups:


1. Organizational/geographic type .jp domain name

Geography domain name types adhere to a registration limitation of one domain per registrant. This means that each individual or entity is allowed to register only one domain under this category. This restriction is in place to ensure uniqueness and exclusivity for each registrant within the geography domain name space.

  • .co.jp: Companies (Kaisha) have an official corporate registration in Japan. Non-Japanese companies that are registered as "Gaikoku Kaisha" may also apply.

  • .or.jp: This extension represents legal entities established under Japanese law, providing them an online identity.

  • .ne.jp: Network service providers in Japan, offer network services to the general public on either a profit or non-profit basis.

  • .ac.jp: It is for schools established under the School Education Law or other laws, institutions used by several different universities, universities, technical schools, incorporated schools, and incorporated technical schools.

  • .ad.jp: It is reserved for JPNIC members, showing their affiliation with Japan's internet community.

  • d.jp: It is the digital identity of nurseries, kindergartens, primary schools, junior high schools, middle educational schools, high schools, schools for handicapped children, vocational schools, and other types of schools that are mainly for people under the age of 18.

  • .go.jp: .go.jp is for Japanese government authorities, research bodies, and government-linked entities looking to bridge online and official domains.

  • .gr.jp: Groups that consist of two or more individuals residing in Japan, or groups of two or more corporations established under the laws of Japan.

  • .lg.jp: It represents Japanese local authorities.


2. General-use .jp domain name

A General-use .jp Domain Name is a domain name that doesn't restrict the number of registrations allowed per registrant. Individuals, groups, or organizations with a permanent postal address in Japan are eligible to apply for a General-use .jp Domain Name.

This type of domain name is registered at the second level (e.g., example.jp). It provides flexibility for various entities in Japan to establish their online presence without limitations on the number of registrations.


3. Prefecture type ,jp domain name

This domain type has no restrictions on the number of registrations per registrant. Both individuals and organizations with a residential address in Japan can register multiple domain names under this category.

  • (Name of the prefecture).jp: Prefecture Type .jp Domain Names uniquely include the names of one of Japan's 47 prefectures in their format, such as my-domain.hokkaido.jp, my-domain.tokyo.jp, or my-domain.nagasaki.jp. Registrants can use both ASCII and Japanese characters for the second and third-level domains in this category. These domain names promote a regional online identity, representing specific areas within Japan.

The list of prefectures are: Hokkaido, Aomori, Iwate, Miyagi, Akita, Yamagata, Fukushima, Ibaraki, Tochigi, Gunma, Saitama, Chiba, Tokyo, Kanagawa, Niigata, Toyama, Ishikawa, Fukui, Yamanashi, Nagano, Gifu, Shizuoka, Aichi, Mie, Shiga, Kyoto, Osaka, Hyogo, Nara, Wakayama, Tottori, Shimane, Okayama, Hiroshima, Yamaguchi, Tokushima, Kagawa, Ehime, Kochi, Fukuoka, Saga, Nagasaki, Kumamoto, Oita, Miyazaki, Kagoshima, Okinawa.


What can be Registered as a Domain Under the .JP TLD?

To register a .jp domain overseen by Japan's national domain registry, JPNIC, adhere to the specified guidelines. Here are the key details:

  • Domain Diversity: .jp domains embrace diversity with open arms. They're not limited to English; you can include Japanese characters like あ, い, う, and beyond. This makes the online world more inclusive, supporting local scripts and languages.

  • Domain Length: The .jp domain name can be anywhere from 1 to 63 characters long. But, if you're gunning for a shorter domain name (1 or 2 characters), there are special rules in place to ensure fairness and discourage hoarding.

  • Content Check: Japan has its standards. The National Direction Of The Internet Domain Registry steps in to evaluate domain name requests. Their aim? To keep things respectful and lawful, avoiding offensive, discriminatory, or confusing domains.


Who can Register a .JP TLD Domain?

The general rule is that in order register any .jp extension, the domain owner must have a local presence in Japan. If you don’t have, Nominus.com can help you with this requirement, please visit .jp Domains.

For “Organizational/Geographic Type .jp Domain Name” there are also additional requirements as mentioned before, for example for .co.jp only companies (kaisha) having an official corporate registration in Japan can register, and they can only register one domain.


Statistics for the .JP Domain

As of August 2023, there are 1,745,498 domains registered under the .jp top-level domain. Here's the breakdown for each .jp domain extension:

 

Benefits of Registering a .JP Domain Name in Japan

  1. Cultural Connection: Choosing a .jp domain not only solidifies your online identity in Japan but also emphasizes your profound bond with the Japanese culture. It signals to your audience, especially to the Japanese demographic, your authentic association with their homeland. Such a cultural alignment can foster trust and build stronger relationships with local customers.

  2. Enhanced SEO Performance: Search engines often favor local domains when generating search results for a particular country. Hence, businesses in Japan with a .jp domain stand a better chance of securing top spots in local search results, leading to a boost in organic website traffic.

  3. Broad Domain Availability: Compared to generic domains like .com or .net, .jp domains frequently present a wider array of available names. This means you have a higher probability of obtaining your desired domain name, giving your brand a unique and easily recognizable online address.

  4. Protecting Your Brand: By registering a .jp domain, you not only mark your territory in the Japanese digital realm but also shield your brand's reputation within the country. This step ensures that others can't register similar domains, preventing potential customer confusion or trademark disputes.

  5. Adaptability Across Sectors: The .jp domain is remarkably versatile, making it relevant across diverse industries. For example, in the tech world, "JP" can denote Japan, making it a prime choice for tech-focused businesses. In the financial domain, "JP" can represent Joint Partnership, aligning well with firms involved in cooperative financial endeavors. This multifaceted significance makes the .jp domain flexible and relevant across various business landscapes.