Microsoft Corp. in Japan began distribution of digital certificates that the central and local governments issue, using its Microsoft Update system, the company said on Thursday.

Microsoft is aiding Japan's recent technology project called the Digital Government System. As part of the program the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications along with local administrative bodies accept applications for issuance of official documents such as certificates of address change, marriage, and alien registration.

The government asked Microsoft, a maker of its most dominant computer operating system Windows Japan, for a secured distribution system for root certificate.

Microsoft started the distribution to Windows XP and Windows Server 2003 users earlier this month. On Thursday it extended its reach to all versions of the Windows Operating System.

The root certificate will be automatically installed into the computer as part of Windows Update, a web-based software update service for Microsoft Windows operating systems. The system protects certificate from being hacked and altered by a third person, the company said in a release.