Internet technologies are making a transition from an era of deployment and high speed to one of qualitative evolution. The realization of a diverse range of environments enabling correspondence in a variety of forms and situations is rapidly becoming a reality. Meanwhile, a more reliable social infrastructure, one that has its roots deep in our every day lives, is in demand more than ever. Our goal is the construction of a "Dependable Internet", one that can be used by people from all walks of life in any situation with a sense of security. This enormous challenge cannot be taken on alone, but will require cooperation in research and development on a global scale. This is exactly where the significance of the information technology research network lies.
The basic philosophy of the WIDE Project lies in the provision of a global connection between computers and all other equipment and the construction of a distributed system that will serve a useful purpose from an individual and social viewpoint and to bring to the fore the relative issues and problems in order to bring this to fruition. We have held this philosophy since the project was launched in 1988 to the present day amidst remarkable developments in network technologies. The Project aims to construct a highly public information infrastructure that will contribute to society in a variety of fields including medicine, finance, education and law.
The research that the WIDE Project is undertaking on the physical layers of Internet infrastructure can be likened to the water that cultivates vegetation in the soil. Although not visible on the surface, the results of our research are permeating through to and have great potential in all aspects of network environments. Just a few examples include the operation of the M Root DNS Server, forming the Internet backbone of the Asia-Pacific region, and the world's first undertaking of IPv6 (Internet Protocol version 6). We are reaching into territories that go beyond that of the organizational boundaries of corporations and universities into the networking of a variety of fields that only an interdisciplinary research network can achieve.
The WIDE Project is made up of more than 100 loosely bound organizations including various corporations and universities. In recent years working groups have been set up under various research themes. Our work carried out by over 730 researchers in Japan, collaborating with foreign researchers from all over the world. This is the "WIDE Internet", a shared research base that brings distant project members together. Operated through repeated experimentation and demonstration, the WIDE Internet provides a connection between members for sharing and discussion of information on a daily basis.