GTE Cybertrust Solutions Inc. said it has been chosen by JCB Company Ltd. of Japan to issue digital certificates for Internet transaction security.

JCB, a bank-owned company and the largest credit card issuer in Japan, joins American Express Co. and MasterCard International Inc. in endorsing the GTE Corp. unit's certification system.

It will comply with the requirements of version 1.0 of the Secure Electronic Transactions protocol that is supported by all the major card brands.

JCB, which has 37 million cardholders and operates the J-Mall on the Internet with a number of prominent merchants, "is leading the way to secure electronic commerce in Japan using SET 1.0," said Akihiko Kawashima, president of Cybertrust Japan.

GTE formed Cybertrust Japan in April 1997 with BUG Inc., Nomura Research Institute, and NTT Mobile Communications Network.

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