Major firms to use names as website domain suffixes

Major firms to use names as website domain suffixes

Many major companies, such as Hitachi, Toyota and Sony, are considering using their company or brand names for their website domain suffixes, instead of ".jp" and ".com" this year.

As a result, there probably will be more website URLs and e-mail addresses that are shorter and easier to remember, making online services more convenient.

Late last year, the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN), a private organisation that manages domain names, allowed a series of companies to use company names and brand names as top-level domains.

In the wake of the decisions, Hitachi Ltd. plans to use ".hitachi" with its top-level domain in addition to the current domain name with "hitachi.co.jp." Canon Inc. will also use its domain name "canon.jp" as well as ".canon" as a new top-level domain.

Among Japanese companies, about 50, including Toyota Motor Corp., Nissan Motor Co., Sony Corp. and NTT Corp. are scheduled to adopt new domain names.

Since 2012, the ICANN has made efforts to increase the varieties of top-level domains, which at that time numbered about 280 highly popular short and easy-to-remember domains. The top-level domains cannot be registered to more than one entity.

ICANN, which received about 2,000 applications to register top-level domains using company and geographical names, is screening them one by one to see whether there are duplications or other problems.

Among Japanese companies, Dai Nippon Printing Co. received permission to use its brand name as its top-level domain - ".dnp" - which it began using in June 2014.

The company said the new domain name has been attractive for ordinary consumers. To avoid confusion among Internet users, the company uses its previous top-level domain - "dnp.co.jp" simultaneously.

Among geographical names, ".tokyo" and others have been approved as top-level domains.

It is likely that the companies will introduce their new top-level domains after considering how to use them most effectively.

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