Capital gets .tokyo domain

by Kazuaki Nagata

Staff Writer

The nation’s capital has joined “.com,” “.gov” and a few other select naming categories on the Internet’s list of top-level domains.

This means website addresses ending in “.tokyo” are now possible, domain manager GMO Registry Inc. said at a press conference Monday.

Nagoya beat Tokyo to the punch as a top-level domain, or TLD, in February. The most common TLD is .com.

The new domain will help Tokyo-based businesses and services become better known by using addresses like “hotel.tokyo,” “ramen.tokyo” and “map.tokyo,” GMO Registry CEO Hiro Tsukahara said.

Tokyo Gov. Yoichi Masuzoe, who joined the press conference, welcomed the developement.

“I want to make Tokyo the world’s best city. . . . Tokyo has always been in fourth” place after London, New York and Paris, Masuzoe said, referring to the Global Power City Index survey carried out by the Mori Memorial Foundation.

“In the challenge to become the No. 1 city, I hope that ‘.tokyo’ will be a great tool for promoting Tokyo to the world,” the governor said.

GMO Registry said that companies that distribute domains started accepting applications from trademark holders for new addresses on Monday, with the first .tokyo Web address to debut in mid-June.

Tsukahara said that while managers charge different fees to register domain names, trademark holders typically pay around ¥30,000 for the first year and between ¥900 to ¥2,000 annually thereafter.

From June 9, anybody will be able to register an Internet address at an estimated cost of between ¥900 to ¥2,000 a year, but more targeted domain names, such as “hotel.tokyo,” are likely to command higher prices.

Tsukahara said the firm expects to get about 100,000 registration applications for addresses using .tokyo in the first year.

Companies that manage a geographical top-level domain must first get the support of their local government and pass a review by the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers — the nonprofit group that manages the world’s Internet domain names and addresses.