OpenID Foundation Japan Experience

From IIW

Title: OpenID Foundation Japan Experience "Business & Marketing" w/ Japan Airline Case Study etc

Convener: Nat Sakimura, Nomura Research Institute

Notes-taker: T Sakushima, NRI America


  • Didain Perrot
  • T. Sakushima
  • Vijay Simha
  • Shin Adachi
  • Andrew Nash
  • James McLaughlin
  • Hiroki Itoh
  • Henrick Biering
  • Karen Zelanbo
  • Minglian Pei
  • Gabriel Wachob
  • Lena Kannappan

What Discussed:

The presentation slides

Nat highlighted some facts to show how successful OpenID is in Japan:

  • In survey that OIDFJ made, almost 28% aware OpneID and 15% actually has used it.
  • 32 companies are members of OIDFJ and the number is still increasing.
    • Most of them are major companies in industries like financial, e-commerce, telco(mobiles/ISP)
  • The current member list can be found at
  • OPIDF is partnering with Liberty Japan SIG for many ID related promotion activities.

Also he covers the Japan Airline(JAL) use case. JAL actually uses OpenID as SSO solutions for affiliates.

Notes, Key understanding, Questions, Observations, and Action items:

Not all of the members are actually using OpenID yet, but they are now considering it along with their business strategies and compliance issues. For example, Japanese mobile carriers are mandated for ID portability and they will have to keep user's account even though the user switches to another carrier. DRM for purchased contents through mobile connection (e.g music) are tied to mobile accounts. Contents must be accessible from the account that an user moving to.

The key success factor of OIDFJ is to driving promotion for 3 different domains simultaneously: 1. Consumers 2. Bisnesses/Developers Community 3. Government

For 1)Consumers, to catch media attentions is very important. The magazine for average Internet users even covers OpenID. Actually the word "OpenID" is on the cover page of the magazine with a Japanese pop singer. The OpenID awareness survey is conducted regular bases to see the progress periodically.

For 2)Businesses, visiting over 100 companies really helps their understanding of OpenID and discuss specific issues one by one. It is time consuming however it is must approaches for business communities. Many technical seminars are conducted through OIDFJ and Liberty SIG. Many use case ideas are shared in seminars. Nat emphasizes that "Security" must be talked in each visit or seminar otherwise OpenID is completely misunderstood.

For 3)Government, as a consulting firm, NRI leverages the position to have many discussions with government agencies and also assist them in many researches including Assurance Programs, Digital Signature and E-Authentication.

Nat introduced the JAL case study as one of example of business use case discussion with OpenID prospects. What is call "Trust Exchange" extension actually comes from one of discussions with JAL. Customers of JAL can use their mileage membership account(a account number tied with an OpenID) for SSO in JAL's affiliate sites (hotel reservation, rent a car, etc.)


Q:What is the value proposition to consumers when promoting OpenID to them?

A:Mostly SSO and ease of managing accounts. Audit trail and strong authentication were also raised from participants.

Q:In the JAL case study, it can be implemented by SAML. Why is OpenID chosen?

A:Ease of implementation especially RP sides. Also various popular languages like PHP and Ruby can be used.

 Those script languages are preferred languages for many developers, so more candidates of RPs can be expected.


Tatsuki Sakushima

NRI Pacific - Nomura Research Institute America, Inc.