Recently, there has been a lot of interest in using Java for parallel programming. Efforts have been hindered by lack of standard Java parallel programming APIs. To alleviate this problem, various groups started projects to develop Java message passing systems modelled on the successful Message Passing Interface (MPI). Official MPI bindings are currently defined only for C, Fortran, and C++, so early MPI-like environments for Java have been divergent. This paper relates an effort undertaken by a working group of the Java Grande Forum, seeking a consensus on an MPI-like API, to enhance the viability of parallel programming using Java.