Nagoya first city to get own Net domain name

by Kazuaki Nagata

Staff Writer

Japan has just received its first geographical top-level Internet domain, “.nagoya,” named after the nation’s third-largest metropolitan area, according to GMO Registry Inc.

People can now start registering in advance for Internet addresses with the “.nagoya” domain, the Tokyo-based domain manager said Thursday.

Nagoya is the third city in the world to get a top-level domain, after Berlin and Vienna. Domain names refer to the part of an Internet address that follows the period, the biggest of course being .com.

The domain is expected to help Nagoya promote itself by allowing people who want to design their own home pages or create others related to the city to register those sites with a .nagoya address.

“I hope that we can widely spread how attractive Nagoya is through .nagoya,” Nagoya Mayor Takashi Kawamura said in a statement.

GMO Registry said the firms that distribute domains are allowing trademark holders to register new addresses in advance. Onamae.com, a domain distributor operated by the GMO group, will charge ¥32,400 per address until April 18 for trademark holders, while general users will be allowed to register until June 13 for ¥10,800.

To become a company that can manage a geographical top-level domain, one must be supported by a local government and pass a review by the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers, the nonprofit corporation that manages the domain names and addresses of the Internet.

GMO received support from the city of Nagoya in March 2012 and passed the ICANN review last July. It also said the .tokyo domain is expected to be launched around April.