History of Internet in Japan

History of WIDE Project for 10 years

This article was reported in Internet Magazine, January 1999.

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research group has been started by several researchers working on the field of UNIX and network in 1988. Now this group is known as WIDE Project, and they have been making contributions not only to internet infrastructure in Japan but also to the whole internet worldwide. It is not too much to say that 10 years history of WIDE Project is the history of the Internet in Japan. Here we would like to look back the history and think about their achievements and future tasks.

Chronological table for 10 years of WIDE Project

Topic of Communications and Internet History of WIDE Project
1981 The Department of Defense started research of the
distributed computer network called "ARPA net" in 1969.

The development of N1 net
(Network for inter University) started in 1974.

TCP/IP became the standard of the Department of Defense
in 1980.
NTT public corporation's packet network started its operation.

- N1 net started it operation in 1981.

Mr. Murai went into a manhole in Keio University Yagami Campus and set up the line

1982 First use of TCP/IP in ARPA net. - Mr. Jun Murai and some others built a computer network based on UNIX in Keio University Yagami Campus.
1983 ARPA net divided into MIL net and ARPA net.
1984 DNS (Domain Name System) was invented. - The 300bps modem enabled to connect Tokyo Institute of Technology and Keio University.
- The 1200bps modem enabled to connect Tokyo Institute of Technology, Tokyo University and Keio University.
- JUNET (Japan University Network) started.
1985 TCP/IP software was implemented on BSD UNIX and became popular.
NTT public corporation was restructured into private company.
New Telecommunications Business Law was put into operation.
- Mr. Murai presented "JUNET" in Information Processing Society of Japan
- Several UNIX users formed WIDE Research Group, predecessor of WIDE Project.
1986 CS net by American Science Foundation started its operation.
NSF net started.
JUNET started to provide e-mail service in Japanese, and the number of user increased.
JUNET connected to CS net in USA as its first international connectivity.
1987 The service of Card Type Automobile Public Telephone and Cellular Phone started. - JUNET connected CS net. JUNET started to provide CS net service to users temporarily.
- Tokyo University has been connected to Tokyo Institute of Technology at 64Kbps
1988 NSF net backbone was changed to T1 line.
The service of INS64, NTT's ISDN service, started.
The first Interop was held in Santakurara.
- January: Keio University was connected to WIDE network.
- August: WIDE Project was started.
The research camp was held for the first time.

The first WIDE research camp
was held only by a few researchers.

Research Topics
Building the network/X.25 (Packet Network) and the technological development for ISDN/Network Security/Audio Communication (Internet Phone)/Automatic translation System

1989 Connectivity management of CS net transfered from Tokyo University to NACSIS (National Center for Science Information Systems).
TISN (Tokyo International Science Network) and JAIN (Japan Academic Inter-university Network) started.
Domain name transition into ".jp" finished.
WWW prototype was developed.

- January: NACSIS worked with Mr. Murai to connect NSF net and Tokyo University (9600bps).
- August: Connection between WIDE and USA via Hawaii became operational with speed of 64bps.
- September: WIDE Network Center was placed at Iwanami Book Store (WNOC-Tokyo)
- November: WNOC was placed in Kyoto. (ASTEM)

9600bps modem was used to connect NSF net and Tokyo University

Research Topics
Building the network/X.25 (Packet Network) and the technological development for ISDN/Network Security
The members of WIDE Project established WNOC-Tokyo by themselves.

1990 A number of JUNET site increased from 289 to 452, and 700 organizations was connected to JUNET.
ARPA net stopped its operation. (NSF net merged it.)
Commercial Service Providers such as UUNet, PSInet etc. were established.
- March: WNOC-Osaka was placed. (Senri International Information Institute)
- April: WNOC-SFC was placed (Keio University SFC)
- December: WNOC-Fukuoka (System Soft) was placed.

Research Topics
Mobile network/Directory Service/Distributed File System/Multi Media/Operating System/The research of "Phone-Shell", access method to the Internet by telephone.

1991 "INET'91"which was the first Internet International conference was held in Copenhagen.
Japan Network Information Center (JPNIC) was started, and domain name registration service which JUNET ADMIN used to work was transferred to them.
WWW, Gopher, Wide Area Information Servers (WAIS) were released.
CS net stopped its operation.

- August: WNOC-Sendai was placed. (AIC)
- October: PACCOM between SFC and Hawaii University became 192Kbps.
- October: WIDE Camp started to provide a network connectivity at 64Kbps.

In WIDE Camp, the connectivity was provided for each room wiring through door scopes and holes for the air conditioner.

Research Topics
The Social Impact of the Internet and Technological Transition/Multicast Communication (Mbone)/Mobile Communication (VIP)/File System (Information Share System by WWFS)/Internet Connectivity by Pagers

1992 ISOC was established.
JUNET Society was established.
SINET (Science Information Network) started its operation.
- June: INET'92 was held in Kobe.
- July: WNOC-Hiroshima was placed in Hiroshima University.
- December: Internet Initiative Japan Inc. (IIJ) was established.
IIJ connected to WIDE.

INET'92 was the first International
conference which was held in Japan

Research Topics
Internet and Education/Development of Tunneling Technology/Time Synchronaization System based on atomic clock/Interconnection Experiment between Internet and regional commercial VAN (e-mail exchange with NIFTY serve and PC-VAN)/Data Communications by Communications Satellite (CS)

People from all over the world attended in INET'92.

1993 Vice President Gore announced Information Superhighway Plan.
InterNIC was established.
JPNIC (Japan Network Information Center) started.
AT&T Jens provided the domestic and international IP services.
NCSA released Mosaic.
Internet Association of Japan (IAJ) was started.
- April: WNOC-Nara was placed in NAIST (Nara Advanced Institute of Science and Technology)
- May: WNOC-Hokkaido was placed in Sapporo Electronics Center.
- June: International Connectivity point was replaced from Hawaii University to NASA (FIX-W)

Research Topics
Fire Wall Technology/Interconnection Experiment between regional commercial VAN (telnet --> VAN, VAN --> telnet)

1994 Internet Venture Companies such as Netscape, Yahoo! etc. were founded.
Operation of NSF net backbone has been stopped.
N+I 94 was held in Japan for the first time.
September: Impress published the first issue of "Internet Magazine".
JUNET finished their role and dissolved.
Commercial VAN was connected to the Internet.
- July: WNOC-Hamamatsu (Shizuoka University) and WNOC-Hachioji (Tokyo Institute of Technology) were placed.
- September: 2Mbps Satellite Line was provided by VSAT portable station for WIDE camp.
- December: WNOC-SFO (San Francisco) was placed. International line became to provide 1.5Mbps.
- NSPIXP-1 started.

Research Topics
LifelineWG was started to enable Internet to use effectively in real disaster. Experiment such as IAA etc./ Real Time Communications / WISH (Internet Technology for Satellite Line)

Portable Parabolic Antenna for Satellite Communication

1995 January: Huge earthquake occured in Kobe.
RealAudio was released.
November: Shipping of Windows95 started in Japan and it supported to increase internet users.
Shockwave was released.
- September: WNOC-Gifu was placed in Softopia Japan.
- WNOC-Komatsu worked in Japan Advanced Institute of Science and Technology.
- November: Broadcasted Mr. Ryuichi Sakamoto's concert at Budoukan over the internet.

Mr. Ryuichi Sakamoto's Concert was broadcasted to all over the world.

Research Topics
IPv6/Information Search/AI3 (Asian Internet Interconnection Initiatives)/Communication Test using distributed Wireless Packet Network

1996 Discussion on gTLD started.
PHS Service started.
Streaming Contents increased.
Man who published and sold obscene pictures in WWW was arrested in Japan for the first time.
Internet Explorer3.0 was released, and the battle of browsers broke out.
December: Impress published the first issue of "Internet Watch".
OCN started.
- Internet 1996 World Exposition (IWE'96) was held. T3 (45Mbps) International line was used.
- January: The First Internet Disaster Drill was held.
- June: IPv6 was tested in the leased line between WNOC-Tokyo and WNOC-Nara .
- WIDE supported to manage Atlanta Olympic Games site.
- NSPIXP-2 started.
- WIDE started an experiment of mobile computing with Stanford University etc.

Research Topics
Technology for security in IP Layer/ Technology for security in Mobile Communication / Network stethoscope

The Engine room of the Internet Car has a dynamo as a communication equipment.

1997 Search Engine "goo" appeared.
June: The real name and picture of the schoolboy who murdered children in Kobe was distributed on the Internet and it became a social problem.
Push technology attracted a great attention.
Netscape Communicator 4.0/Internet Explorer 4.0 were released.
Regional VAN ASCII-net and Nikkei MIX finished the service.
Osaka Police Department arrested the author of "FLASK" which a censor-breaking tool.
- NSPIXP-3 was placed in Osaka.
- SOI (School of Internet) Project started and several classes of SFC and NAIST provided over the Internet.

Research Topics
Internet Car / Label Switch / IEEE1394 / lifelong (Building the Internet which people can use through all their life) / User Authentication Test by Public Key / WWW cache technology/Internet Phone / UDLR technology

1998 635 million access to the official site of Nagano Olympic Game was recorded.
1.1 billion access to the official site of Soccer World Cup in France was recorded. Those records change 4 records in the Guinness Book, Records of the Internet part.
Many people were attracted to the Starr Report of the Independent Council Investigation about President Clinton's adultery and testimony in grand jury shown by Realvideo technology.
- WIDE supported the management of Nagano Olympic Game site and Nagano Paralympic Game site.
- WIDE Project 10th Anniversary Symposium was held.

The souvenir were awarded from IBM to WIDE Project.

Research Topics
SOI (School of Internet)/Internet Car/Label Switching technology/IPv6/Differenciated Services (Diff-serv)/User Authentication

Many people attended WIDE Project 10th Anniversary Symposium.

[  INDEX  ]

(C)1998 WIDE Project


(c)Copyright 1999 impress corporation
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