In April 2012 the Kyoto College of Graduate Studies for Informatics applied to ICANN Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers, a non-profit organization in the United States that manages domains used on the Internet, as the operator of the geographical name top-level domain name ".kyoto", with the sole support of Kyoto Prefecture. We have been notified by ICANN that our application has been accepted. If all goes smoothly, ICANN and the university will sign an agreement and transfer authority for the management of the “.kyoto” domain in the spring of 2014 and is expected to be operational after July 2014.
ICANN received approximately 2,000 applications from all over the world, including one from our school. There were 70 applications from Japan, 8 of which were for geographical top-level domain names, such as ".kyoto," ".tokyo," and ".osaka." Our school was the only institution with a public interest in applying for a geographical top-level domain name.
In addition to promoting geographical names to the world, geographical name TLDs are expected to have significant impact on various fields such as tourism, industry, and regional development. These domains will open up a wide variety of new business opportunities. Major cities around the world, such as .nyc (New York), .paris (Paris), and .london (London), have also applied for place name TLDs.
Kyoto has long been a city with a strong global brand. However, we believe that widespread use of ".kyoto" by public corporations, local businesses, educational institutions, and the citizens of Kyoto can further enhance the global recognition and brand power of Kyoto as a whole. This will also revitalize social and economic activities in the local community. The ".kyoto" domain is managed and operated not by a private commercial enterprise but by an educational institution (public interest organization) that has established a graduate school. Therefore, the collaboration can be positioned as a joint industry-government-academia "public interest project". The university will actively work with related organizations to promote a variety of initiatives, including the construction of a portal community site that allows those with ".kyoto" certification to register and disseminate information, promotion of collaboration among industry, government, academia and corporations, and various related projects to contribute to the content industry, including tourism, movies, and animation.
Starting in June, we are planning to hold three seminars to deepen the public’s understanding of possibilities for new businesses and their development in the Kyoto community through the use of ".kyoto".