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Domain name suffix ‘.tokyo’ to be available next spring

Domain names ending with “.tokyo,” “.nagoya” and “.moe” will be available next spring as part of a move to increase the number of suffixes by the agency that oversees Internet addresses.

The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers has been studying 1,930 applications from around the world for new domain name suffixes. The domain name “moe,” meaning affection, is a term mainly used in pop culture.

There are currently 255 domain names used for countries and territories, such as “.jp” for Japan, and 22 generic suffixes, such as “.com” and “.net.”

To create a website or email address, for example, users create a string of characters ending with an available domain name and register it. However, there are now more than 200 million such addresses registered worldwide.

In 2012, the California-based ICANN thus called for applications for new domain suffixes. Of the 1,930 applications it received, 69 came from Japan. Fifty of these were related to names of companies or fashion brands, including “.canon” and “.honda,” and eight to geographical names, such as Tokyo and Osaka. Also among the applicants was “.shop.”

ICANN is considering whether these suffixes are feasible over the long term. The three approved suffixes, “.tokyo,” “.nagoya” and “.moe,” will be available for purchase in spring from a Japanese company in charge of managing and administering domain names.

(The Japan News)