For companies with .com domain names, it is common for the Japanese part of the website to reside in a directory, such as www.example.com/ja/
For businesses without a .com domain, acquiring a web domain for your Japanese website can help build your online presence in Japan and establish trust among Japanese users.
The two most popular Japanese web domains
- .co.jp – required the registration of a company in Japan
- .jp – can be registered anywhere
While the most popular and trusted domain for Japanese companies is .co.jp, it is limited to companies which are registered in Japan, and what’s more only 1 domain can be acquired per company.
Companies which are planning on establishing a Japanese entity within the next 6 months are able secure a .co.jp domain name here.
For companies who are not considering registering as a Japanese company, the best alternative is to establish a .jp domain. These domains can be registered with many domain name providers such as GoDaddy, Domain.com and JP Domains.
More information on what entities can accrue which domains is available here.
Domain names have to be registered with a domain registrar that is accredited by the Japan Registry Services (JPRS).
Step by step guide for registering a Japanese Domain address:
- Choose a domain name.
- Check domain availability. Domain availability can be checked on the JPRS.
- Select a domain registrar. Accredited by the JPRS. Can be local Japanese registrars or international providers.
- Complete the registration process. Visit the website of the chosen domain registrar and follow the instructions provided.
- Provide necessary documentation if required. Some types of domains require legal proof of entity existence in Japan.
- Set domain registration period. Typically set at 1 year
- Pay fees. Prices vary and can include initial registration fee and annual renewal.
- Verify details and complete registration.
- Receive a confirmation email. This email will include details about the registration and information on managing your domain.
- Manage your domain. Update contact information, renew the registration
Last updated November 2023: Steve Crane OBE