The Timeline

1994 - Brad Bartz visits JPNIC to meet Mr. Maruyama to pay respects to the center of the Japanese Internet, the domain registry. It was the fall and Mr. Bartz was impressed by Todai University. Mr. Bartz ran the largest Internet service for the foreign community in Japan with the IAC-Online BBS since 1991. Mr. Bartz was in the process of negotiating nationwide PPP internet access with NTT which would be signed a few days after this meeting.

During that meeting Mr. Bartz told Mr. Maruyama that he wanted to own and Mr. Maruyama tilted his head like a deer in headlights and said, "why would you do that? You would get so much traffic." Mr. Maruyama went on to express how the Internet is for education not commerce. I'm still in shock to think that this stupid, stupid man, Mr. Maruyama would not understand that traffic meant commerce.

The contract signing with NTT took place at their Internet subsidiary's office at a big table with many people. On our side with Jay Smith and Brad Bartz. The memorable moment was when the NTT President said, "Brad, we really don't understand this 'Act of Godzilla' clause!"

Straight faced, Mr. Bartz delivered this famed line, "Well, this is Tokyo Guys."

The table laughed and the NTT President left in the Act of Godzilla clause in our 50/50 revenue share venture to provide nationwide PPP internet access. We signed our agreements in the afternoon and then went for evening of pleasure.

1994 was an amazing year.

1995 - Nothing Happend in regards to - But Mr. Bartz did raise 327 million yen for a 22% stake in Internet Access Center K.K. Mr. Bartz and team grew revenues to 290 million yen during the first 12 months of operation. 1995/03/27 registered our first Japanese domain name -- Before that we were known as

It's a funny story about raising money. I met Campbell Gunn for the first time at a Hanami (Cherry Tree Blossom) party. We were introduced like this: Campbell this is Brad Bartz, he's a local Internet wizard... Brad this is Campbell Gunn he's a banker. I said Hi Campbell, nice to meet you. and I asked "Would you like to buy shares in my company.?" Just a totally off-the-cufff statement said in the first few seconds of meeting Mr. Gunn.

Mr. Gunn then said, "YES" and we clicked our glasses and this hanami party moved outdoors along the moat around the Emperor's Catsle for the most memorable Hanami ever (almost).

To put it mildly, I did not think anything of Mr. Gunn's yes, but two weeks later my banker from UBS called and said he was real. It seems Mr. Gunn had read about my Japan Internet activities in forums on Compuserve. By September the 327 million was in the bank.

1996 - 1996/08/16 - we registered 106 Japanese domain names. This is the day Brad Bartz killed the Japanese Internet. The rule in Japan was one company can only register one domain name. A Japanese company required $100,000 of paid-in capital to start. Delaware, USA companies were $75 a year at the time. So Brad Bartz bought the Delaware companies and used them to pass the JPNIC one domain rule. At first the JPNIC and Mr. Maruyama said hell no. I was furious. I called my lawyer. Mr. Warren Shimmael, the last foreign lawyer granted the right to practice Japanese law back in the 1950s. Mr. Shimmael worked his magic and we were granted the largest and best collection of Japanese domain names in the land. Our collection started with my stated dream, and We then grabbed every state in America, like,,, etc. Then we went after sports. We got,, but we missed by a day.

We then went after commerce domain names and got what we believed to be our retirement account domains: (insurance), (bank), (business card, which my partner still wants to build a meishi club with),, (we got paid $100 per lead that went from copper to isdn telephone service.), and my personal favorite

Because JPNIC made me hire Mr. Shimmael I also registered They gave us this one too. We were absolutely over the top. Life was frantic, excited and exploding with new ideas for our fast growing and agressive Internet company.

We had 65 staff the day the Japanese Internet died.

The JPNIC and Mr. Maruyama hurried a special and secret meeting of the Japanese heads of the domain registry and issued a hit on Brad Bartz. His "hit" was in the form of a commercial blacklist that was enforced by Keidanren. Besides the blacklist, Mr. Maruyama and the short-sighted Jun Murai made rules that officially killed the Japanese Internet. These rules included:

  • You can NOT buy, sell or trade and Japanese domain name
  • Foreigners (Gaijins) can not register Japanese domain names
  • One other rule could also be interpreted that you can not have advertising on your sites either.

    With my first experience of the shock and awe of the power of Mr. Maruyama and Mr. Murai blacklist I puked. I could not believe that these guys had absolutely no idea of the power and impact of the Internet. They protected an education ideal that still keeps the Japanese in the backwaters of service and creativity. As I write this on Halloween 2009 I can still say that the Japanese Internet is broken and has not even scratched the surface on its potential.

    One by one, my corporate clients took me out to dinner and drinks. One by one they all said the same thing. "Brad, we really like you, but 'they' said we can not do business with you anymore." This included:

  • NTT
  • Toyota
  • Honda
  • CNN Turner
  • Budweiser
  • ACCJ - these son's of bitches. One of the governor's was a secret investor in our Competitor GOL. Heck the founder of GOL (God bless you Roger) was dating an ACCJ staff member. The board was also warned by Keidanren and poof the American community shot me.

    Practically all of our commercial website design and key advertisers in our Tokyo Journal Magazine left us.

    We held on the best we could, but doom quickly set in. By the end of 1996 key staff left.

    1997 - I'm grateful to Citibank and The British Council for staying with IAC and our team. By the end of 1997 we sold Tokyo Journal to Steven Hauser, sold IAC Online to Roger Boisvert at GOL. We sold or gave away four floors of furniture. Finally we had 5 people at the end of 1997 and 1/2 a floor of space in our HQ building in Roppongi, Tokyo.

    The most offensive thing that happened to me, beside the JPNIC/Maruyama/Murai/Keidanren blacklist was when I noticed that the chips had been stolen out of our high-end computers by staff.

    Besides the office downsizing, I moved my family into the house of my partner Jay Smith. Although it was a big house in a great area of Tokyo, it put enormous strains on our families.

    1998 - Jay and I flip a coin to see who will stay and clean up this mess. I knew I could handle it (at least I thought I could) and was glad when Jay won the coin toss to go home to America.

    I promised myself that I would not leave Japan until all debts were paid. Now four team members, Mr. Bartz, Paul Montgomery, Tetsuro Nishida and Ms. Desimone agreed to give it a go. In January of 1997 we started the programming for a free web based email service using all of our domains. We launched on May 1, 1998. The first day we got 10 signups. The next day we got 10 signups and then the most amazing thing happened. It just kept growing. Soon it was 50 a day, steady. We could not believe it. I remember having my home computer ring a bell every time someone registered. It would go bing, bing, bing all day long. Jmail was amazing. We did not have much revenue, but it seemed to be enough to keep us going and to slowly pay to all debt holders.

    I moved to Togoshi, Gotanda, Tokyo. This magical home was an old creaky but fun place.

    In October 1998 my wife and kids moved to the US to live with my parents. We did not have enough money to take care of the family and try and complete my goal of paying off all debts.

    1999 - Jmail continued to grow and by summer 1999 we had 150,000 registered users. At this point the original Campbell Gunn team, sans Campbell Gunn re-invested 300 million yen into Jmail which meant I sold control. This was in November 1999.

    In 1999 it was announced by JPNIC that they would start a new Japan registry called just ".jp" The new ".jp" domain allowed as many as you can eat rules and one more rule that would apply to everyone else but Brad Bartz.

    This new rule was any one with a "" domain name had the first right of approval for the ".jp" version. Brad Bartz and the Jmail domain collection was prevented from exercising this right. That meant others got the .jp version of our domains. This final act of the blacklist got me thrown off of the Jmail board for a complete and total wipeout of Brad Bartz.

    During the buyout I got introduced to the most amazing little European man that reminded me of a character in Pulp Fiction. Michele Mertens was a corporate restructuring specialist. I had the pleasure to watch him establish shut-down systems and negotiate with all debt holders to come to final payments. His character was the guy that helped the guys clean the car after he shot the kid in the back of the car. It was all very efficient.

    The proud moment came when Mr. Mertens told Mr. Bartz, "Brad, I've been shutting down companies for 20 years, heck I shut down Pan Am Air. I have never had every single debt holder tell me to say hello to Brad, we like him".

    Mr. Bartz's Japanese business partners said they liked him because he stood on his ship and battled the blacklist. And more than likely because Mr. Bartz made them whole.

    2000 - The new "owners" paid all debts, $1.5 Million dollars of debt, and I left Japan in February 2000 with the shirt on my back, but without or my company.

    This turned out to be a blessing. My son was born in 1992 with a bi-lateral cleft palette and autism. From 2000 I became a father. I was able to take my anger against JPNIC and Keidanren and focus it on the abuse coming from my son's school district.

    The other blessing was having a fresh start with a solar energy business at




    2004 - Brad Bartz and team buys back and the greatest domain collection in Japan.



    2007 - Google disables revenue - small burst of complaints and then I cried and gave up.

    2008 - Added back to and then removed from Google Adsense. Added Google code to this site and was banned again 10 days later.

    2009 - Added back to Google again, this time because my solar installation videos on Youtube are very popular (Over 50,000 views and climbing fast). They invited me.

    My real business plan for is for it to be a Japanese language newspaper, print and online, that is staffed 100% by female reporters, editors, saleswomen and delivery girls. I'd like to rent Dominos Pizza scooters to deliver newspapers. All female because of the male domination in Japan has missed its most important asset, the Japanese female.

    Email if you would like to learn more about this business plan.

    I have not added the code back to and our free email service yet. I am going to show you that the Japan Blacklist still exists. it just now exists inside Google. Now, if I'm wrong, the Google Adsense ads will continue to run. If this is the case, which is what I hope for, then I will begin to rebuild and have some fun again on the internet.

    Now for a few more details from and Brad Bartz founding the first commercial Internet company in Japan.

    The story begins in 1990 with my meeting Jay Smith At IAC, "the Net" is all we do. Specializing in providing creative, practical Internet solutions that leverage our full team of professionals, IAC will help you to effectively market your products and services on the Internet. We specialize in the Japanese market and have proven ourselves when it comes to meeting client marketing goals.

    Our comprehensive range of Internet business solutions include:

  • Connectivity
  • Training
  • Content design and development
  • Artistic design and development
  • Website auditing
  • System security
  • Secure on-line transactions
  • Systems integration

    As we say at IAC "If it's the Internet, we do it."