GakuNin, the Academic Access Management Federation in Japan, today announced that it is qualified as a U.S. FICAM Trust Framework Level of Assurance 1 (LoA1) Assessor by the Open Identity Exchange (OIX). GakuNin is affiliated with the National Institute of Informatics (NII) and was formed to ensure interoperation among the authentication platforms of various universities and research organizations across Japan. It enables single sign-on authentication across organizations by coordinating the technical specifications, system administrative standards, and usage conventions across participating organizations.

The U.S. FICAM trust framework is a set of legal and technical rules by which users agree to operate in order to achieve trust online. Trust Frameworks are one of the key tools advocated by the U.S. National Strategy for Trusted Identities in Cyberspace (NSTIC) for creating a safe online “identity ecosystem”. The GakuNin Trust Team is in charge of GakuNin trust framework maintenance, including compliance audits as a regular ongoing business activity.

The GakuNin Trust Team is chaired by Professor Hiroyuki Sato of the University of Tokyo and includes professionals in the field of Identity and Access management.

I am very pleased to serve as the OIX assessor for GakuNin” said Professor Sato. “GakuNin has been a member of the OIX since April 2012 to be a LoA1 assessor to support member universities and organizations of GakuNin to access services which requires the appropriate LoA. GakuNin should be the first TFP in Asia, and it is planned that Kyoto University will be assessed as the first LoA1 certified ID Provider.

“Trust frameworks should be a major key feature henceforward for Access Management Federations to promote inter-federation collaboration, especially between academic and business sector” said Professor Motonori Nakamura of NII, Chairman of the GakuNin Task Force, which is in charge of operation of GakuNin.

We started a trial, called SITF (Student Identity Trust Framework) to actualize online student discount services utilizing attributes provided by GakuNin over The Open Identity Trust Framework (OITF) model. This activity is in collaboration with OpenID Foundation Japan and should be the first collaboration among academic and commercial sectors to construct a Trust Framework in Asia.
We are pleased GakuNin selected OIX to list as FICAM LoA1 Assessors for their university members throughout Japan” said Don Thibeau, OIX Board Chair. “This is further validation that OIX is truly international in scope and offers the legal and policy tools that users of digital trust frameworks worldwide need to effectively ensure online trust.


About the National Institute of Informatics (NII):

As Japan’s only general academic research institution seeking to create future value in the new discipline of informatics, the National Institute of Informatics (NII) seeks to advance integrated research and development activities in information-related fields, including networking, software, and content. These activities range from theoretical and methodological work through applications. As an inter-university research institute, NII promotes the creation of a state-of-the-art academic-information infrastructure (the Cyber Science Infrastructure, or CSI) that is essential to research and education within the broader academic community, with a focus on partnerships and other joint efforts with universities and research institutions throughout Japan, as well as industries and civilian organizations.