- Contents -
  Q What is a personal computer?
  Q How do personal computers output Kanji?
  Q What is a font?
  Q What is a character code?
  Q How are Kanji input?
  Q Is it impossible to use characters not in the character set?
  Q Do I only need a user-defined character editor to use user-defined characters?
  Q How do I input user-defined characters with IME?
  Q Is it possible to use characters from mainframes?
  Q What is the JIS code?
  Q What is the Shift JIS code?
  Q What is Unicode?
  Q How long will it take for Unicode to become available?
  Q What is XKP?
  Q Can user-defined characters be transferred using XKP?
  Q Is it possible to use more user-defined characters than the number of character codes available?
  Q Can XKP user-defined characters be printed?

Japanese Processing Guidebook


Q What is XKP?

A It is the abbreviation for the Windows NT® Extended Kanji Processing Council.

When creating a system on PCs for handling local body family registers, the following problems become apparent.

- The number of characters available under Shift JIS is insufficient.
- The method of ordering from several manufacturers rather than just one has become common.

In other words, a specialized system provided by only one company is not suitable for current needs, but a standard PC does not provide the necessary number of characters.
The Windows NT
® Extended Kanji Processing Council was founded in order to provide a standard for handling Kanji.
The technical standard created by XKP is called the Windows NT Kanji Processing Technical Standard. In some cases, the term XKP is also used to refer to this standard.
The XKP standard has the following features.

- Based upon database + application system design, such as for family registers
- Uses JIS X 0221, roughly equivalent to Unicode
- Utilizes Windows NT, a Unicode-based OS, as a platform
- Creates a standard for OLE Control (see below), making it easier to develop application systems
- Standard is open, allowing anyone to provide compliant products or services

At the present time, XKP-compliant products are available from several vendors, and have already been installed by some local bodies.
In addition, Windows NT development and the XKP standard are heading in the same direction, making it likely that under the next version of Windows NT, Windows NT 5.0, integration with the XKP standard will be even better.

Note: OLE Control is a standard for reusable program modules based on Microsoft's OLE technology. By using this, it is possible to reduce the time and cost required for application program development.