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This paper describes the design philosophy for the grid system being developed by the Japan Committee on High-Performance Computing for Bioinformatics and Initiative for Parallel Bioinformatics (IPAB). The grid is an attractive solution to achieve a distributed bioinformatics environment with high performance parallel computers, large genomic databases, computation intensive applications such as homology search and molecular simulation. However, there is a lot of work to do in grid system design, especially in the wide area network environment. OBIGrid emphasizes the virtual organization aspect of the grid system and gives more priority to security and scalability than performance.