Japanese Layout Task Force Charter

The mission of this task force is to discuss and document gaps and requirements, and offer advice for the layout and presentation of text in Japanese when those languages are used by Web standards and technologies, such as HTML, CSS, Mobile Web, Digital Publications and Unicode.

The Task Force is part of the W3C Internationalization Interest Group. The Task Force will report the results of its activities as a group back to the W3C Internationalization Working Group, as well as to other relevant groups and to the W3C membership and community.

This charter is intended to reflect the current direction of the group, so that there is common agreement. It may be altered at any point in order to reflect new priorities or work items.

Join the Japanese Text Layout Task Force.

End date 31 December 2022
Confidentiality Proceedings are public
Initial Chair Yasuo Kida
Initial Team Contacts
(FTE %: 2)
Richard Ishida
Usual Meeting Schedule Teleconferences: On an as-needed basis. Preferably, a minimum of one status meeting per month.
Face-to-face meetings: On an as-needed basis.
Video Conferences: On an as-needed basis.


This work aims to ensure that the W3C is developing a Web for All, with a particular emphasis on Japan.

The group exists to allow a network of experts to share information about gaps and requirements for support of Japanese on the Web and in digital publications.

Topics for discussion are suggested by the gap-analysis document. This work supports the development of the matrix indicating hot-spots for language support. The focus is especially on typographic features for which information in English is hard to find, such as justification, letter-spacing, vertical text, text decoration, page layout, emphasis, etc. We want to ensure that we have captured local user needs in CSS, HTML, Timed Text, Web Payments, Web Publishing, and the many other specifications that the W3C produces.

A significant problem faced by the Web is that experts don't know how to tell the W3C what problems exist for support of their script or language, and the W3C doesn't know how to contact people who can help when questions arise. This network of experts should help to significantly reduce that problem. They will be asked to consider and advise on issues that arise during the development of technologies at W3C. See the i18n WG's Layout tracker page for examples of such issues.

Experts who are contributing members of the task force will go a step further, and contribute to documents produced by the group, as described in the section on deliverables below.

The information produced in documents or discussed via GitHub issues needs to be relayed to the appropriate groups at W3C (and perhaps in other groups), and task force participants will probably want to be involved in those discussions. The notification framework already in place helps participants track issues raised against W3C working groups.


The Japanese Text Layout Task Force will not produce Recommendation-track deliverables but will work on or produce documents that can be published by the Internationalization Working Group as Working Group Notes. Such work is expected to include the following. The completion of the work depends upon resource availability.

  • Augment the contents of the gap-analysis document, which is one of many similar documents that radiate out from the language matrix to help us track areas where better support is needed. The gap analysis document uses a standard structure to list issues that content users and content authors face relating to particular apects of text layout, provide pointers to tests, and prioritise the importance of the barriers documented.
  • Update the Japanese Layout Requirements document to fix errata, or improve the accessibility and user-friendliness of the document.
  • Update the Rules for Simple Placement of Japanese Ruby document to fix errata.
  • Produce other documents advising standards developers and application developers on how to cater for Japanese needs. Some of those documents may be developed elsewhere, such as at the Advanced Publishing Lab in Japan, and brought to this group for review and subsequent publication.

The group may also choose to produce other non-normative deliverables, such as test cases and error reports – under the terms of the Policies for Contribution of Test Cases to W3C, and in coordination with any relevant working groups.

Documents can be produced in both Japanese and English, but there should always be an English version available, since people who don't speak Japanese are part of the target audience for the documents. In fact, opening up information to an international audience is an important aspect of the group's mission. In line with W3C policy, the authoritative version of a document will be the English one: this may be a translation from Japanese, or may be originated in English.

Relationships to External Groups

Working Drafts and Notes will be published by the i18n WG, and the i18n WG will work with the task force closely to assist with development and review of the documents. For information about the wider framework into which the Japanese layout work fits, see Analysing support for text layout on the Web.


The Japanese Text Layout Task Force has no formal dependencies on any W3C Working Groups other than the Internationalization Working Group. Important points of contact include:
Other Groups
The Japanese Text Layout Task Force is also expected to take advantage of opportunities for discussion and collaboration with existing groups and communities in Japanese-script countries as well as groups and communities elsewhere.


The Task Force provides for two levels of participation.

Followers are subscribed to the public-i18n-japanese mailing list, where they can track discussions, and contribute opinions via the GitHub issue list. Rather than just 'Watch' the GitHub repository, it is best to subscribe to the mailing list, because that list is notified once a day (in digest form) about activity in the jlreq repository, but also about activity for other W3C Working Group issues related to Japanese. (Participants are expected to use github issues rather than the mailing list to send feedback.)

Task force members are expert contributors who participate actively in producing the work of the group, contributing text and advice to create the outputs, and participating in any meetings. These people are subscribed to the task force group by W3C staff.

All TF members and people making contributions (via issues or pull requests) must read and agree with CONTRIBUTING.md.

Participants are reminded of the Good Standing requirements of the W3C Process.


The jlreq GitHub repository and its issue list are the main vehicles for technical discussion. Discussion can be in Japanese and English but, where useful, Japanese discussions should be summarised in English when a conclusion is reached, so that the wider community can follow.

The public-i18n-japanese@w3.org list receives notifications of changes in the jlreq repository, and also of changes to issues in other repositories when those issues are tagged with a jlreq label. This includes the CSS and HTML repositories, amongst others. That mailing list should not be used for technical discussion. The public-i18n-cjk list must archive or point to minutes and summaries of all teleconferences and face-to-face meetings. Meeting minutes will list all attendees at a given meeting.

An administrative list, public-jlreq-admin, will be used for internal communication about practical matters, such as meeting agenda, which should be published before each teleconference or face-to-face meeting.

The group will use the W3C Internationalization home page to provide updated public information about its activities.

Information about the group (deliverables, participants, face-to-face meetings, teleconferences, etc.) is available from the jlreq GitHub repository.

Meetings may be held in Japanese, but an effort should be made to communicate key findings and conclusions in English in the minutes.

Decision Policy

As explained in the Process Document (section 3.3), this group will seek to make decisions when there is consensus. In cases where there is a need to formally produce a group resolution about a particular issue, its Chair will put a question about the issue to the group and gather responses (including any formal objections); then, after due consideration of all the responses, the Chair will record a group resolution (possibly after a formal vote and also along with responding to any formal objections).

Patent Policy

Participants in the Japanese Text Layout Task Force are obligated to comply with W3C patent-disclosure policy as outlined in Section 6 of the W3C Patent Policy document. Although the Japanese Text Layout Task Force is not chartered to produce Recommendation-track documents that themselves require patent disclosure, participants in the group are nevertheless obligated to comply with W3C patent-disclosure policy for any Recommendation-track specifications that they review or comment on.

For more information about disclosure obligations for this group, please see the W3C Patent Policy Implementation.

About this Charter

This charter for the Japanese Layout Task Force within the Internationalization Interest Group has been created according to section 6.2 of the Process Document. In the event of a conflict between this document or the provisions of any charter and the W3C Process, the W3C Process shall take precedence.

Charter history

The following table lists details of all changes from the initial charter, per the W3C Process Document (section 5.2.3):

Charter Period Start Date End Date Changes
Initial charter 1 January 2019 31 December 2020 New task force created. Old Japanese Layout Task Force had closed long before.
Rechartered 31 December 2022 Added Rules for Simple Placement of Japanese Ruby.

Charter Authors: Richard Ishida, Atsushi Shimono