Establishment of JGP has been approved by ICANN to develop the rules for Japanese gTLD labels
On 18 March 2015, establishment of Japanese Generation Panel (JGP) has been announced by The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN). JGP is a panel to determine the rules for valid Japanese Top Level Domains (TLDs). It has Hiro Hotta from JPRS as its Chair and Akinori Maemura from JPNIC as its Vice-Chair. Eight IDN experts are its initial members.
Rules for TLDs labels
In the recent new gTLD program launched in January 2012, Non-ASCII strings, as well as ASCII strings, were allowed to be proposed as new gTLD names. A gTLD that has non-ASCII characters in its label string is called an IDN gTLD. 116 proposals among all 1930 proposals were for IDN gTLDs.
In the recent new gTLD program, proposed strings were assessed manually to decide whether the strings confuse the Internet users, that is, if they are visually or semantically similar. For example, users may consider that coexistence of “.国語" and “.國語” as different TLDs leads to confusion.
To address the community requirements raised through the experience of the recent IDN TLDs, ICANN has initiated a project that will come up with clearer rules about the validity of the TLD strings. The project aims to develop such rules before the next round of new gTLD introduction. As a part of this project, it aims to develop the rules that can assist in deciding the appropriateness of the proposed TLD strings, by defining the usable character sets and confusability measures. The set of such rules for TLDs is called as Root Zone Label Generation Rules (LGR).
Procedure for Root Zone LGR development project and JGP
ICANN initiated a project to develop Root Zone LGR (*1) and worked with the community to define the procedure to undertake it (*2). Based on the procedure, ICANN called for language and script communities to organize panels to develop the required rules (*3). Organizations began to work on development of LGRs for a variety of scripts and writing systems for integration into the Root Zone LGR. The project procedure requires the following:
- Generation Panel : a panel to develop an LGR proposal for each script or writing system
- Integration Panel : a panel to unify all LGR proposals into a single Root Zone LGR
To undertake the above procedure, Japanese volunteers, who are IDN experts, gathered and started to develop Japanese LGR in August 2014. They also submitted a proposal for the formal establishment of the Japanese Generation Panel (JGP) on 6 February 2015 to ICANN (*4). Now that ICANN has approved its establishment, JGP will work to develop and submit a Japanese LGR proposal to ICANN.
In addition to Japanese Generation Panel, Arabic, Chinese, and Armenian panels have already been established and are pursuing their work formally. Other language and script communities have also started their efforts for organizing such panels for the development of their LGR proposals (*5).
Relationship between JGP and other language Generation Panels
In case of TLDs, labels in various languages and scripts are included in a single domain name space, i.e., the root zone. For example, as “国語” can be a Chinese or a Japanese string, it is not possible for end user to determine if “.国語” is a Chinese TLD or a Japanese TLD. As the single Root Zone LGR is needed to cover all the languages and scripts, due to overlapping repertoire, Kanji (Han in Chinese and Hanja in Korean), the three Generation Panels for Chinese, Japanese and Korean have to cooperate and collaborate in developing their respective LGRs that are consistent and unifiable with each other.
The way forward
JGP will work on developing Japanese LGR through cooperation with Chinese Generation Panel, Korean Generation Panel and Integration Panel. Currently it plans to finalize Japanese LGR development in summer 2015. Before finalization of the Japanese LGR, JGP plans that comments will be solicited on the draft version that is thought to be unifiable with Chinese LGR and Korean LGR. JGP currently consists of eight members, however additional member(s) may be added through its activities.
JGP publishes its activities on its web site http://j-gp.jp/ .
Questions will be directed to JGP secretariat through firstname.lastname@example.org .
(*1) Root Zone LGR Project
(*2) Procedure to Develop and Maintain the Label Generation Rules for the Root Zone in Respect of IDNA Labels
(*3) Call for Generation Panels to develop Root Zone Label Generation Rules
(*4) Proposal for Generation Panel for Japanese Label Generation Rules for the Root Zone
(*5) All Panels Status Update