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Username: JCCU
Date/Time: Thu, October 19, 2000 at 6:48 AM GMT
Browser: Netscape Communicator V4.51 using Windows 95
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Subject: JCCU(Japan) supports dot co-op


We are writing to urge for the International Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) to approve the proposal for a .co-op top-level domain. The National Cooperative Business Association (NCBA) and Poptel, Great Britain's leading cooperative Internet services provider, is proposing the adoption of .co-op with the full endorsement of the International Co-operative Alliance.

On behalf of twenty-one million Japanese people who are members of consumer cooperatives, We support NCBA and Poptel's application for a new top-level domain, .co-op. Japanese Consumers' Co-operative Union (JCCU) is a national federation of consumer cooperatives and embrace over 17% of Japanese nationals. These cooperatives are member-owned and controlled. The Total turnover of the co-ops was 3.3 trillion Japanese yen (equivalent to US$ 31 billion) in 1999, and they operate in various sectors of the economy including retail, health care, insurance and housing.

There is a strong business needs for a new, restricted .co-op in the global marketplace. "Co-op" is the globally recognized word for cooperative businesses. But there is currently no way for co-ops to distinguish themselves in global e-commerce.

The establishment of .co-op will enable Internet users to identify cooperative businesses and organizations that could help meet their local needs and form new cooperatives to provide necessary goods and services.

Co-ops are a unique form of business; governed by and embracing international values and principles. Cooperatives are based on the values of self-help, self-responsibility, democracy, equality, equity and solidarity. In the tradition of their founders, cooperative members believe in the ethical values of honesty, openness, social responsibility and caring for others.

To secure .co-op will boost e-commerce by capitalizing on the fact that many consumers have greater trust in cooperatives than traditional business. Consumers will have greater information to base their choices in buying. Restricting the .co-op top-level domain to only bona fide cooperatives will enhance e-commerce and ultimately trust in the Internet. To help consumers find the businesses they trust on the Internet, co-ops should be recognized as a distinct sector in e-commerce.

We strongly support NCBA and Poptel's application for a new, restricted top-level domain, .co-op. This proposal more than meets the ICANN's criteria to maintain Internet stability, enhance competition, fulfill previously unmet types of needs, enhance diversity and protect the rights of others, just to name a few. We urge you to move quickly and grant approval for .co-op - which we believe will become the trusted alternative to .com.

Cooperatively yours,

Shigenori Takemoto
Japanese Consumers' Co-operative Union


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